Monday
Oct112010

NBA Builds Hispanic Marketing As Part Of Campaign For 2010-11 Launch

Shaquille O'Neal gets ready for the new season and his new Boston Celtics team in 'Bobble Heads.'October 11, 2010: The NBA is leaving no stones — or demographic groups — unturned as it continues to ramp up marketing for the 2010-11 season. Even as LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Shaquille O'Neal, Amar'e Stoudemire and other high-profile players settle in with their new teams, the NBA is using these and other players to support the coming season, which begins Oct. 26.

Several new TV spots will hit the airwaves this week, including marketing to support the NBA's biggest Hispanic effort and a quirky spot called "Bobble Heads," which depicts a bevy of the league's stars with oversized heads that bob up and down as their normal size bodies go from off-season to training camp to pre-season mode. Several generic "Anticipation" spots, from NBA Entertainment, will also break on ESPN, TNT, NBA TV and NBA.com during the pre-season and the first three weeks of the regular season. Support includes such social media sites as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The NBA for the second season is putting significant marketing muscle behind it's éne-bé-a Hspanic marketing campaign, which will break Oct 25. NBA All-Star and Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (Dominican Republic) and former player Felipe Lopez (Dominican Republic) will act as spokespersons for the campaign, which will be anchored by a multi-media effort, Guarda Tu Pasión (“Save Your Passion”). Two spots, “Tow Truck” and “Kiss,” will air on Telemundo, Telefutura, Galavision, Mun2, MTV3, ESPN Deportes, Fox en Espanol and Discovery en Espanol. Support includes Internet at such sites as Yahoo! sports, Fox sports, Univision.com and Batanga.

Fans get emotional in 'Tow Truck,' part of the NBA's 2010-11 Hispanic marketing campaign.The effort this season features a new alliance with Univision Interactive, which the NBA said would "bring to life the league’s dynamic Spanish-language Web site, www.NBA.com/enebea." The site will include exclusive blogs by Latino NBA players, video highlights, the latest news, photo galleries, interactive fan content, and other offerings.

In addition, the NBA said it would continue to connect with Hispanic fans through in-arena promotions and special events, such as Noche Latina, with six nationally televised games in March, and Centro Latino during NBA All-Star, as well as grassroots events, including Es Tu Cancha, a program to improve and renovate basketball courts in Hispanic neighborhoods throughout the U.S. ESPN Deportes will again carry Spanish-language telecasts during the 2010-11 regular season. Consumers will be able to purchase éne-bé-a-branded merchandise and other related consumer products, such as Noche Latina jerseys, at the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in New York, select team arena stores and online at NBAstore.com.

The NBA said that its Hispanic fan base grew 9% between 2008 and 2009, outpacing the growth of the U.S. Hispanic population. Viewership among Hispanics increased 17% during the 2009-10 season versus a year ago, and the NBA on ESPN Deportes was up 57% in unique viewers. Hispanic traffic to NBA.com grew 20% compared to last season, and numbers on éne-bé-a’s social networking sites continue to grow at an impressive rate, with Facebook's éne-bé-a page boasting more than 220,000 fans, according to the NBA. The Hispanic campaign also is featured at a dedicated Twitter site. 

“Following the launch of last year's éne-bé-a campaign, we saw significant increases in interest and consumption of our game across a variety of media among U.S. Hispanic sports fans,” Saskia Sorrosa, NBA senior director of U.S. Hispanic Marketing, said in a statement. “By continuing to engage our Hispanic fans in an inclusive and culturally relevant way, we not only can build life-long fans, but it will have an immediate positive impact on our business and create opportunities for partners to connect with passionate consumers across multiple platforms.”

NBA analyst Steve Kerr (L) and Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers as seen in 'Bobble Heads.'Among the players depicted in "Bobble Heads," from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol are seen enjoying the Los Angeles Lakers second consecutive championship; new Miami Heat teammates James, Bosh and Dwyane Wade are depicted enjoying a motor boat outing;  O'Neal, now with the Boston Celtics, and the Houston Rockets Yao Ming are shown working out; and Dwight Howard is shown dancing amidst his Orlando Magic teammates after being introduced to the home crowd. NBA analyst Steve Kerr and Celtics head coach Doc Rivers also are given the bobble had treatment during a TV interview. Tag: "Here's to a big season."

According to the NBA, Guarda Tu Pasión shows how Latinos "prioritize their energy strictly for the NBA season." In "Kiss," an Hispanic couple have a subdued, but passionate parting kiss; the guy is then seen being overly emotional with his friend at an NBA game. In "Tow Truck," two guys control their emotions as their car gets towed away, but then unleash their inhibitions during a Dallas Mavericks game. The spots play off of the 2009-10 post-season Hispanic campaign Pobre Garganta ("Poor Throat") in which Latino fans are stricken hoarse from relentless cheering.

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