NBA New Season ‘Big Is On’ Youth/Fan Experience Work

It was the rights owner itself that launched the first campaign for the new 2013/14 basketball season, as the National Basketball Association (NBA) rolled out a new pre tip-off campaign called ‘Big Is On’.


Led by a major TV commercial, developed by agency Goodby Silvertstein & Partners, featuring cameos from 11 young stars from 11 different clubs (including Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Greg Monroe and Kenneth Faried) who turn on the lights in their own home stadiums by making a shot.


The idea behind the V work was to play on the cliché basketball slang ‘Shoot the Lights Out’ and flip it to ‘Shoots the Lights On’ to mark the start of the 2013-2014 season.


The spot’s song, ‘This Little Light of Mine’, was recorded by The Steeles.



The ad, promoting the start of the NBA’s 68th season, is the first of three new NBA spots focusing on the fan experience.


It is airing on national stations such as ESPN, TNT, plus the league’s own network NBA TV, as well as on regional sports networks and across social media channels including NBA.com, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.


‘The first spot taps into fan anticipation around the league,’ says NBA VP marketing James Gallo. ‘We’re coming off one of the most-viewed seasons in our history. We have tremendous momentum. … There’s been a lot of thirst for the NBA over the summer. So we’re trying to capture that anticipation.’


The aim of the first ad is to highlight up-and-coming stars, but superstars do appear in other creative.


Indeed, further campaign creative includes traditional and digital advertising, national billboards and outdoor work and other promotional strands featuring other players such as Kobe Bryant and (of course) Lebron James.




The NBA is now using a thematically evolving approach to its new season marketing and this is the third season in a row it has used ‘Big’ at the heart of its advertising theme.


The league’s most talked about spot from 2012 was its ‘Big Colour’ TVC around the festive Christmas period which featured NBA players dribbling in harmony to the Xmas tune ‘Carol of the Bells’.


This spot racked up 8 million views on the NBA’s own YouTube channel and helped sell out the league’s ‘Big Color’ line of Christmas jerseys in just two weeks.



and Gallo says the NBA is working on a sequel.


The game is also focusing on going global, as other US ;league are (particularly the NFL) and NBA-licensed products are already marketed and sold in 100 countries.


Indeed, the league this season will stage more than 125 international events in 67 cities and 27 countries outside the US as part of its ‘Global Games’ initiative.


Its little surprise that the league is approaching this season with all marketing guns blazing, as the NBA will begin broadcaster negotiations on renewing the current TV deals in the next 12 months.








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