Sports are part of America’s first-aid kit.
COVID took away sports from people and it was one of the things we needed to keep out spirits up. We wanted to work with the NBA as basketball is one of the most beloved sports for Americans.
Why the NBA Cares?
Their mission and values aligned with what we wanted to do as they state specifically "health related causes as part of their mission statement.
"NBA Cares is the league’s social responsibility program committed to addressing important social issues concerning education, youth, family development, and health-related causes in the U.S. and around the world."
The NBA also put together a social initiative where all four leagues teamed up to create #NBATogether is the league’s social engagement campaign that aims to educate and support in response to coronavirus.
The Significance of Sports:
Sports have always helped the country heal or provide a sense of getting back to "normalcy" after a national crisis.
The Mets returned to Shea Stadium after 9/11 attacks.
Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans including the football stadium, they had drafted Drew Brees that year. The Saints became a major symbol rebuilding and growth. Five years later the Saints won the Super Bowl showing victory for the city and its people.
The Boston Marathon bombing happened but a year later Boston held the marathon and showed that it wasn't going to let terrorists dictate their lives or bring them down.
More Than "Just Sports"
Sports is a religion:
There are rituals and you pray for your team when they are winning or losing
Sports is an escape:
It provides a way for people to escape from reality and allows them to get away.
Continue to be the escape from reality sports fans desire in the face of tragedy.
COVID-19 is holding American sports hostage. For now, the people have no escape.
Remain united with NBA fans to mount a major comeback.
In the face of uncertainty and tragedy, rooting for the hometown team brings unfiltered pride to children and adults alike
The NBA is committed to the people around the globe that make up the
NBA family, not “just” the game
American sports play a vital part in the early stages of the healing process after national tragedies.
The war against COVID-19 is not over, but many battles have been won. Fall 2020 will mark the return of sports in America.
With the season coming to a halt how can they bring some excitement back into the game?
On what is normally a night of hope for fans looking towards the future, where can the NBA inspire and unite?
A day in the life, a day for your community.
The upcoming draft on June 25th may be the next time the fans get any NBA action. For many it will bring new hope for hometown teams bids for a championship title.
The NBA can make it a special night for children at local Boys & Girls Clubs across the nation.
Each team will select a celebrity influencer as honorary GM. Celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Spike Lee and Drake can be the GMs as they are known basketball fans and have a large influence.
After the team makes their first-round draft selection, the celebrity GM will draft a child from the local Boys & Girls Club.
Kids will receive one-day contract, get to suit up with the team for the first game of the season, and sit on the bench with the team. They’ll also be “paid” a one-game check equivalent to the NBA rookie minimum to be donated to their local B&G club.
All members and staff of the local club will be given tickets to the game and have the opportunity to meet with both teams before the game.
Let's bring back the competition
And raise funds for our communities! A fundraising phone-a-thon event with a competitive twist.
Who will be the champion for their community and front line heroes?
Each team will select a group of local celebrity influencers as well as a few team players and coaches to represent the team during the event. Fans of every NBA team will be encouraged to donate to their favorite teams via web or phone.
Funds will be donated to local COVID-19 efforts to support those in need and healthcare workers in the teams city.
The winning team will be awarded the first ever Kobe Bryant “Kobe Cares” Award for commitment to community excellence.
“Idols Become Rivals” Player vs. Fan Match-Ups
The current rise of eSports, and its ability to connect with Gen Z has presented the NBA 2K League with a valuable partner in video game streaming giant Twitch.
With the remainder of the 2019-20 season in limbo, there’s an opportunity with no practice to attend, players have plenty of time to hop on the sticks. With over 15 million daily users there are a lot of eyes watching these games.
Fans will have the chance to be randomly selected by NBA players for a quick online matchup. During what would be primetime Friday night games, individuals will be able to bid in a charity auction for an opportunity to play against the league’s top stars in a game of NBA 2K.
Proceeds from Friday night charity auctions will be donated to COVID-19 relief efforts.
Personal Protection Equipment with Spirit
Many fashion designers and brands have lended a hand to the protection of front line healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis by pivoting to PPE manufacturing. Mitchell & Ness are the original creators when it comes to repurposing and making sports memorabilia.
With the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season lost, most player practice, game, and warmup jerseys are sitting in storage. Many special edition and discontinued jerseys will end up in landfills.
Authentic Protection. Authentic Pride.
Utilizing circular design and working with Mitchell & Ness, the NBA can repurpose materials from unused equipment to produce masks for hospitals in critical need.
Not only will the masks help save lives, they can also bring a sense of hometown pride to our hometown heroes.
In honor of you all…
The NBA wants to welcome those who put their lives at risk everyday to help this country with open arms.
Let us take care of you for a night.
Each team will designate a number of games on the team home schedule as “NBA Heroes Night.” On these nights healthcare workers who served during the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible to claim two tickets to the game free of charge.
Prior to each game tipoff Heroes will be honored during an opening ceremony with words from the team owner and star of the team.
Heroes will also receive vouchers for arena vendors to purchase food and beverage courtesy of our sponsor partners.
What Will Victory Look Like?
The 2019-20 season came to a screeching halt, just as teams geared up for the NBA Playoffs. What can the league do to help fans bounce back?
Funds raised for COVID-19 relief efforts to support first responders, healthcare workers and youth programs.
Shares, and retweets. Press coverage, blog posts, TikToks reviews, etc.
On NBA Draft Night and surrounding events, as well as opening nights of 2020 - 21 NBA season.
Conversations, attitudes and feelings on social media about the NBA brand and its COVID-19 relief efforts.
Nana Dadzie: Strategist
Thuraya Al-Wazzan: Strategist