Bleacher Report sees the NBA All Star Game as its Oscars.
The weekend hoopfest drives more video views for Bleacher Report than any other event and for a second season, B/R will be in the All Star city with live events designs to let fans participate in person and to create content that can be distributed over digital and social networks.
Bleacher Report, owned by AT&T’s Turner unit, has signed up eight major clients for its B/R X NC FanFest and its House of Highlights activation. The clients are Caesar’s Entertainment, Mountain Dew, Ruffles, Intel, McDonald’s, State Farm, Wilson, Foot Locker and Adidas.
In Charlotte on Sunday Feb. 17, Bleacher Report takes over the Music Factory. Among the exhibits are two basketball courts, concert stages and interactive exhibits.
It will feature B/R talent including Adam Lefkoe, Taylor Rooks, Lance Fresh and Omar Raja, and close out with a concert by 2 Chainz.
Howard Mittman, chief marketing officer and chief revenue officer for Bleacher Report, said that year over year, revenue has more than doubled for the All Star event. Some of the sponsors, including State Farm and Mountain Dew, are All Star sponsors with Turner, a long-time NBA TV rights holder. Others are only working with Bleacher Report.
“Being a part of Turner certain helps give us access and opportunities,” Mittman said. “But our social and app distribution are pretty damn unmatched.”
Bleacher Report began building up its event business at last year’s All Star Game and put on about a half dozen activations in 2018.
Fan Fest will attract about 4,000 people, but that’s just the beginning. “The way we think about all these activations is not just about having a physical activation on the ground, but about creating a social setting that allows us to capture content and push that out to our 100 million or so followers,” Mittman said.
With its young-skewing audience of millennials and Gen Zers, All Star weekend generates more video views than any other week of the year, and 37% more than the average NBA playoff week. 37% more video views. At All Star Weekend, Bleacher Report also garners more video views than competitors including Complex, Sports Illustrated, SB Nations, Whistle Sports, ESPN and Players Tribune combined, according to Mittman.
“So we’re really focused on making sure that we’re building physical and virtual experiences for our fans,” he said.
And for sponsors.
Caesars Sports is hosting a VIP lounge and a talent patio. McDonald’s is the presenting sponsor of an All American gym. State Farm is creating a gaming lounge.
Mountain Dew and Ruffles are presenting sponsors of the main court and they’re sponsoring a hip-hop bragging rights game. Foot Locker and Adidas are sponsoring a next level locker room within the House of Highlights house.
“We’re really excited about this. The way experiences have developed here, it allows us what we think is a unique way to marry up the power of our social distribution with our physical ability to create events,” Mittman said. “And that presence gives us a unique ability to create and foster connections with millennial and Gen Z consumers. You should expect to see a lot more of these styles of activations and content moments from us.”