Learn from the champs: The NBA’s world-beating approach to Digital (Fan) Engagement
Last year Fast Company named the National Basketball Association (NBA) the 3rd most innovative company in the world. While other sports leagues decline and struggle to survive in the era of COVID-19, the NBA continues to grow and has built a truly global professional sports league, engaging traditional demographics and sports markets, as well as the young, rapidly growing, and worldwide esports industry.
How does the NBA engage younger audiences who are less likely to engage with sports in-person or on traditional channels such as cable or network television? How is the NBA approaching digital engagement during the COVID-19 era when many teams can expect few or no fans in arenas and stadiums? What can professional and major college sports and the entertainment industry as a whole learn from the NBA’s success in digital fan engagement?
In a conversation moderated by seasoned innovator, entrepreneur, and educator Mike Grandinetti, NBA 2K League Commissioner, Brendan Donahue, NBA Global Partnerships Manager, Jacob Fein, and sports tech investor and Scrum Ventures Managing Director Michael Proman, will discuss how the NBA was visionary in creating deep fan engagement across a diverse range of communities, even where they had no physical prersence. The panelists will also discuss the implications for the future of entertainment, and how these lessons will guide success in other industries such as music, ticketing, sports technology startups, and theater.
Brendan Donahue is the managing director of the NBA 2K League, where he is responsible for overseeing the first official esports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league. Donohue, a sports industry veteran with more than two decades of experience in team and league operations, manages a league that features 23 teams that completed its second season in August 2019, and is currently in the midst of its third season. Prior