NBA aims to build on digital lessons from bubble

By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter

WITH the tournament bubble it had in Orlando proving to be a learning experience for it in its digital push, the National Basketball Association (NBA) aims to build on the lessons it got as it moves forward in how it presents the brand.

Speaking to global media in a conference call last week, NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum said the league restart in July that lasted until October, after it temporarily suspended its season because of the coronavirus pandemic, allowed them to shore up their digital assets and forge key partnerships along the way on that front.

These are something they consider as valuable as they continue with their push of engaging NBA fans in meaningful ways.

“We incorporated and will continue to incorporate in our games lots of different learnings that we’ve had in the bubble,” said the NBA executive.

“We’ve really revamped our digital assets to make it really consumer-friendly and fan-friendly,” Mr. Tatum added.

One of the ways they went about it was utilizing virtual signage.

“Virtual signage was something that we utilized pretty extensively in the bubble, and we’ll continue to do that going forward in different places,” he said.

Mr. Tatum went on to say that the revamp of their digital content continues, citing alternative streams on their digital product — a sideline stream, which gives different alternate angles; the rail cam; the courtside cam; influencer streams, where different influencers have the ability to speak during the games; alternative audios and having access to listen to games in Portuguese, Korean, and Spanish; and condensed games.

To make it all happen, Mr. Tatum credited the partnerships they have established with digital companies like Microsoft (which helped bring virtual fans into the arena through its Microsoft Teams Together mode), Facebook (which helped in creating the Oculus cam and the rail cam to create different camera angles), and AT&T (which provided 5G technology that allowed, among other things, the league to hologram interviews for the first time).

“Those are some of the technology and digital partners that we have worked with to present the game in a different and unique way that was really tailored toward the digital fan,” Mr. Tatum said.

In the Philippines, Cignal TV is the broadcast home of the NBA.

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