NBA MAKING THINGS BETTER

The Situation

The world is in a state of shock and every one is mobilizing their resources to help people get through the pandemic a little bit easier. But not every problem has been solved. 

The Ask

Identify a problem related to the pandemic and develop a strategic platform & comms architecture the NBA can activate as a potential solve. 

The Problem

COVID-19 is holding hostage one of the things Americans rely on most during times of crisis: Sports

*This plan was created prior to the start of the NBA bubble

THE TRUTH WE'RE REVEALING

Sports are a part of America's first-aid kit.

2001

The attacks of 9/11 forever changed our country

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10 Days Later Piazza brought NYC home

"To this day people remember that moment when they exhaled. They had been holding their breath for ten days. They didn't know if they'd recover but then they knew they could."

ALLICE GREENWALD | CEO & PRESIDENT, 9/11 MEMORIAL MUSEUM

On Mets return to Shea Stadium after 9/11 attacks

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2005

Hurricane Katrina decimated the city of New Orleans

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"[The Saints] instantly became the symbol of the rebuilding process

in the Big Easy."

5 years later, they won the Super Bowl with Drew Brees at the helm.

MILES HUBBARD | BLEACHER REPORT

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2013

In Boston, terrorists again attacked our spirits

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Big Papi speaks to Fenway "This is our fucking city--and nobody is going to dictate our freedom!"

DAVID "BIG PAPI' ORTIZ | RED SOX LEGEND

Sports are more than "just" sports.

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Religion

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Escape

KEY FINDINGS

We're all tuned in.

90% of Americans are fans of at least one sport, with 84% of fans being fans of one of the "Big Three" sports leagues: NBA | NFL | MLB

Right League for the Job

The NBA is well positioned to step in during this time due to existing efforts from the NBA Cares organization and the #NBATogether initiative.

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NBA Cares is the league's social responsibility program committed to addressing important social issues concerning education,  youth, family development, and health-related causes in the U.S. and around the world.

#NBATogether is the league's social engagement campaign that aims to educate and support in response to COVID-19.

OUR GOAL

CONTINUE TO BE THE ESCAPE FROM REALITY SPORTS FANS WANT AND NEED IN THE FACE OF TRAGEDY.

LEANING INTO TRUTHS

Consumer Truth

In the face of uncertainty and tragedy, rooting for the hometown team brings unfiltered pride and joy

to sports fans.

Brand Truth

The NBA is committed to the people around the globe that make up the NBA family, not "just" the game of

professional basketball. 

Culture Truth

American sports play a vital part in the early stages of the healing process after national tragedies

CAMPAIGN STRATEGY

Unite with NBA fans to mount a major comeback.

CREATIVE PLATFORM

Take care, together.

COMMS GAME PLAN

 

Phase 1

OFF SEASON:

The 2019-20 season came to a screeching halt, just as fans and teams geared up for the NBA Playoffs. In this phase the focus will be on helping fans bounce back from the sudden loss of sports--reality & fantasy.

 

Phase 2

DRAFT NIGHT:

On what is normally a night of hope for fans and teams looking towards the future, the role of comms in this phase will focus on inspiring and uniting fans.

 

Phase 3

GAME TIME:

The war against COVID-19 is not over, but many battles have been won. Fall 2020 will mark the return of sports in America. This final phase of the comms plan will turn focus to welcoming back those who have helped us arrive at this point in history.

PHASE 1: OFF SEASON

 

"IDOLS BECOME RIVALS' Player vs. Fan Matchups

The current rise of eSports, and its ability to connect with Gen  has presented the NBA 2K League with a valuable partner in video game streaming giant Twitch.

On player off nights we'll give fans the chance to be randomly selected by NBA players for a quick online matchup in NBA 2K. Higher profile matchups against league stars like LeBron James and Devin Booker will be offered in charity auctions in an effort to raise proceeds for COVID-19 relief. 

All games will be live broadcast on Twitch for millions to see.

 

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Why it fits: Twitch has 15 million active daily users, and 25% of gamers feel like they're part of a larger community. 

 

PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT with SPIRIT

Many fashion designers and brands have lended a hand to the protection of front line healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis by pivoting to PPE manufacturing.

Utilizing circular design and working with vintage sports apparel maker Mitchell & Ness and, the NBA can repurpose materials from unused gear to produce masks for healthcare workers.

Not only will the masks help save lives, they will also bring a sense of hometown pride to our hometown heroes.

 

PHASE 2: DRAFT NIGHT

 

A DAY IN THE LIFE, A DAY FOR YOUR COMMUNITY

Although the NBA draft will be virtual for the foreseeable future, the league can make it a special night for children at local Boys & Girls Clubs across the nation.

What roll will the draft play?

Each team will select a celebrity influencer as honorary GM. After the team makes their first-round draft selection, the celebrity GM will draft a child from the local Boys & Girls Club.

Kids will receive a one-day contract, get to suit up with the team for the first game of the season, and sit on the bench with the team. They'll also be "paid" a one-game check equivalent to the NBA rookie minimum to be donated to their club.

 

 

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A fundraising phone-a-thon with a competitive twist.

 

Who will be the champion for their community and front line heroes?

Each team will select a group of local celebrity influencers and a few team players and coaches to represent the team during the event.

Fans will be encouraged to donate to their favorite teams via web or phone. Funds will be donated to local COVID-19 relief efforts to support those in need and healthcare workers in the team's city.

 

PHASE 3: GAME NIGHT

 

NBA HEROES NIGHT In Honor of Healthcare Workers

As stadium begin to allow fans back to games, the NBA wants to welcome those who put their lives at risk everyday to help this country with open arms.

Taking care of our Heroes for a night.

Each team will designate a number of games on the team home schedule as "NBA Heroes Night." On the these nights healthcare workers who served during the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible to claim two ticket to the game free of charge.

Prior to each game tipoff Heroes will be honored during an opening ceremony with words from the team owner and star player.

 

Thank You, heroes!

It's bigger than basketball.

Take care, together.

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THE TEAM

Nana Dadzie | Strategist

Cat Marsh | Strategist

Thuraya Al-Wazzan | Strategist