It’s that time of year. Football has passed, our Sundays are free, and basketball emerges in the limelight. For the NBA, there are few times when the light shines brighter than during @NBAAllStar weekend.
It should be no surprise that the NBA is going to deliver on their social media strategy this weekend. After fans were able to vote via Facebook and Twitter this year, the NBA will continue to engage with fans throughout the weekend. For the already interactive league, the events will be much more than a couple of competitions and a game—it is a chance to reach their audience in new and creative ways.
Saturday night, the dunk contest will surely feature a couple of 360° slams, but the real 360° assault will be coming from the NBA’s social media marketing team. Let’s take a look at how the NBA will attempt to make this weekend’s events a slam dunk:
- The Two-Handed Slam: The most powerful dunk in basketball is the easy (relatively speaking) two-handed jam. In digital marketing, two screens are becoming one of the most powerful tools in the marketer’s repertoire. More commonly known as the second screen, the NBA has this one covered—there’s an app for that. The NBA’s All-Star 2013 app is free and available for download. It is visually pleasing, easy to operate, and is your source for all things NBA All-Star Weekend 2013. With pages dedicated to Top Stories, Events, Videos, Photos, Twitter, Predictive Gaming, and Getting Around Houston, this app is an all-encompassing two-handed slam dunk for those interested in the NBA’s all-star weekend.
- The Alley-Oop: An alley-oop requires two willing and able contributors. For social media to work properly, it takes two. It's about listening as much as it is promoting. The NBA will be listening and enabling fans all weekend. Fans will be able to vote for BBVA Rising Stars Challenge MVP, Sprite Slam Dunk Champion, and NBA All-Star MVP from several different channels including mobile web, SMS text messaging, and Twitter.
- The 12-Foot Rim: Dwight Howard literally raised the bar this dunk during the 2009 All-Star Weekend. It’s all about measurement—how high can you jump. Measurement of trending topics has become as entertaining as the trending topics for many. The NBA will feature their own measurement using their NBA Pulse tool. This tool shows real-time measurements of trending topics, players, and events.
- From the Free Throw Line: There are few things in basketball more iconic than Julius “Dr. J” Erving or Michael Jordan flying through the air from the free throw line to slam it home. That’s as classic as it gets. In the world of digital, it’s easy to forget that sometimes classic is good, too. TNT and the NBA are combining to bring you classic content on Monday night with vintage video and interviews of Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, and Charles Barkley. Ultimately, content is king and this type of content will be sure to keep the spotlight shining even after the weekend has concluded.
Like any live sporting event, the audience will drive the conversations for this weekend’s events. The NBA is making sure that they can listen in on those conversations no matter where they're happening or what's being said.
ExactTarget allows marketers to listen to real-time conversations. To learn more about how to connect with your fans, check out the Field Guide to Cross-Channel Marketing.