The Black Eyed Peas have linked with the National Basketball Assn. (NBA) and ESPN for a promotion centered around the basketball playoffs.

The Black Eyed Peas have linked with the National Basketball Assn. (NBA) and ESPN for a promotion centered around the basketball playoffs.

Four 30-second spots featuring the A&M/Interscope act's song "Let's Get It Started" will air no less than 2,000 times during the six-week play-off period on ESPN's four networks, according to Ashley Smith, director of local marketing and publicity for ESPN.

In addition to the 2,000 ESPN airings, the spots will run on the network's parent, ABC, and on other ABC-owned channels. There will also be shorter permutations of the commercial and 90-second versions that will play before thousands in arenas during the playoffs and finals.

"I think it could conceivably help us sell another million records and establish this band like an OutKast," says Ron Fair, president of A&M.

The song (in its original version, "Let's Get Retarded") is from the album "Elephunk," which has sold 1 million copies in the United States since its release last summer, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Instead of paying to license the track, ESPN paid for all expenses involved in the production of the commercials. "It's exposure for a label that they could never afford," says Smith.

For the commercials, Peas member Will.I.Am provided four extra versions of the song, including one themed around the 24-hour shot clock, tailored to the playoffs. "It's their personalities, but the lyrics are about the NBA," says Smith.

All four spots feature the Peas; Carlos Santana, who plays guitar in the commercials; and a boys choir.