Cannes Lions

ESPN NBA Victory Goggles

ARTS & LETTERS CREATIVE CO., Richmond / ESPN / 2023

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Situation

To sustain the high levels of TV viewership set in the previous year, the NBA on ESPN sought to amplify the pinnacle moment of the NBA season: The Finals. The usual topical marketing for the on-court TV coverage would not be enough, so ESPN sought a way to be substantially additive to the Finals story for both fans and players alike.

We honed in on the NBA championship locker room celebration, a tradition long revered by basketball fans. Some brands have a small presence in the locker room, but none had meaningfully elevated the occasion or brought it closer to the fanbase for whom it means so much.

Brief

How do we bring the NBA experience closer to fans and add more premium value to the NBA Finals?

Objectives

Drive outsized earned media attention for the NBA Finals on ESPN to complement the network’s premium coverage of the NBA Finals.

Idea

Celebrating the NBA title in true championship style:

The NBA Finals is the pinnacle of the entire NBA season. To engage fans in the magnitude of the moment, we knew we had to tap into the historic traditions that make the NBA Finals so special - most specifically, the decades-long celebratory traditions when teams win it all.

The locker room champagne shower is a staple of the NBA Finals celebration. To get fans hyped for the league’s 75th season finale, ESPN created a pair of champagne goggles worthy of the NBA crown. Our custom-gold “Victory Goggles” helped the winning team and fans elevate the title celebration, while keeping the championship bubbly out of their eyes. In addition to the goggles, we sent fans a special Champion’s case complete with everything they needed for their own locker room style celebration.

Strategy

Many brand “activations” attempt to create something of value from scratch, prioritizing elevating the brand in the eyes of fans versus meeting the fans wants/needs. We knew our big idea needed to tap into an existing way that fans could genuinely feel closer to their favorite teams. We aimed to elevate a Finals tradition in culture in a new and exciting way, tapping into something iconic around players that fans knew and loved: the NBA championship locker room celebration.

Over the years, the celebration has increasingly become more ornate, with so much celebratory champagne being popped that accessories became necessary to protect locker room equipment and players’ eyes. This became our way in: add to the elevation of the moment, by creating a premium accessory that in itself could become an object of desire for fans and players alike.

Outcome

We elevated the iconic Finals champagne bath – Victory Goggles didn’t just bring fans “into” the locker room, it was:

The most sought after piece of memorabilia at the NBA Finals Pier 17 watch party

Appeared on broadcasts like NBA Countdown and NBA Today, with Stephen A. Smith, Richard Jefferson, Malika Andrews, and others donning the goggles

Global in reach: ESPN Deportes reporting for Mexico and LatAm

Influencers outside of our contract posted interactions with the Snap AR filter

Publications beyond sport covered the reinvention of an NBA tradition, including Hypebeast, Gear Patrol, Fader

Worn by head coach Steve Kerr and champion players Draymond Green, Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr, James Wisemant

Ty Dolla $ign, wore them with Mustard and Lil Durk for the music video for “My Friends”

1.2 billion online readership

1.63 million coverage views

311 million media impressions

$6.2 million earned media value

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1 Cannes Lions Award
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