August 7th, 2012
03:57 PM ET
After losing the monthly fundraising battle in July for the third straight month, the Obama campaign is rolling out a new money-raising gimmick to encourage its supporters to pony up donations.
In an email sent out on Tuesday, Obama for America announced that future donors to the president’s reelection campaign will be automatically entered into a lottery for the chance to play basketball with current and former NBA and WNBA stars at the rescheduled Obama Classic. The winner will also get a dinner with President Obama and NBA legend Michael Jordan.
Originally organized during the 2011 NBA lockout, the Obama Classic was an exhibition game scheduled for last December at a time when basketball fans had nowhere else to turn to watch their favorite players. When the lockout was resolved at the end of November, NBC stars and Obama Classic organizers Vince Carter, Baron Davis and Chris Paul sent out an email announcing that the game was being postponed until summer 2012.
“And we can tell you it's going to be a game you won't want to miss,” the email read. “We've personally talked to more than a dozen players and legends who are eager to get out there and have some fun in support of President Obama.”
In 2011, some of the NBA's biggest names had signed on including Boston Celtics' guard Ray Allen, New York Knicks' forward Carmelo Anthony and Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh.
This time around, the campaign is sweetening the pot a bit.
“Imagine shooting hoops with Carmelo Anthony, Patrick Ewing, Sheryl Swoopes, Kyrie Irving, and Alonzo Mourning,” Obama for America Deputy National Field Director Marlon Marshall wrote in Tuesday’s email. “Oh, and you'll get to meet President Obama and Michael Jordan over dinner, too.”
Details on the players list this time around and when or where exactly the game will be played weren’t included, but Marshall did write that the winner could transfer the prize to a more athletically-inclined friend or relative if playing basketball wasn’t for them.
“Don't worry if suiting up with hoops stars isn't your thing,” Marshall’s email read. “I know you've got a kid or a friend who would love nothing more than to play with their heroes while you cheer them on from a courtside seat.”
The campaign has run similar fundraising contests before, raffling off dinners with the president and first lady, trips to the president’s birthday party and even an invitation to a fundraiser at actor George Clooney’s house.