The last home game of Kobe Bryant's career was set to be a historic moment for fans all over the world. It was also one of the hottest, most exclusive tickets in town. It was out of this incredible moment in sports history that experience-driven fundraising platform Omaze, Kobe & the Los Angeles Lakers created a one-of-a-kind opportunity that would not only be meaningful to Kobe and his fans, but would drive significant funds and awareness for three incredible causes.
The Lakers and Omaze offered one winner and a guest a once-in-a-lifetime experience: two tickets for amazing seats at Kobe's last game, and the opportunity to high-five Kobe and his teammates as they ran onto the court together for the last time. By donating as little as $10 on Omaze.com, fans were entered into a drawing to win the experience, which supported the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation, Positive Coaching Alliance LA, and After-School All-Stars, Los Angeles.
Not only was this campaign aimed at democratizing access to this historic game, it also harnessed a momentous occasion in sports history, leveraging it for a good cause. This campaign gave fans the opportunity to engage with this moment in a deeper way, by donating to support charities near and dear to Kobe. It also gave Kobe the opportunity to thank fans for 20 seasons of their support, and to use his last game to create impact for causes he cares about.
Offering Fans a Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience with Kobe Around a Moment in Sports History
Omaze joined together with The Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant to offer one fan and a guest the chance to sit center court, row A, at Kobe's last game, and to high-five Kobe and his teammates on the court before the game, with airfare and four-star hotel accommodations included. Through a donation of $10 or more on Omaze.com, fans received entries towards scoring this once-in-a-lifetime experience, with the winner selected randomly. Granting this access would not only be a tremendous thank you gift from Kobe to fans everywhere, but a means to inspire the Lakers community to come together to create lasting impact for three remarkable causes.
Selecting Benefitting Charities with Meaning for Kobe
Proceeds went to support three incredible causes, hand-selected by Kobe: the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation, dedicated to improving the lives of youth and families in need; the Positive Coaching Alliance LA, a nonprofit working with youth and high-school athletes to develop "better athletes, better people"; and After-School All-Stars, Los Angeles, which provides underserved youth with exciting and enriching after-school programs.
Spreading the Word Through Social Media & PR
Omaze's social-driven, integrated marketing plan was aimed at making all fans aware of this incredible opportunity, not only to raise maximum impact and awareness for the benefitting causes, but to ensure that as many fans as possible were able to enter for the chance to live this dream.
Marketing of this campaign leveraged social media outreach from Kobe, the Lakers, and the benefitting charities, coverage by top media outlets (such as CBS, ESPN, CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report, Huffington Post), paid media, and activation of the Omaze community via social and email.
Exciting images and engaging video content with Kobe, created by Omaze, were central assets for this campaign. For example, in the Omaze-produced video announcing the campaign, Kobe invited fans to donate to three great causes and enter for the chance to high-five him as he took the floor for the last time. Kobe's message was intercut with footage of historic moments from his career. The video was shared across social media platforms by Kobe, Fox Sports, the Lakers, and other influencers. The hype around Kobe's last game created an incredible runway for this message and opportunity to spread.
Offering Fans Exclusive Merchandise to Remember the Game and Campaign by
To offer fans additional campaign benefits and further incentivize donations, Omaze partnered with Kobe to create exclusive campaign perks, like a limited edition t-shirt and rally towel, both of which were completely unique to this campaign and only available to donors. These campaign perks came with a corresponding number of entries towards the grand prize drawing and allowed fans to donate at the level that most excited them.
In just three-and-a-half weeks, the campaign raised a gross total of over $680K for three charities close to Kobe's heart, helping people in the LA area and beyond fund crucial projects like after-school programs for kids from low income families, and making an otherwise unattainable experience available to a lifelong fan. As Omaze co-founder Matt Pohlson explained here, this campaign truly embodied what is so special about the Omaze model, which gives fans the chance to live their dream experience, helps influencers support the causes they're passionate about, and allows charities to spend less time fundraising, and more time making an impact.
Tommilynn's mother took her to her first Lakers game when she was just two years old. So when Tommilynn's $60 donation won her this dream experience, she was over-the-moon and thrilled to invite her mom to join her on the court as her guest. Here's how she described the night: "Amazing. The seats were perfect. I took a picture at center court, right on the Lakers logo. I was able to sit on the Lakers bench, and then we got ready for the team to run out of the tunnel for warmups—that's when they high-fived us…Being there and watching [Kobe] speak was unbelievable. I can't believe I was there." The campaign also generated a tremendous amount of goodwill and excitement from fans who, even after finding out they had not won, sent their sincere congratulations to Tommilynn in comments made on the Omaze blog.
Fill out the form below and we'll work on connecting you to the entry creator!