SBJ/Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NBA youth push includes branded website

The NBA is launching an interactive youth marketing initiative called Hoop Troop aimed at reaching kids between the ages of 6 and 12. The campaign includes a branded website at that offers game highlights and original programming; a partnership with Cartoon Network to promote the site; a new interactive online element called My Amazing Arena; and a sweepstakes called Shot Clock Shopping Spree.

The league already airs a show on Cartoon Network called “Run It Back Sunday,” a one-hour version of the NBA Thursday night game broadcast on TNT featuring pop-up graphics and trivia.

NBA Hoop Troop Home Page offers game highlights.
The Hoop Troop website was soft-launched earlier this month. The league plans to roll out a new animated 30-second commercial spot promoting the Hoop Troop campaign and the sweepstakes around the All-Star break in mid-February.

The national sweepstakes will debut at Jam Session during All-Star Week, with the winners of the Shot Clock Shopping Spree receiving a shopping pass at the NBA Store in New York City with an NBA player. The My Amazing Arena component is a virtual community that allows kids to create a virtual, customized NBA arena.

“We want to create an umbrella campaign to create content to engage kids,” said Brian Flinn, senior vice president of marketing for the NBA, who is running the new initiative.

Flinn said that NBA research bolstered the rollout of the new initiative.

“It showed that if we can connect with a kid before the age of 13, they are 2.5 times more likely to become avid fans as an adult,” he said. “We have also seen that if you create customized content, you increase their level of consumption.”

The league is partnering with the Geppetto Group on the youth marketing initiative.

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