The NBA League Pass micropayment strategy is a sure-fire way to win over Millennials

Sports broadcasting has evolved tremendously in the last few years, as we went from watching matches on TV, to being able to pay for streams online, and now the streaming strategy is segmented even further thanks to the innovation and creativity of NBA digital, co-managed by the NBA and Turner Sports.

As of March 16th, fans have been able to buy the NBA 10-minute pass, and get to enjoy whichever game at whichever moment for a span of 10 minutes.

For USD$0.99, fans will be able to watch as many live games as they want in a 10-minute window, simply by clicking “watch” on the NBA website or on the NBA app respective to each game.

“NBA 10-Minute Pass offers unprecedented flexibility for fans to watch live NBA games when it is convenient for them,” suggests Chris Benyarko, NBA Senior Vice President, Direct to Consumer.

The market for sport may not be shrinking, but it is changing, and those who identify this situation as an opportunity and not a threat will be the ones who stand out.

The NBA is definitely pioneering marketing strategies that are specific enough to keep its fans engaged and satisfied by the sport, as they’re adhering to the younger demographics of the NBA fans. Millennials offer complicated challenges to brands because of their lifestyles and preferences, and the NBA seems to understand that.

According to University of Southern California’s (USC) research on the Psychology of Successful Marketing to Millennials, millennials are extremely tech savvy and engaged with online video and streamed content, as well as they spend the least amount of time watching television; therefore, to reach this market through digital devices was an exemplary strategy to maintain its fan base as loyal as they were before.

At the beginning of the 2018 / 2019 season, the NBA, through NBA League Pass, presented basketball fans the opportunity to purchase a single game from the beginning of the fourth quarter to the end of the game for $1.99. This was followed by quarter-by-quarter pricing on the same platform where fans got to purchase a single game at a reduced price after every quarter, and the league has now gone even more granular with a unique 10-minute ‘watch whatever you want’ option.

Reaching so-called Millennials is the holy grail for many sports organisations, and this demographic is different to the others. According to Vice News, millennials are making 20% less than their parents, and so have to spend less. Low prices, then, are a must, but so too is flexibility. With micropayments as low as $1 and taking place without a contract, this is clearly designed to appeal to millennials’ purchasing trends.

USC’s research backs this up, as they suggest that 85% of millennials are more likely to buy a product or service if it’s personalised to their interests; the NBA brought out unique selling points and value experiences for the audience – more apt for millennials – and will surely see an increase in sales, even if it is gradual.

Sport is not losing its sheen and even younger demographics want to see the action, but they want to do it on their own time. There’s also the appeal to following the game on social media via a second screen. You don’t need to see it to follow along, but if you know the final ten minutes is going to be close, then you might tune in – and for a small fee. The fan is given the option to choose his or her own path.

Don’t forget Digital Sport London will be discussing this very topic on Thursday 28th March with the FA and Bleacher Report! Get your ticket below!

About author

Darpan Mangwani
Darpan Mangwani 25 posts

Darpan is an avid sports & marketing fan and shares his thoughts on industry-impacting news. Connect with him on LinkedIn!

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