Entrant Company: NBA


  Outstanding Use of TikTok



The NBA launched Hashtag Challenges on TikTok around the 2020 NBA Bubble, Finals and Draft to help drive event tune-in and give fans the opportunity to create content.

How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

Using the platform to not only engage with fans, but to encourage them to create their own content-driven around the league has been the biggest success of these challenges. User-generated content continues to be a large part of our strategy on TikTok. Publishing NBA content on the platform is important not only to showcase the elements of our game, but to have fans create content around the NBA creates a more personal and involved experience for our fans. As we continue to create these hashtag challenges on the platform we will continue to push creative prompts and exciting moments to publish content around.



Hashtag challenges on TikTok are a way to reach audiences that you may normally not reach and engage in an organic way within the TikTok community. By creating hashtag challenges around tentpole events, the NBA can engage with more fans and drive tune-in to the event that will be happening. Hashtag challenges give fans an opportunity to create content on their own so they can be a part of the conversation. The challenges give the NBA the opportunity to reach the fans that are outside of their current 12.4M followers.

Strategy & Execution:

The NBA launches Hashtag Challenges around certain tentpole events to help drive tune-in to the event but also to give fans the opportunity to create content around the event.

Each tentpole event such as the NBA Restart (Bubble) in Orlando, NBA Finals, and NBA Draft get a unique hashtag challenge, each with a different prompt. During the hiatus, the NBA used hashtag challenges to engage with fans during a time where there was no basketball happening. That’s when the NBA launched #HoopsAtHome, challenging fans to show their basketball skills at home.

Another challenge during the hiatus was the #NBAMoments challenge where fans used the duet feature to recreate their favorite NBA Moments. To create hype around the NBA Restart, we launched #WholeNewGame and asked fans to show us how they were getting ready for the NBA action.

For the NBA Playoffs, the NBA partnered with TikTok to create an AR filter that featured Thundersticks with the 16 Playoff Teams. With no physical fans in the arena, this was the NBA’s way to include fans in all the fun and bring some traditional fandom to the game in a unique way.


Through hashtags, we are able to measure the views each challenge receives as well as total submissions. During the three days that the #WholeNewGame challenge was trending -
launched on July 29, 2020 and was trending through July 31, 2020.

The challenge currently has a total of 4.2B views and received about 510K TikTok submissions. #NBAThundersticks launched for the 2020 NBA Playoffs on Aug. 20, 2020 and resulted in about 395K submissions and currently has a total of 1.6B views.

Using an AR filter in the challenge gave fans the chance to use NBA and NBA team-branded content within their TikToks to help show off their NBA fandom. #HoopsAtHome challenged fans to create TikToks of them playing basketball while they were at home, whether that was on a hoop in their driveway, or in their bedroom using a hamper.

This challenge launched April 19, 2020 and drove about 814K submissions, which is the most submissions in a challenge during 2020. #HoopsAtHome currently has 4.7B views.





Senior Vice President, Digital & Social Content, NBA
Senior Director, Social Content, NBA



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