Just days removed from a miracle season from LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavilers, the NBA already has their eyes set on the 2017 season. The NBA Draft is Thursday at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn and NBA partners are looking at the event as a key opportunity to stay relevant as they move into the offseason. After all, the 2015 NBA Draft was the most watched telecast in the event’s history with an average of nearly 3.74M viewers.
Here’s how we rank the top five partners leveraging the 2016 NBA Draft presented by State Farm:
1. State Farm
The insurance provider owns the most-robust, integrated campaign around the NBA Draft. On Tuesday, State Farm will team up with NBA Cares for the dedication of a new, state-of-the-art mobile Teen Learning Center to the Educational Alliance Boys & Girls Clubs’ Edgies Clubhouse (NYC).Chris Paul and several draftees will participate and gift the club 25 Draft tickets
The renovation is funded by the NBA Cares State Farm Assist Tracker, where for every regular season assist, State Farm and NBA Cares contributed $5 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Throughout the 2015-16 season, State Farm tracked 54,831 total assists ($274,155).
State Farm will receive heavy in-arena signage and media benefits, including presenter status of Draft coverage on NBA TV and a :45 video (during broadcast) and Twitter callouts surrounding the NYC Assist event. They’ll also release a vignette series on NBA.com and league social channels featuring Draft candidates Denzel Valentine, Brice Johnson, and Skal Labissiere.
Onsite, State Farm will activate around the new “Here to Help Life Go Right” brand mantra, bringing fans a green screen (at Barclays concourse) to take their own Draft day photos. Brand ambassadors will ‘assist’ fans as they find their seats and give away branded drawstring bags, tickets, and concession gift cards.
2. Under Armour
On the court, Under Armour’s Steph Curry fell short to Nike’s LeBron James. Nike also beat out Under Armour in the as the official apparel sponsor of the NBA for $1B last year.
With that said, Under Armour used a strategy of growing the game from the bottom up by becoming presenting partner of the NBA’s youth program, Jr. NBA and as the official title partner of the NBA Draft Combine in 2018. Their campaign will leverage just that…
Ahead of Draft (6/22), the Jr. NBA and Under Armour will host a youth basketball clinic at Basketball City in NYC. Several Draft candidates will be onsite and help outfit youth participants in Under Armour apparel.
In addition, the NBA FIT App powered by Under Armour Connected Fitness debuted a draft-themed ‘challenge’ last week. The challenge runs the week before the NBA Draft and invites participants to log 60,000 steps before Draft, marking the Draft’s 60 selections.
Harmon is hosting a store visit for their roster of JBL Draftees on Tuesday night. Players will have the opportunity to learn more about the brand’s products, play NBA 2K16 in the store’s state-of-the-art theater room. The visit will be captured and shared via Harman social channels.
Harmon was also given the opportunity to place headphones on the tables of JBL-signed draftees during Draft night.
For consumers in attendance at the draft, they’ll debut the JBL Vine Booth to capture and share – via NBA Vine and Twitter – the picks’ early reactions and first ‘digital’ autographs (in real-time).
Samsung is injecting the NBA Draft with a unique hospitality experience for a lucky fan. They’ll host a sweepstakes via Samsung+ where one Samsung Galaxy owner will win a VIP Draft experience, including a photo with the Draft class and meet-and-greet with Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns.
They’ll also host a custom gifting lounge to outfit Draftees with the partner’s latest devices while featuring the new Galaxy Tab S2 in the Draft Green Room. Staff will be onsite to provide assistance and help Draftees get familiar with new technology.
The NBA social team will use Gear 360 cameras to capture and share 360-degree photos via NBA channels.
5. American Express
American Express will also look to an exclusive fan experience around the Draft. 140 America Express members will have the opportunity to take a photo on the Draft stage and a meet-and-greet with Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns.
On the Bubble:
The Official Timekeeper of the NBA, Tissot, will host a gifting suite ahead of the Draft to fit candidates for personalized watches, which they’ll receive shortly after they’re selected on Draft night (first round selections). Each Tissot NBA PRC200 will feature a custom caseback engraved with the NBA Draft Logo, player name, and selection.
On the concourse, Tissot will host a photo booth / step-and-repeat featuring special basketball props. Fans will be encouraged to share their photos via social media platforms.