NBA Digital Brings All-Star Weekend to Fans Anywhere With Push on NBA.com, NBA Mobile
While Turner Sports’ linear production presence in New York City was impressive this weekend, you didn’t need to leave the media company’s Atlanta-based home to feel to clout of NBA All-Star Weekend. Just check the facility’s main operations center, which Albert ‘Scooter’ Vertino, GM at NBA Digital, described as “like a control room out of Homeland.”
Between on-site and at-home crews, NBA Digital – which is co-owned by Turner and the league – offered up more than 140 hours of All-Star related content on NBA TV, NBA.com, and NBA Mobile. The digital side’s main goal was to ensure that fans on any device, in any place would be able to access All-Star content. That led to many of the weekend’s keystone events like the Slam Dunk Contest and the All-Star Game itself being live streamed to mobile and tablet devices.
“Whether you are at your laptop, phone, or tablet, we want the user to access it and consume it in the same place,” says Vertino, ho also serves as SVG of Programming at Turner Sports. “That’s what we’ve seen recently with mobile consumption. So we knew that it was important to stream as many events as possible.”
On top of the that, NBA Digital offered a slew of original content on NBA TV, NBA.com, and NBA Mobile. NBA TV featured productions of many practices, press conferences, and the NBA D-League All-Star Game.
Placing a focus on the mobile and .com sides, however, NBA Digital got very creative with its interactive features designed to get fans consuming and sharing content surrounding the weekend’s festivities.
One of the highlights of this NBA season for Vertino and the NBA Digital team is the integration of TNT Overtime into NBA Mobile applications. That feature shined over All-Star Weekend as it offered fans a unique video companion experience – including the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night and the NBA All-Star Game.
The NBA Game Time mobile app also allowed for fans to keep track of all the goings-on in New York this weekend, with special features including audio from the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge and NBA All-Star Game, live coverage from State Farm All-Star Saturday Night and other behind-the-scenes content.
Vertino says that digital offers a tremendous opportunity to offer fans immediacy that they just can’t offer on the schedule of the linear productions.
“This kind of gets taken for granted but the push notifications that alert fans to breaking news are huge,” he says, “especially in the [finals days] leading up to the Game that update substitutions. There’s always news and its up to us to manage that flow in a way that gets the news to the fan quickly and accurately.”
NBA Digital also created an app for those experiencing the event in person. The NBA All-Star NYC App was a guide to navigating the plethora of events and included event schedules, ticket information, point-to-point directions with maps and public transportation info, and links to content from NBA Game Time and exclusive in-arena content.
As for NBA.com, there will be a strong social integration into all of NBA Digital’s content, including a meme generator called NBA Mt. Rushmore, that calls on fans to create their own collection of the top 4 players in basketball history. Content creators at Turner and fans alike got creative by designing more targeted categories including Mt. Rushmore’s of dunkers, forwards, etc. All content was easily sharebale over Facebook and Twitter.