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From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Where Pressure Makes Diamonds - The 2021-2022 NBA Post Season OOH Campaign

Finalist in Paid & Amplification


The NBA used OOH to create localized hype and excitement in hometown team markets with an emphasis on driving awareness, tune-in intent, and cultural significance. This campaign needed to ignite brand love and relevance by creating cultural resonance with rich storytelling that would compel players, fans, celebrities, and influencers to participate. Our approach leveraged data to serve up the right message, to the right audience, at the right time.

Strategy and Execution

GLOW – in partnership with Rapport, Vistar Media, DIVE Networks, and Twitter – executed a first-to-market Digital OOH campaign for the NBA 75th Anniversary postseason rooted in data, technology, and social integrations. The NBA was the first brand to integrate various dynamic messages at scale across the DOOH ecosystem, in a fully automated capacity via Vistar Media’s SSP – exemplifying the true power of dynamic creative optimization.

The utilization of programmatic DOOH allowed the NBA to activate DOOH screens in Playoff team markets as they advanced, while deactivating markets immediately after a team’s elimination. Dynamic creative was served up in 16 markets over the course of 10 weeks with the geography of where each team was located prioritized and then key audience attributes layered in to inform OOH placements that over-indexed for Casual Fans & Sports Fans. 

The NBA ran messaging across a variety of high-impact and eye-level DOOH frequency formats, featuring evergreen brand creative as well as dynamic game-time countdowns, live scoring, hometown winners, and moderated Tweets, leaning into fans’ real-time engagement. 

By integrating Twitter data feeds, the OOH placements became the creative canvas that brought the social chatter into the real world. To further amplify the message, two Times Square takeovers were executed on key game days leading up to tipoff. When Mediahub’s social team was executing a Twitter takeover, OOH was taking over Times Square with a 1-hour roadblock on digital spectaculars. The content featured live moderated Tweets that were vetted in a 24/7 command center and then pushed out onto the DOOH displays. 

This new and emerging approach to DOOH allowed the NBA to highlight pivotal moments throughout the Playoffs, building excitement across each city and creating a must-see factor. The OOH ads allowed for rich storytelling engrained in cultural relevance – personifying every matchup, keeping the focus on the players and teams still in the competition, and reminding fans that the NBA is a collective experience based on unforgettable moments that allow friends, family, and strangers to connect.

Markets: New York, NY; Phoenix, AZ; Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN; Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Denver, CO; Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; Salt Lake City, UT; Milwaukee, WI; Philadelphia, PA; Memphis, TN; Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX; New Orleans, LA; San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA; Boston, MA; Atlanta, GA; and Toronto 

Formats Used: Digital Spectaculars, Digital Billboards, Digital Bus Shelters, LinkNYC Kiosks, Digital Urban Panels, Digital Subway Networks 

Additional Media Formats Used (if any) Digital direct display/OLV/Audio, prog display/video, and Linear/CTV were also running during the OOH campaign.


MFour conducted a brand study that measured lift in awareness, consideration, and tune-in intent based on those exposed to the DOOH campaign. Of those exposed, the study revealed a 7% lift in Playoffs awareness, 25% lift in consideration and a 25% lift in tune-in intent. The results exceeded the benchmarks from the previous postseason OOH campaign across the board. While all of the format types utilized drove lift over the control group, digital street furniture contributed to the greatest lift across all three KPIs. 

Across the competitive set, the NBA Playoffs came in first for awareness compared to the other major live sporting events running in market (MLB & NHL). As it relates to igniting brand love through OOH, over 3 in 4 exposed consumers were somewhat, very, or extremely excited for the NBA Postseason. 

During the first two weeks of the campaign, the NBA was live across 16 markets as all teams were still in the hunt. Each week the NBA delivered between 5 – 15% reach in a market, 1.56 – 3.36 in frequency, and 5.27 – 23.92 weekly TRPs. 

By the last two weeks of the campaign when only two teams and DMAs remained, the NBA was delivering the following against their target audience: 

Boston - Reach: 57% Frequency: 2.7 TRPs: 90.85 / San Francisco Reach: 68.4%  Frequency: 2.2  TRPs: 116.7


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