NBA Takes Fans For A Bus Ride

The NBA is raising awareness for the NBA Playoffs with a double-decker bus activation rolling through NYC and Los Angeles.

The pop-up, designed by Spark Foundry, builds off the overall Playoffs "superhero" campaign using comic-book illustrations, with players like Stephen Curry and Joel Embiid, to bring "the excitement of the Playoffs directly to the fans and promote that NBA Playoffs begin this Saturday," says Jennifer Rosen vice president-director of strategy, Spark Foundry, which serves as the NBA's media agency of record. 

Rosen says the Publicis-owned agency and client NBA brainstormed on several ideas. The concept for the pop-up bus activation evolved throughout the planning and execution process. The initial suggestion was to drive a branded bus throughout NYC that would have broadcast the premiere Superhero Playoffs spot.

Now, this expanded project includes NBA partners, such as Disney, Turner, and Tissot, across two cities for four days. The effort came to life over the course of a month, says Rosen.



While many would assume more viewers would turn in to the playoffs compared to the regular season because of the elimination factor, she adds the two-month long series still needs dedicated support, like branded buses and special TV spots, to entice fans, but also non-fans. 

The social-media friendly experience is designed for Instagram feeds.

Fans can take pictures of the Larry O’Brien Trophy in a photo booth on the bus that transfers the image to a text account. They can take pictures of Tissot's specially designed NBA watches. Alas, they are behind glass cases so fans aren't allowed to wear these $600+ pieces. 

Upstairs, a DJ takes requests while the NBA 2K gaming lounge lets guests play as their favorite teams, and the Beats listening station has dedicated stations for each of the six playoff teams. For instance, the DJ for the Philly Sixers curates hometown favorites, including Boys II Men, Meek Mill and Jill Scott.  

There is no specific time limit for how long consumers are allowed to be on the bus, but Rosen expects it will take about 15-minutes for fans to engage with each station and go through the full experience. Around 10-15 people will be allowed to participate to ensure guests have a "fun and comfortable" experience, she explains. 

After debuting across from the NBA store on Thursday, the NYC bus drives to Brooklyn and Herald Square. Los Angeles will be downtown and Santa Monica.

The first game tips off on Saturday at 2:30pm ET featuring Brooklyn Nets vs Philadelphia Sixers.

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