01. The scope
Beyond the basketball court lies a competition amongst the marketing departments of NBA teams. It is now a tradition for marketing departments across the NBA (and NFL) to release the most creative and memorable schedule release video for their upcoming season. The Indiana Pacers tasked us with helping them win the competition this year by creating a video that not only represents Indiana but had a wide enough mass appeal to go viral. Oh, and we had 2.5 weeks to make it happen!
02. Our Proposed Solution
Understanding that this was a competition, and we needed to create something that would resonate with NBA fans across the country and not just in Indiana, we presented several concepts that ultimately led to the decision of creating a Netflix style parody that incorporated different teams with different shows and movies as if you were scrolling through the “Netflix” menu.
03. The Process
We were given creative freedom to come up with an idea that would go viral, so our process began with ideation and storyboarding of several potential concepts. We thought of ideas to play off the “We Grow Basketball Here” campaign and parodying other viral sensations happening at the time, but the one that got the most attention was our initial “Stranger Things”. It was both relevant (Season 3 was just released) and was an Indiana based show.
From that concept, we worked with the Pacers marketing department to go beyond just “Stranger Things” and expand to other shows or films you may see while scrolling through Netflix.
Now that we had our concept, it was back to the storyboard to start creating the flow of the video and matching teams to relevant shows or movies that would make the most sense.
Once the storyboarding was completed, we designed all of our assets and motion graphics to create an exciting and engaging two and half minute schedule release video.
04. The reveal
We incorporated the Netflix style theme to pair things like “Black Panther” and Victor Oladipo’s infamous showing at the NBA Dunk contest dawning the Black Panther mask, along with parodying “Our Planet” with teams such as the Atlanta Hawks and New Orleans Pelicans and “Fuller House” with those teams that made huge off-season transactions led to the result the Pacers were after. The video went viral, receiving over 500,000 views in the first week and being ranked #1 by sports media outlets like Barstool Sports and Bleacher Nation while getting social media mentions from brands like Netflix, Buffalo Wild Wings and Twitter itself.
“It can be hard to hit a home run with pop culture references, but the Pacers manage to do this perfectly more than once.” – Bleacher Nation