Taco Bell, the official quick-service restaurant of the NBA, announced that its “Think Outside the Bun” personality will descend on Dallas this weekend for its first NBA All-Star game as an official NBA marketing partner.

Headlining Taco’s Bell’s involvement during NBA All-Star 2010 is the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. Televised nationally as part of NBA All-Star Saturday Night on TNT, the Taco Bell Skills Challenge features four NBA players competing in a two-round, timed “obstacle course” that includes dribbling, passing, and shooting stations. Chicago Bulls’ guard Derrick Rose will look to defend his title against Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks, Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns, and Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz.

“We are proud to make our first NBA All-Star appearance with the title sponsorship of the Taco Bell Skills Challenge,” says David Ovens, chief marketing officer of Taco Bell Corp. “Efficiency, speed, and accuracy are skills needed to win the challenge. These are the same skills our employees strive for everyday when serving more than 36.8 million customers each week in our nearly 5,600 restaurants.”

As part of NBA All-Star Saturday Night, Taco Bell will create a similar event for all NBA fans to enjoy and participate in at NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas. Fans and visitors of Taco Bell’s Skill Challenge for Jam Session will be able to test their skills and speed on a full court re-creation of the same event the NBA greats will be competing in Saturday night. All fans that participate in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge for Jam Session will receive a keepsake photo with the official Skills Challenge Trophy. Adjacent to the interactive area, fans will be able to sample Beef Crunchy Tacos and Fresco-style Soft Tacos, as well as take home signature taco hats.

Taco Bell’s taco truck will also serve up Beef Crunchy Tacos all across Dallas over the course of the weekend.

The chain is also offering the Taco Bell NBA Five Buck Box, including five Taco Bell All-Star menu items in special NBA-themed packaging, which includes images of some of the league’s biggest stars. Throughout All-Star Weekend, the Taco Bell NBA Five Buck Box will be supported through in-store signage, on-court branding, and on-air broadcast mentions that feature NBA Hall-of-Famer and Emmy Award–winning commentator Charles Barkley.

“With activities slated for NBA athletes, NBA fans, and Taco Bell consumers, we are focused on big-time success in Dallas,” Ovens says. “Add Taco Bell’s new NBA Five Buck Box to the lineup and you have a recipe to feed any size appetite.”

Menu Innovations, News, Taco Bell