#NBAEkGameChallenge aims to build affinity for basketball: Rajesh Sethi, NBA India

Rajesh Sethi, Managing Director, NBA India, talks about their latest marketing campaign #NBAEkGameChallenge and the impact they want to create for the basketball league in India

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Updated: Mar 11, 2020 6:36 PM
Rajesh Sethi NBA

The NBA (National Basketball Association) recently announced the launch of its all-new marketing campaign titled #NBAEkGameChallenge for the 2019-2020 season. The campaign challenges audiences to sample at least one NBA game on SONY TEN1 & NBA League Pass and promises that they will keep coming back for more.

For this marketing campaign, the NBA has compiled multiple short-form content pieces of the best dunks, buzzer-beaters among other exciting videos to give fans a taste of the game where they can explore different facets of the league on NBAEKGameChallenge.com

The TVC starts off in the living room with a fan watching the game just after a slam dunk by LeBron James. The fan then throws open the #EkGameChallenge to everyone who has never watched an NBA game. The ad film showcases the NBA fan’s affinity for the game by building a feeling of missing-out amongst non-fans who currently are not watching the game. The TVC closes promising audiences that just one experience of an NBA game will convert them into a basketball fanatic.

Rajesh Sethi, Managing Director, NBA India, shared insights on the new campaign, the integration of the campaign and the impact the NBA is looking for through #NBAEkGameChallenge. 

Talking about the insight and the brief of the campaign #NBAEkGameChallenge, Sethi stated, “The key objective of this campaign was to first build an affinity for basketball amongst our audience across the country. Also, a specific focus was on people who have neither sampled or experienced an NBA game or have a deep connection. This brief was for audiences who are relatively new to the game. Hence, the task for the agency was to bring the audience closer to the game, bring them closer to basketball. Another aspect was enhancing the awareness and engagement aspect of basketball. This was targeted towards the people who do not have a deeper connection to the game. Hence giving them a reason to watch the game and through campaigns around the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) aspect. So, the brief which we gave was to create a communication that will drive the relatively lesser engaged fans to watch, sample and try to engage in the game.”

Sethi added, “We have a belief that NBA games have all ingredients in it for fans and non-fans. If any fan experiences, it for once, for sure after watching the gravity-defying basketball action, he/she is definitely going to come back and become a fan for life. This is the theme which the whole TVC and communication are built around.”

The campaign #NBAEkGameChallenge has been conceptualised jointly by DDB Mudra and the NBA. The marketing campaign will be an overall 360-degree campaign which will run for six weeks. It aims to engage with fans across the length and breadth of the country through a mass media outreach. NBA will be leveraging digital and social media platforms driving people to sample just one NBA game available on SONY TEN1 & NBA League Pass.

Sethi remarked, “Another element of this campaign is Dribble-a-thon. So, the way we are building our fan engagement and awareness in the country is by having an on-ground activation campaign, ‘Dribble-a-thon’ which is a basketball challenge event featuring participants ages six and above dribbling a basketball across a one-kilometre course. Such an event has never happened in the country. The first one took place a couple of weeks back in Chandigarh. We were amazed as thousands of people participated. We have several such events planned all over the country. The moment you go on digital and linear media you have the #EkGameChallenge. So, it is the culmination of both on-ground and digital.”

Sharing if the NBA has used any sports influencers to anchor this challenge, Sethi remarked, “For the Dribble-a-thon we are using influencers to create brand engagement and different influencers are selected for different markets right now. It is still a work in progress. In regards, to the TVC, this is something that is integrated both on digital and linear. The Call-to-Action is to watch the game on SONY TEN1 or NBA League Pass. In regards, to influencers, we will leverage them across multiple social media platforms.”

Sethi shares that Tik Tok is one big medium that they are ridding upon. This campaign #NBAEkGameChallenge will be leveraging multiple social media influencers, who will undertake the challenge and will also try to throw the challenge across.

Lastly, Sethi signs off sharing the impact he expects from this campaign, “The impact is definitely to increase our fan engagement and fan awareness. Ensuring there is a long-term thrust being built up around basketball and around the NBA. From the communication strategy and also to ensure that there is a boost to viewership because we are driving sampling through this campaign.”

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