Turner Sports will put its sneaker print on its National Basketball Association digital content assets with a new, multimillion-dollar multimedia branding and marketing campaign launching this week.
Turner, which last January acquired operational control of the league's NBA TV 24-hour sports network, its NBA.com Web site and its “NBA League Pass” out-of-market live-game package, will combine the three digital assets under the brand moniker “The Game Happens Here,” to better illustrate its ability to bring a complete NBA experience to the fans.
As part of the rebranding, Turner will roll out an outdoor marketing campaign in several NBA cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington, Boston, Houston and Detroit, according to Turner Sports senior vice president of marketing and programming Jenny Storms. The outdoor effort taps billboards, bus sides and phone kiosks.
The ads — which have a subtext message of “From Here to Here” — illustrate how Turner's digital package provides a complete NBA experience for fans. One of the ads, for example, contrasts the league's legends with today's players, showcasing the legs of Julius Erving and LeBron James side by side. Legends like Erving can be seen on NBA TV as part of the network's vast library of classic games, while today's stars such as James are highlighted every night on the NBA.com Web site and NBA League Pass.
“We're really taking on the journey for NBA fans,” Storms said. “Providing NBA access from the historical journey to the modern-day happens through our digital portfolio.”
Later this month, Turner will also run television spots on such networks as ESPN, Spike TV, FSN, BET and MSNBC. One spot features Kevin Garnett and shows his progression from joining the Boston Celtics at the beginning of last season to winning the NBA Finals through various press-conference interviews.
Storms said the campaign does not include Turner's TNT Thursday-night game package, which will retain its own branding and marketing message.
Turner will also link the digital assets together on the programming side for NBA TV. Fans will be able to choose which games will air on Tuesday nights throughout the regular season by voting for their favorite game via NBA.com, according to Storms. She added that each team can appear nationally only nine times a year, so the fans will have to make some difficult choices to ensure access to their favorite teams throughout the year.
“We'll show the fans the games available on NBA.com, and they'll vote on the game they want to see,” she said. “We want to get fans invested in what we're doing and get them to understand some of the nuances that go into programming.”