NBA launches mobile social campaign in the spirit of giving


Cav’s player Kyrie Irving shares his act of giving

The National Basketball Association has tipped off a season of giving with a mobile and social program that invites basketball fans to share photos of themselves performing acts of kindness during the holiday season.

The NBA Give Big program asks fans to share photographs, videos and stories from community service projects. If the content is posted on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #NBAGiveBIG, it will be integrated into the NBAs mosaic microsite.

For us it was about figuring out a way we can connect with our fans and help use the NBA Cares platform to inspire, said Todd Jacobson, senior vice president of social responsibility at the NBA, New York. This holiday season, we have hundreds of events taking place around the country, and we wanted to be able to share that with our fans. We wanted our fans to be able to share with us, and hopefully all the giving will inspire others to give back.

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Season of giving
According to Mr. Jacobson, the idea for the program stemmed from the response the NBA received when it recently posted a photograph of a community in the Philippines on social media. The picture showed a basketball hoop that the community had in the midst of the typhoons devastation.

The image received more than 121,000 likes, the most any NBA image had received.

The NBA realized the power of sharing images and decided to start the NBA Give Big program to continue to encourage sharing and to inspire fans.

The program is running from Nov. 25 through Dec. 31, and all of the content will be gathered on the mobile-optimized microsite The microsite will let users sort the photos by team and location.

Each of the 30 NBA teams and 17 Development League teams will host charitable events during the holiday season, including food and toy drives. Players, coaches and front office staff will also post content from the events using the hashtag.

Additionally, the NBA has partnered with Dicks Sporting Goods and Spalding to donate basketballs to NBA Cares community partners. For every NBA Spalding basketball purchased at Dicks through Dec. 24, a basketball will be given to charities such as St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital and the YMCA.

One #NBAGiveBIG post

Mobile photo sharing
By integrating the program with Twitter and Instagram, the NBA allows fans to easily take photos on their phones while giving back to the community and to then post them online.

Its really important that when youre in the moment, youre able to share that, and thats where the inspiration comes from. We wanted to make sure that its as interactive as possible, Mr. Jacobson said.

A number of nonprofits have already realized the potential of leveraging mobile social photo-sharing for charitable campaigns.

For example, The Lunchbox Fund released an app that lets consumers share photos of meals in exchange for donating food to orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa (see story).

Retailer Cuipo also leveraged photo-sharing in its app Rainforest-ify that lets users take a photo from the app and that then adds a rainforest-related image. The images can then be shared via social media to help raise awareness about rainforest preservation (see story).

Since the NBA already has a large fan base, one which is most likely already active on social media, launching a photo-sharing campaign makes a lot of sense.

We see NBA Cares as a way to inspire folks, and this is the perfect program to let people do it collectively, Mr. Jacobson said. Weve started to see the responses. We sent out something yesterday, within 42 min we had over 10,000 likes.

We know there is a want for this out there, and were really excited to provide this platform and see what kinds of stories we get back and hopefully these stories will inspire others to give back during the holiday time, he said.

For us its really just using this opportunity to get people involved and more importantly use NBA Cares as a way to bring people together to raise peoples spirits during the holidays and make sure people are thinking about others.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York

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