While Nike’s usual NBA super stars spokespersons are highly popular in China, they are only popular among hardcore basketball fans. But Nike Basketball’s biggest mission is to bringing basketball to a wider audience. Nike needed to create new source of inspiration.
Many people’s first basketball experience and gateway to become a basketball fan is not an NBA game; it’s at their high school basketball match. Seeing a peer play, compete and win is powerful and much more emotional.
We organized the Nike High School Basketball League, and it’s not your typical high school basketball game. We created outdoor murals featuring all the semi-final teams right outside of the high schools. On the No. 1 sports platform, Tencent Sports, team scores were scrolling front and center. We livestreamed the finals and semi-finals, professional basketball commentators as well as top basketball stars like Zhu Fangyu in China narrated each livestreaming game.
The finals attracted 2.8 million views on Tencent; that’s more than views on CCTV for any NBA game. Games were engaging and inspired 118,000 comments during a game on Tencent. Social media exploded as well, with a 61 million viewership on the topic.