As we all know, the Warriors of Golden State and the Cavaliers of Cleveland are in the midst of historic runs towards a 3rd straight showdown for the ultimate crown of NBA champion. The league’s annual “unofficial” MVP Lebron “King” James will look to capture his 4th title bringing two rings in two different cities. While Stephen Curry will look to avenge the stunning defeat of 2016 to capture his 2nd championship and the 1st for team newcomer Kevin Durant. Are you ready?

Worldwide people are going to be locked in for the most anticipated finals maybe ever. Are you ready? Twitter feeds, splash-pages, and microsites will populate many major brands website’s hoping to draw in some digital attention from this yearly market that the NBA facilitates over the next two weeks. Are you ready? Ready for eye catching highlights? Ready for perfectly executed game plans? Ready for memorable moments? Not only will this be happening on the court but also all across the digital space. The NBA Playoffs are coming to their inevitable conclusion with the NBA Finals match-up we’ve all been waiting for. Are you ready?

Are you ready forperfectly executed game plans

“The NBA Finals are here, check out our new items in store here: blahblah.com/blah”
The sad truth is that this is where many small brands are in terms of social engagement for a national social event such as a sports championship, Small Business Saturday or even Father’s Day; it is time for them to start digging a bit deeper. Finding ways to connect and capitalize on annual events which are nationally influenced.

Are you ready?

Are you ready? From the diehard to the fair weather fans, everyone will be tuned in ready for the showdown of the century. Loyalties will be made know and favorites chosen ( it might not even be whom they picked last year). Snap stories, Twitter memories, and Facebook live will showcase fan emotions all across the web in real time. Major brands and official sponsors are banking on this and thus have been planning for these very finals since the day after the Super Bowl, really since James’ chase down block in last years finals. The social campaigns mapped out weeks ago and digital engagement teams are ready to go all in with the hopes of grabbing the attention of someone new.

The NBA has a network of nearly 15 million digital followers; it’s a network that brands crave. Last year Verizon, which replaced Sprint as an NBA partner, created a “Data Dunk” contest where customers had a chance to win free data during the Finals. Taco Bell is running a, “Steal a Game, Steal a Taco” national giveaway promotion during the Finals. The promotion offers free tacos if a team wins a road game in the NBA Finals.

Last year Verizon created a “Data Dunk” contest where customers had a chance to win free data during the Finals.

“Overall, we are seeing continued and more custom campaigns utilizing the Finals time frame but also leveraging the connection to our game,” said Kerry Tatlock, senior vice president of global marketing partnerships for the NBA. “Our partners are leveraging pieces of the game within their promotions.”

KIA is the official automotive partner of the NBA and will have the strategic advantage of the prime placement of ads in the arenas and on TV. NBAtv will provide interactive shows before and after every game in which they will attempt gauge fan favorites and player polls. A seamless way for the NBAtv brand to engage every level of fan. ESPN commentators and analysts are set to provide two weeks of wire to wire coverage of every aspect of this series new and old as well as every single statistical breakdown imaginable.

ABC will pull at the heartstrings as every game will uncover the family stories of star players, and the unknown players alike. The focus will be given to backgrounds and upbringings, hardships and triumphs. Analysis from every outlet will break down every player and stat and encourage fans to not only watch but also to share via social media teasers.

Are you ready?

Kerry Tatlock

Sponsors and growing brands are going to do what they do best, research. Watching influencers and banking on the casual fan showing up in a sharing mood. Variations on hashtags like #NBAFinals and #WarriorsvCavs are already being eyed by major sponsors and content pushers in order to align their messages with the trend. There will be Television ad spots that ask viewers to come to their website in order to view “exclusive finals” content….but what could be more exclusive than the game you are already watching?

Are you ready? Brands are; with social post ready for a sweep and social post ready if the series goes to Game 7. Preparation is key and brands know this. Coaches on both benches as well as marketing departments big and small all across the country just have one question; Are you ready?

Cover Photo Credit – https://chummyboi.deviantart.com