The strangest NBA playoffs in history are already underway, with teams quarantined in “The Bubble” at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida. As the games continue, other sports franchises in the country are looking to the NBA for lessons in creating successful bubbles of their own. As marketers, however, we can look to the NBA for lessons of our own in another area where they’ve found success– marketing. Below are four of the best takeaways from the NBA’s marketing strategy:
Generate organic content constantlyBesides sharing video clips and interviews from before and after games, the NBA also publishes blog posts, articles, and an email newsletter, all of which are designed to leave fans well-informed and wanting more. Creating and sharing your own unique, interesting, and relevant content is one of the fastest ways to establish yourself as a leader in your space and capture the interest of your audience.
Weave your brand into the culture around youThe NBA and its various personalities have been a staple of pop culture for decades, whether it’s being shouted out in songs, appearing in commercials, or even starring in movies (Space Jam, anyone?) Although this level of cultural immersion may not be possible for smaller brands, you can still capitalize on moments in pop culture via social media, organic blog posts, and original video content. Additionally, if you don’t have the capacity to find a celebrity endorsement, look to social media! Influencers are more accessible for small brands than major celebrities and still have the ability to catapult your brand into the spotlight.
Understand the importance of social responsibilityThe NBA doesn’t shy away from social issues, and is known for empowering players to speak their minds and share their own experiences and opinions. Both basketball courts in The Bubble are emblazoned with a “Black Lives Matter” decal, and players’ jerseys sport messages of empowerment across the back. The data proves that younger demographics are more socially engaged than ever before, and demand the same from the brands they use– if your target audience is millennials or Gen Z-ers, it’s wise to follow the NBA’s example and share your brand’s values with your consumer base.
Engage with consumers on all levelsThe NBA is incredibly active on social media, resulting in fans constantly reposting and responding to popular content– many popular social media accounts such as House of Highlights have sprung up with the sole purpose of resharing the best videos. The goal of creating any piece of content should always be engagement, and the NBA has achieved that on a massive scale.
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