🎉 2022 Shortlist

                                      Oakland Forever presented by Rakuten

                                      Entrant: Rakuten

                                      • Best in Direct-to-Consumer or Social Commerce
                                      • Best Brand Sponsorship


                                      ABOUT THIS ENTRY

                                      Rakuten and the Warriors partnered on a 360 degree, season long platform built around the Warriors jersey badge sponsorship and the We Believe era of Warriors history. The Oakland Forever platform extended across social, digital, retail, and more leading to business driving results for both parties.  

                                      How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

                                      The jersey badge is the highest performing asset for Rakuten's brand awareness metrics, but Rakuten wanted to challenge the perception and prove that Rakuten is more than just a logo on a jersey.

                                      The Oakland Forever platform exemplified many best practices around a cohesive use of assets to generate ownable season-long engagement. The multifaceted campaign had tactics that leveraged nostalgia to encourage engagement and built storytelling around the jersey, creating a natural brand association for Rakuten. The gift with purchase sales incentive program also highlights a true symbiotic partnership between Rakuten and the Warriors that drove business results for both parties. The Oakland Forever platform is a great example of how brands and properties can create an ownable platform that hit upper marketing funnel brand KPIs and guide fans towards lower funnel brand results building around already ownable assets.

                                      Rakuten and the Warriors have built off this platform model for the 2021-22 season and are continuing to see great success with the current platform execution.

                                      Objective: Rakuten entered their 4th year as the Golden State Warriors jersey badge partner and established a solid brand awareness foundation due to this asset. To amplify the partnership further, Rakuten and the Warriors collaborated on a 360-degree integrated marketing campaign around the 2020-21 City Edition Jersey to build the Oakland Forever presented by Rakuten platform. The jersey, court, and the platform paid homage to the “We Believe” era in Warriors history and the many years the team spent in Oakland.

                                      The platform was a collaborative effort to optimize the use of Rakuten’s assets to create an ownable program for Rakuten. The jersey badge is Rakuten’s most visible asset and a platform built on the City Edition jersey provided an authentic story that Rakuten’s assets could bring to life.

                                      The core objectives included:
                                      • Continue to deepen Rakuten's credibility amongst Warriors fans
                                      • Create an integrated marketing plan with the Warriors that effectively utilizes and connects Rakuten’s sponsorship assets
                                      • Establish measurable behavior for Warriors fans shopping at Warriors Shop using Rakuten
                                      • Collaborate with GSW and GSW partners/vendors to create a memorable initiative in the community

                                      Strategy & Execution: Elements of Rakuten and the Warriors’ shared values were weaved throughout the campaign to bring joy and nostalgia to fans. As a member of the We Believe team, Rakuten Global Brand Ambassador Stephen Curry was used to amplify the campaign.

                                      The Warriors and Rakuten partnered with local retailer, Oaklandish, on a limited-edition Oakland Forever line with two exclusive SKUs created for Rakuten’s gift with purchase promotion. A hoodie and a long sleeve shirt were the exclusive SKUs that were only available for fans who made a $25+ purchase at Warriors Shop using Rakuten. The retail campaign was amplified with an influencer program. This collaboration offered a new way to drive Rakuten and Warriors business metrics.

                                      The Oakland Forever platform also allowed for the Warriors and Rakuten to support the Oakland-based community through a court refurbishment for the historic McClymonds High School. The court was redesigned to honor the basketball legacy of MCHS and its alumni while giving them a newly designed court/gym to play on for years to come. Rakuten worked with the Warriors Community Foundation and MCHS leadership to give one deserving student a $10k scholarship and gifts from Rakuten to help her on her journey to college.

                                      Results: Oakland Forever presented by Rakuten achieved results that drove both top of the funnel awareness, buzz, and significantly impacted Rakuten business metrics including site visits, sign-ups, sales, and first-time users.

                                      1. Social:
                                        • 84.7M impressions, 9.3M engagements, 28.1 video views (per simply measured)

                                      2. Publicity:
                                        • 1.4B publicity reach, $26.8 publicity value (per critical mention)

                                      3. McClymonds Court Refurb:
                                        • Publicity – 44.9M publicity reach, $1.4M publicity value (per critical mention)
                                        • Social – 291k Impressions, 5.8k engagements, 35k video views

                                      4. Retail:
                                        • 639% increase in buyers at Warriors Shop through Rakuten between the 2019-20 season and the 2020-21 season
                                        • Oakland Forever contributed to 95% of buyers and orders at Warriors Shop
                                        • 5,491 new Rakuten buyers

                                      The Works:

                                      Oakland Forever presented by Rakuten_1

                                      Oakland Forever presented by Rakuten_2

                                      Oakland Forever presented by Rakuten_3



                                      GMR Marketing
                                      Golden State Warriors


                                      Jas Le Compte
                                      Manager, Sports & Entertainment

                                      Ryan Washatka
                                      SVP, Sports & Entertainment

                                      Rhea Wadia
                                      Director, Sports & Entertainment

                                      Julia Ferdinand
                                      Hospitality Manager, Sports & Entertainment

                                      Jon Bach
                                      Vice Manager, Strategic Initiative, Global Partnership Activation Dept.

                                      Ashlee Tsukushi
                                      Account Supervisor, Client Consulting + Services
                                      GMR Marketing

                                      Peter Aiello
                                      VP, Client Consulting + Services
                                      GMR Marketing

                                      Drew Heist
                                      Senior Account Director, Client Consulting + Services
                                      GMR Marketing

                                      Adam Lewis
                                      NBA Property Marketing Manager (currently Google)
                                      GMR Marketing

                                      Katie Stockberger Jones
                                      Director, Partnership Development
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Gabi Iniguez
                                      Coordinator, Partnership Development
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Amanda Chin
                                      Vice President, Brand Marketing
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Kendra Miller
                                      Senior Marketing Manager
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Andrea Collins
                                      Manager, Marketing
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Jeff Knepp
                                      Senior Manager, Team Retail Operations
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Leah Johnson
                                      Marketing Coordinator
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Hannah Avdalovic
                                      Manager, Social Media
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Blake Wilberding
                                      Senior Director, Production
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Kassidy Iwashita
                                      Snior Producer
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Jason Lim
                                      Senior Director, Design
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Saif Amath
                                      Senior Graphics Designer
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Jason Lindeman
                                      Design Manager
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Serena Marini
                                      Graphic Designer & In-House Photographer
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Len Kori
                                      Graphic Designer
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Sean McCabe
                                      Senior Graphic Designer
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Ed Ntiri
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Evan Schwartz
                                      Director, Philanthropy
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Kimberly Veale
                                      Senior Director, Corporate Communications
                                      Golden State Warriors

                                      Celebrate in Las Vegas

                                      Join us for the 4th Hashtag Sports Awards™ presented by Budweiser on the evening of July 12, 2022 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas as we celebrate finalists and reveal the winners of this year's awards live during the show.


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