The following interview with Twitter’s Head of Athlete/Sports Talent Partnerships, Brittany Cranston, and Sports Partnership Manager, David Herman, is part of our Campaign Spotlight series, which examines this year’s Hashtag Sports Award-winning work. #NBATwitterIs… won for Best Original Content or Programming, which recognizes the most unique and high-quality shows, series, films, or podcasts with which an audience is proven to have engaged.
What unique objective or goals led to the creation of this work?
The #NBATwitter community connects influencers, athletes and fans that intersect sports, lifestyle, hoops, sneakers, fashion, media, and music.
To showcase the acclaimed, hyper-engaged sports community known as #NBATwitter, @TwitterSports launched #NBATwitterIs…- a series including long-form and short-form video and GIF content that highlights key beats throughout the NBA season and offseason. Participants included athletes and influencers like Kyle Kuzma, Blake Griffin, Arash Markazi, CJ McCollum, Andre Drummond, Taylor Rooks, Rachel Nichols, Lance Fresh, Charissa Thompson and more.
Who is the biggest fashion icon? We asked #NBATwitter, and they answered. As part of the series, we created the #NBATwitter Hall of Fame, honoring Joel Embiid as the inaugural inductee and awarded him with a custom hashtag-triggered #TheProcess emoji and a Tweet-engraved trophy.
To keep the momentum going, the NBA Rookie draft class defined #NBATwitter, told us why we should follow them, and gave us some epic GIF reactions—and we hope they follow the #NBATwitter Hall of Famer’s advice for Twitter best practices.
The culmination of this programming was #NBATwitterIRL—a watch party to celebrate LeBron’s first game as a Laker! @TwitterSports hosted 330+ attendees in LA including celebrities from sports, basketball, music, and media who define the community and culture.
How was the event designed and produced with the modern sports fan in mind?
Twitter’s in-house production, marketing, and partnerships teams worked hand in hand to illustrate and showcase this amazing community. Identifying #OnlyOnTwitter moments, working with talent who embody the community, and ultimately driving towards conversations that our users within the community (and those unfamiliar with it) would view, engage with, and find a new home within their Twitter experience to engage with like-minded users – players, fans, teams, the league itself, etc.
What new benchmark(s) in fan engagement does this set?
The #NBATwitter community connects influencers, athletes and fans that intersect sports, lifestyle, hoops, sneakers, fashion, media, and music. This vibrant and often hilarious community drives commentary about the latest players, games, trades, memes and banter through unique perspectives, voices and tones. This campaign was designed to speak directly to the community, and celebrate their amazing engagement on a daily basis.
Bring even more 🔥 to #NBATwitter with reaction GIFs from some of your favorite rookies.
What challenges did you have to overcome in creating original content for an already hyper-engaged target audience?
Our biggest challenge is creating content that uniquely feels Twitter. Fast paced, constantly moving, represented of the diverse user base, and ultimately trying to recreate the experience you can only get while actively on Twitter. In some ways this content was meant to show people that if you are an NBA fan, but aren’t on Twitter, you are really missing out. Our hope is that this piece of content did just that.
Twitter was one of only 25 inaugural Hashtag Sports Award winners. What does this honor in engagement excellence mean to the organization and #NBATwitterIs… content series?
The #NBATwitterIs… series was the first of its kind for Twitter to showcase just one of the amazing communities on our platform! For us, this award validates what a vibrant community the NBA audience is, and just one example of how our users are shaping the conversation on a daily basis.
We’re now accepting entries for the 2020 Hashtag Sports Awards presented by Budweiser. Ensure your company’s work is recognized for excellence in engagement alongside our inaugural class of winners. Click here to view the categories or click here to get started.