DMS shoots game-winning content for the NBA in London

When the NBA comes to London every January, its growing number of European fans are treated to a true American spectacle. But with 1.3 million followers of the NBA UK Facebook page and only 20,000 seats available to accommodate them at The O2, engaging video content is essential in bringing the NBA Global Games London to most fans. 

With over one billion followers across team, league and player accounts, the NBA is dominating the social media engagement stakes in the US. To replicate this success across the pond, the NBA chose London-based end-to-end digital agency DMS and its Tiger Films’ production team to be its on-the-ground EMEA video content team. Tiger Films provided creative ideas, filming, editing and delivery of HD content from the game’s announcement in July 2016 through to the post-game party to give fans as much behind-the-scenes and on-court action as possible as the Denver Nuggets beat the Indiana Pacers in both teams’ first trip to the UK.

A jam-packed schedule

With a busy filming schedule, flexibility was key. Using a core team of 17 people, two high-end Canon EOS C300 Mk II video cameras and a selection of Canon lenses, Tiger Films had the flexibility to meet the ever-changing demands of the schedule. Film content varied, with the first day alone involving the filming of a Jr. NBA clinic at The O2 in east London, an Afternoon Tea segment with NBA Ambassador John Amaechi at the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone, and Nuggets players being fitted for suits by designer Oswald Boateng on Mayfair’s Savile Row. 

This film schedule was designed to fit the the demand for exclusive backstage access. A video of the Nuggets visiting Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium getting over 400,000 hits. The NBA and Premier League crossover proved particularly successful, with a 12 second video of Arsenal footballer Hector Bellerin doing an impressive on-court trick shot gaining another 400,000 views.

Ensuring a fast-turnaround

When it comes to speed, fans want access to new content faster than ever. Videos like John Amaechi’s Afternoon Tea round table, were shot during the day and then dropped into Tiger Films’ Adobe Premiere Pro-based edit workflow to be turned around and delivered first thing the following day—a twelve hour turnaround. Two editors were on-site at The O2 to assist on game day, where the NBA content team was able to sit in the roaming edit suite to view footage and provide feedback as it was cut.

With so many A-listers filling the much sought-after courtside seats at the game, it was an unmissable opportunity to document and share with NBA fans. One of the Canon EOS C300 MK II’s and a smaller Osmo camera were used to film before the crew swapped out the memory cards and ran to the on-site editing team to kick start post-production. The final video was completed, approved and uploaded during the second half, before fans had even left the arena.

Making use of new technologies

As one of the world’s biggest sports leagues, the NBA doesn’t shy away from testing new technologies. The weekend before the Global Games saw the NBA successfully stream a regular-season game for the first time via Facebook Live to fans in India; Facebook Live was used again in London to stream the game on the BT Sport Facebook page. So, it made sense to live stream an interview with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver that week using Facebook Live on the NBA UK page for the first time.

Tiger Films assisted with this live stream, providing lighting and sound for the production. The live stream had over 3000 comments and 380,000 views and was hugely successful. Instead of the usual pre-arranged questions, the video gave the opportunity for UK fans to shape the conversation, with topics ranging from the growth of the Global Games to the special atmosphere at The O2 and even Brexit.

The NBA is widely regarded as one of the best brands at engaging its fans when it comes to content marketing. With the help of DMS and Tiger Films, the NBA was able to engage an audience in the UK more than ever before.

About author

Ellen Larson
Ellen Larson 22 posts

Ellen is an intern for Snack Media and contributor to Digital Sport. Follow her on Twitter @Ellen_Larson.

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