The Larry O’Brien Trophy’s NBA Finals Bucket List | 6th Hashtag Sports Awards

The Larry O’Brien Trophy’s NBA Finals Bucket List

NBA

The 6th Annual Awards

Nominee ✨
  • Best Social Media Campaign

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ABOUT THIS ENTRY

The NBA launched a creative and first-of-its-kind social content initiative to drive awareness and excitement leading up to and throughout the 2023 NBA Finals, which tipped off on June 1. The campaign, titled The Larry O’Brien Trophy’s NBA Finals Bucket List, was developed and executed to connect with core and casual NBA fans around the world in a memorable way, ultimately driving attention and tune-in, for the conclusion of the NBA Playoffs and 2023 NBA Finals.

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How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

While traditional championship trophy tours have been executed in the past, the NBA reimagined this campaign by developing a compelling story arc, orchestrating jaw-dropping experiences and deploying best-in-class social media content strategies that drove elevated engagement and consumption. The unique ‘bucket list’ theme gave the NBA’s championship trophy a distinct identity and the content a purpose, which resonated with a global audience of sports fans. In addition to deploying a wide range of trophy-related content from NBA platforms, we also collaborated closely with these third-party entities to amplify our content and post natively to their channels, helping us reach a wider audience in bespoke ways. A key element to successful engagement was the variety of content that we published, which included content as simple as a high-res photo of the trophy at the Kentucky Derby to as complex as having a artfully-produced video of the trophy skydiving into downtown Denver for a grand arrival to Game 1 of the NBA Finals. We then customized that content for a variety of social platforms and strategically determined which content was posted natively and/or amplified across the newly created @NBAFinalsTrophy handles and the global @NBA handles.

Objective

The NBA launched a first-of-its-kind social media campaign to drive awareness and excitement for the 2023 NBA Finals. The campaign, titled The Larry O’Brien Trophy’s NBA Finals Bucket List, was designed to use the NBA’s championship trophy to connect with core and casual NBA fans around the world in a memorable way, ultimately driving attention and tune-in for the conclusion of the NBA Playoffs and 2023 NBA Finals. The NBA recognized the opportunity to use the trophy to create a bold and disruptive campaign that for the first time gave “Larry” an identity and took the trophy to unexpected events and activities as part of ‘Bucket List’ that needed to be completed by the Finals. Larry interacted with global celebrities, attended the world’s most popular events, visited iconic landmarks all of which was captured and distributed to fans around the world across the NBA social media platforms. For each stop, the NBA produced a wide range of compelling content that incorporated an NBA Finals call-to-action to authentically remind fans and media about the start of the NBA Finals. The campaign also featured an extensive traditional PR and media strategy and the content was repurposed across NBA fan marketing assets worldwide.

Strategy & Execution

Throughout a six-week period, the Larry O’Brien Trophy triumphantly checked off more than 50 items on its bucket list across five categories of unique activities: Iconic Events, Epic Adventures, Celebrity Encounters, Historical Landmarks and Media Appearances. At each stop, the NBA’s social media team worked across time zones to capture, edit and publish the content in real time. We developed graphics, photos, animations, scripted skits, short-form and long-form videos as part of this social media content series, all of which was captured in a variety of ways including using phones, higher-end cameras, drones and GoPro cameras. The content was customized for each platform it was featured on, including Facebook, Instagram, Snap, TikTok, X and YouTube, in addition to being localized for international audiences and published across regional social media platforms around the world. In total, more than 150 posts were published across @NBA and @NBAFinalsTrophy social media accounts. Additionally, the social media team worked collaboratively with the various celebrities, influencers and organizations that the trophy crossed paths with to have their accounts publish content in collaboration with the NBA, providing tremendous earned media exposure for the campaign.

Organizations

  • NBA
  • Fresh Tape Media

Credits

Bob Carney
Senior Vice President, Social and Digital Content
NBA

Adam Fedorko
Vice President, Social and Digital Content Creation
NBA

David Thomas
Vice President, Content Management and Operations
NBA

Michael Verrone
Vice President, Domestic Programming and Content Strategy Lead
NBA

Ashley Atwell
Associate Vice President, Social and Emerging Media Lead
NBA

Jason Gilfillan
Associate Vice President, Creator Content Lead
NBA

Heather Messer
Senior Director, Event Operations, Event Administration Lead
NBA

Justin D’Apolito
Director, Social Content Lead
NBA

Jasmin Marquez
Director, Programming and Music Business Operations Lead
NBA

Peter Richter
Director, Content Design Lead
NBA

Jeff Sanchez
Director, Talent and Creator Content
NBA

Leah Berry
Senior Manager, Social and Digital Content Creation Management
NBA

Brian Boehler
Senior Manager, Field Operations
NBA

Jake Freeman
Senior Manager, Social Content, Content Planning Lead
NBA

Jenny Fischer
Manager, On-Site Content Creation Lead
NBA

Carly Nevis
Manager, DTC and Vertical Content Creation
NBA

Elias Williams
Manager, Social Content, Content Planning - Promotional Content
NBA

Craig Teifert
Senior Producer
NBA

Sherman Gomez
Senior Editor
NBA

James Johnson
Senior Editor
NBA

Jeff Leong
Video Coordinator
NBA

Zuri Pavlin
Video Coordinator
NBA

Gerard Nocera
Senior Production Assistant
NBA

Victoria Guerrero
Project Employee, On-Site Content Creation
NBA

Amanda Thorn George
Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships, Social Impact and International Communications Lead
NBA

Stuart Bryan
Senior Director, Global Partnerships and Corporate Communications Lead
NBA

Mark Pozin
Senior Director, International and Youth Basketball Communications
NBA

Jacinda Ortiz
Senior Director, Media, STC and Entertainment Communication
NBA

Devon Garden
Senior Manager, NBA 2K and G League Communications
NBA

Katerina Kienle
Senior Manager, Communications
NBA

Celebrate in NYC

Join us for the 6th Annual Hashtag Sports Awards™ on the evening of June 6, 2024 as we celebrate finalists and reveal the winners of this year's awards live during the show.

 

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