Dan MacKenzie, VP & Managing Director, NBA Canada, explored how the league’s efforts in the areas of technology and data, cause and culture, and experience and content have resulted in a growing and diverse millennial fan base.
Fast Company recently named the NBA as the most innovative company in sports in 2018. The NBA’s emphasis on mobile technology is largely due to this. Telecast videos show a tighter frame on the ball that can be easily seen on a mobile phone. But the NBA is also looking at VR solutions to involve fans even more into the game.
The NBA also engages their fans through experiences. “Our philosophy used to be to do things like Jam Bands and mall tours, and try to bring people in. Where we have evolved over the last couple of years with the advent of social media is a bit of change of philosophy. We try to create authentic touch points with consumers and our sponsors and have the users share that experience across their own networks,” said MacKenzie.
The results are impressive. The NBA is ranked #1 with the largest percentage of 12-34 year old fans, rated the coolest league amongst 18-24 year olds, #1 most participated sport amongst 12-17 year olds, and the most watched sport on YouTube.