In 2020, Microsoft Azure and the NBA partnered to develop an entirely new metrics platform, NBA CourtOptix, to quantify the game beyond the traditional metrics. Powered by Microsoft Azure, the new platform combines advanced player tracking data and game highlights to deliver NBA fans next generation insights.
Quantifying The Game
Heading into the ’21-’22 seasons, and year two of Microsoft’s partnership with the NBA, it was critical to continue creating connections and exposure with fans to further drive awareness of the partnership and NBA CourtOptix.
With a highly engaged audience, access to NBA IP as a direct NBA partner, and the ability to create a multi-channel ecosystem that could deliver reach at scale, Bleacher Report was again uniquely positioned to help us deliver against campaign goals, with learnings from year one driving our year two approach.
Content launched in three waves across Bleacher Report channels in purposeful fashion and aligned with our strategic approach. Three longform videos - one for each talent - led the way via Bleacher Report’s site, app and social, followed by cutdowns on Instagram and additional amplification tactics across digital, social, and linear.
The robust integration of metrics overlaid with authentic talent insight resulted in a depth of storytelling that was timely as it related to key NBA moments, but also distilled complex in-game events into clear takeaways for viewers. A first for the brand, the custom partnership content was leveraged within the larger NBA O&O campaign, bringing a level of creative consistency at scale across the entire Microsoft/NBA partnership, including in key markets such as China.
The partnership with Bleacher Report was successful in driving double digit, statistically significant lifts against the campaign’s primary objective of raising Azure product and NBA partnership awareness. Cementing the success of the partnership overall, Bleacher Report also overdelivered on paid media goals, garnering 6.9M incremental views and 25.8M incremental impressions, representing 71% over-delivery and $1.4M+ in bonus media value.