NBA All Star weekend has come and gone, and by now we’ve heard a fair amount of both criticism and praise for the event filled extravaganza. It was a weekend that had it’s high points and low points, but was mostly forgettable. Or was it?
There are those who say that the NBA’s All Star weekend was an overall failure because it lacked true star power, especially in the dunk contest, and they are partially correct. However, deeming the entire weekend a failure simply because of a lack of stars is unfair to league. For the first time ever, the NBA put the outcome of the dunk contest in the hands of the fans, and brought back the popular All Star Pulse feature.
The NBA deserves applause for gearing everything toward the fan. The league is in the forefront when it comes to using social media as a way to improve fan interaction, and this is the perfect example. The dunk contest may lack identifiable names to the casual fan, but the league still reeled them in by allowing them to control the outcome. Don’t we all wish for a little more control and power anyway?
In Peter Robert Casey’s article, Melissa Rosenthal Brenner, the NBA’s VP of Marketing, says “Our mission for all star weekend…is to enhance our fans engagement and enjoyment of the game.. That’s what social media is about for us. It’s a way for fans to interact with each other on a global basis.” In today’s mobile world, the social media campaign that the NBA launched based around All Star weekend is the best way to do so. 2,949 Twitter and Facebook mentions per hour are one sign that the strategy was effective.
So was ALL Star weekend a success? As a sports fan and public relations enthusiast, I say yes. The social media campaign yielded results that exceeded expectations and that is a large determining factor. As far as star power is concerned…I say let the stars shine on Sunday, and leave Friday and Saturday to the up and comers.
Until next time!