The Epicentre for All-Star weekend
The NBA will debut a new fan experience concept during All-Star weekend in Charlotte to amplify the buzz of the event, which is being hosted by the Hornets for the first time since 1991.
The new effort is called the NBA All-Star at Epicentre and is located at the Epicentre dining and entertainment complex in uptown Charlotte, next to the Spectrum Center. The NBA for All-Star weekend will take over nearly the entire complex to host myriad sponsor activations and fan events.
A major feature will be the NBA Crossover venue that, according to the league, will showcase the convergence of the NBA, art, music, fashion, technology and entertainment. NBA partners activating within NBA Crossover include: 2K, Kia, Levi’s, Mitchell & Ness, Panini, Rakuten and Victor Solomon.
Other activations at the NBA All-Star at Epicentre include Budweiser Live, which is title partner and owner of Epicentre’s Rooftop 210 venue space that will feature musical performances throughout the All-Star weekend.
Mountain Dew will feature its Courtside Studios at the Epicentre with live on-stage programming and a Dew Ice Court that will have a large LED wall and projection-mapped floor where fans can choose on-court experiences and share their highlight reels on social media.
Express will activate at the Epicentre with the debut of a “Dress Like a Pro” pop-up shop where fans can buy exclusive items from the company’s NBA-licensed collection and have the opportunity to create custom T-shirts. There also will be an NBA Store at the complex as well as activation from about 20 sponsors overall.
“Ever year we look at All-Star from a fresh perspective in terms of the city, and the setup in Charlotte is unique,” said Kelly Flatow, senior vice president of global events for the NBA. “We wanted to take advantage of a destination fans know well and that is in such close proximity to the arena.”
Our partners are interested in that there will be a centralized location where we can direct fans but also have the opportunity for brands to customize their own experiences.
Admission to the new venue will be free but fans must register online at nbaevents.com to attend. The league expects about 50,000 fans at the Epicentre during the weekend.
“Our partners are interested in that there will be a centralized location where we can direct fans but also have the opportunity for brands to customize their own experiences, said Kerry Tatlock, senior vice president of global marketing partnerships for the NBA.
The creation of the Epicentre venue also was driven in part by the city’s smaller size compared to other recent All-Star cities such as last year in Los Angeles.
“Charlotte is the most intimate footprint that All-Star has been conducted [at] in a number of years,” said Pete Guelli, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Hornets. “The proximity to the arena and the versatility of the venue make it the perfect place for the NBA and our fans to converge.”
But not all brand activation will be at the Epicentre.
Given that the Michael Jordan-owned Hornets are hosting the game, Nike and Jordan Brand activation will be prevalent throughout the city and especially at The Mint Museum Uptown, where fans will find player appearances, a full court for basketball clinics and tournaments, product customization and a retail shop. A pop-up House of Hoops will also live across from the Spectrum Center that will feature Nike and Jordan Brand All-Star products.
Jack Daniel’s is also among the NBA sponsors that will have heavy All-Star activation. Its Jack Daniel’s House No. 7 at the Charlotte Convention Center will feature fan experiences such as an NBA-themed half court, a game room, barber shop, VR experience and a stage featuring DJs. Jack Daniel’s also is an associate partner of the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game presented by Ruffles.
Turner, which airs the All-Star coverage on TNT, will have a major presence in Charlotte with American Express again serving as presenting partner of the TNT Roadshow and a number of network fan activations at the Music Factory in Charlotte.
First Look podcast, with NBA All-Star Game discussion at the 19:20 mark:
You can also download the First Look transcript.