NBA Goes Second Screen in the Second Round

As the National Basketball Association playoffs head into the second round, NBA marketers have intensified the game for viewers with a second-screen promotion that will reward them for watching telecasts on ESPN and TNT.

Beginning with the Nets vs. Bulls game on May 4, viewers could win rewards and discounts for league gear by checking in to their Viggle apps during featured broadcasts. The longer they keep watching and reacting to prompts during games, they more bonus points fans receive and the more ratings points are registered by the NBA. The league is not new to viewer loyalty programs, having run a similar program with GetGlue on NBA TV.

“We already have a tremendous audience tuning into live broadcasts, so this is not about moving people away from time-delay devices,” says NBA SVP of Marketing Melissa Brenner. “It’s about getting fans to watch games they might not ordinarily tune into.”

The promotion is also about enhancing customer engagement and gaining customer intelligence. “We have a young, tech-savvy fan base. We want to monitor consumer behavior and the fans seem to enjoy interacting on the platform,” Brenner says.

The NBA uses an all-digital mix of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to spread the word about the Viggle program. “You have to make it a holistic experience,” she adds. “We’ve found that if you don’t integrate the tech platform with other aspects of digital marketing, it’s hard for it to succeed.”

Brenner had no results to share from the weekend, saying it was too early to analyze. The program extends through the NBA finals, slated to begin the last full week of May.

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