Last night the NBA crossed the pond in spectacular style for the NBA Global Games in London and Ear to the Ground were thrilled to be on the court at the 02 Arena. As an official partner, Müller tasked us with shaping the direction of their partnership and bringing our creative to life to raise awareness and drive consideration by creating a range of immersive experiential activations where basketball fans were treated to a hip hop recording booth, sampling stations and a dance performance that saw brand ambassador ‘Tasty B’ scoring the real slam dunk of the night.
With the rapid growth of basketball attracting the attention of fans across Europe, Müller called on Ear to the Ground to advise on whether a partnership deal with the NBA was something they should go ahead with and how to get the most out of it for their Müller Rice brand. From the early strategy and planning stages, our FANATIC Planning and Insight department helped to define the UK NBA audience and fed this into the creative brief writing process and overarching creative approach for Tasty B bringing the Global Games to London. Central to this strategy was the insight that most fans were segmented by what we call ‘big eventer’ attitudes; meaning the lead up to the games themselves would not be as important as connecting with fans when the NBA finally landed in London. This led a through the line campaign from Müller and the NBA which culminated in a series of dynamic in-arena activations in front of 20,000 hyped basketball fans.
From the moment fans stepped into the arena they were greeted by hip hop bangers played by Tasty B’s personal DJ who ramped up the excitement pre-game. The ‘Rice Crew’ handed out samples to guests to enjoy during the match and our MC got fans cheering for the brand before they even headed to the court. We also created an exclusive sharing experience with our Fan Video Booth where guests could record themselves singing along to the instantly recognisable ‘Rice, Rice Baby’ tune. A few lucky fans were even treated to a guest appearance from the famous bear himself who joined them to rap along to his signature song making for some unforgettable music videos which they shared online.
The real ‘WOW moment’ came at the third time out in the second quarter when we fuelled the crowd’s excitement and coordinated a brand-owned dance contest with the Müller Rice Crew. Hip hop hero Tasty B shuffled onto the court and challenged his mascots to a dance off where he of course owned the performance with his street-dance skills. While the MC got the crowds hyped and on their feet dancing to ‘Rice, Rice Baby’, the dance cam captured the best moves and projected them on gigantic screens decking the arena. The whole stadium was up and out of their seats and everyone was dancing along with Tasty B. 3 points to Müller.
We’re ecstatic to work so closely with Müller again to get more fans engaged with their brand and have loved helping them secure their position as a major player in European sports sponsorship. The Toronto Raptors may have won the match last night but there’s no doubt Tasty B was the real winner on the court with fans.