Sports are a part of America's first aid kit. 

The Ask:
The Challenge
Covid-19 is holding sports hostage.
We were asked to create a communications plan by Arts & Letters for a brand and explain how it will live in the world of Covid-19.
The Solution
We created a three tiered comms plan for NBA Cares organization that would run from off-season to game time in order to bring back hope for sports fans during this tough time in American history. 
My Role
Deep dive into the history sports has played in American's lives.
Comms plan development for the NBA off-season and during 
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Strategy & Communications Plan // Arts + Letters x Brandcenter
COVID-19 struck just as the NBA's March Madness was going to start and put a stop to sports worldwide. We were asked by Arts + Letters to create a communications plan to respond to Covid-19 and decided to partner with the NBA and their NBA Cares organization to bring hope back to people and sports in the midst of chaos. 
Background:
Why NBA Cares?
"NBA Cares is the league’s global social responsibility program that builds on the NBA’s mission of addressing important social issues in the U.S. and around the world."
The NBA also developed the #NBATogether - a social engagement campaign in response to the coronavirus.
The significance of sports in U.S. History:

The Mets use players and stadium for relief efforts and return to Shea Stadium weeks after 9/11 attacks 

2001

2005

The New Orleans Saints win the Superbowl years after Hurricane Katrina - symbolizing strength for the town of New Orleans

Goal:
Consumer Truth:

2013

The Boston Marathon bombing occurred and the very next year they held the marathon - proving they are unstoppable.

Goal:
Continue to be the escape from reality that sports fans desire in the face of tragedy.
Challenge:
Covid-19 is holding American sports hostage.
Strategic Thought:
Remain united with NBA fans to mount a major comeback.
Consumer Truth:
In the face of uncertainty and tragedy, rooting for the hometown team brings pride to both children and adults.
Brand Truth:
The NBA is committed to the people around the globe that make up the NBA family, not just the game.
Culture Truth:
American sports plays a huge role in the healing stages after a national tragedy.
This led us to the insight that sports isn't just "sports." 
Sports is a religion. 
Sports is an escape. 
The Game Plan:

Off Season

With the season coming to a halt, how can they bring excitement back into the game?

  • With the remainder of the 2019-20 season in limbo, there's an opportunity to take this partnership to the next level
  • Fans will be selected on Mondays by NBA players for a quick match up
  • During what would have been Friday night games, people will be able to bid in a charity auction for a chance to play with their favorite NBA stars.
  • Proceeds from the charity auctions will be donated to Covid-19 relief efforts
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Idols Become Rivals Player VS. Fan Match Ups

Draft Night

  • Each team will select a celebrity GM, including celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Spike Lee, and Drake which are all huge NBA fans. 

  • After the team makes their first round draft selection, the celebrity GM will draft a child from a local Boys & Girls Club. 

  • Kids will receive a one-day contract, suit up with the team on game day and will be "paid" a one game check equvalent to the NBA rookie minimum which will be donated to their Boys & Girls Club. 

  • Mitchell & Ness are the original sports memorabilia creators
  • With the remainder of the 2019-2020 NBA season lost, most player, practice, and game equipment are going to waste
  • Utilizing circular design, the NBA can repurpose materials for local hospitals in need 
  • Not only will the masks save lives, they will also bring a sense of hometown pride to our hometown heroes
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Personal Protection Equipment with Spirit

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With the season coming to a halt, how can they bring excitement back into the game?

A Day in the Life, A Day for Your Community

Game Time

The war on COVID is far from over, but when sports in person returns we want to make a strong comeback. 

  • With the remainder of the 2019-20 season in limbo, there's an opportunity to take this partnership to the next level
  • Fans will be selected on Mondays by NBA players for a quick match up
  • During what would have been Friday night games, people will be able to bid in a charity auction for a chance to play with their favorite NBA stars.
  • Proceeds from the charity auctions will be donated to Covid-19 relief efforts

Bring Back The Competition

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heroes night
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In Honor of Our Hometown Heroes

  • ​Each team will designate a number of games on the team schedule as "NBA Heroes Night"
  • On these nights, healthcare workers who served during the pandemic will be able to claim two complimentary tickets to the game
  • Prior to each game tipoff, heroes will be honored during the opening ceremony with words from the teams owner and stars of the team
  • Heroes will also receive vouchers for arena vendors to purchase free food and beverage
What will victory look like?

Raised funds

Positive sentiment

INCREASED

VIEWERSHIP

EARNED MEDIA

On NBA Draft Night and surrounding events as well as the opening nights of the 2020-2021 season.

Money raised for COVID-19 relief efforts including healthcare workers, youth, and first repsonders.

Increased dialogue surrounding the NBA and NBA Cares in mass media and social media.

Likes, tweets, shares, press coverage, and more to keep the conversation going

The Team:
Nana Dadzie-Strategist
Catherine Marsh- Strategist
Thuraya Al-Wazzan-Strategist