Ubaid Zargar
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NBA's new campaign introduces a challenge for Indian fans

NBA India has launched a new campaign that seeks to enhance its Indian viewership through a challenge. Here is an overview.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has seen quite a few pockets of fans spread across India. To gain a strong foothold in the country's sports scene, the league has introduced a new campaign that seeks to enhance its viewership in India.

With the objective to grow the league's fan base in India, the NBA's new marketing campaign, titled #NBAEkGameChallenge, for the 2019-20 season aims to gain new fans with the help of its loyal followers. The campaign challenges audiences to sample at least one NBA game on SONY TEN 1 and NBA League Pass, and promise that they will keep coming back for more.

As part of the campaign, the NBA has crafted multiple creatives that flaunt a variety of tricks and skills from the world of basketball, featuring snippets from actual games. From hardcore slam dunks to graceful 3-pointers, the creatives showcase them all.

The TVC depicts an NBA fan's living room where he is seen watching a game and just after a slam dunk by LeBron James, the fan calls for an open #EkGameChallenge to people who haven't yet watched the sport. The film then portrays a montage of multiple fans calling for the same challenge, all settled and framed in distinct locations and scenes.

What is interesting about the TVC, however, is that its communication calls the audience for a challenge. Purely based on the sequences shown in the TVC, one would imagine the challenge would be something along the lines of dunking or free throws. However, the campaign asks the viewers to sample at least one NBA game this season. Add to that, a very sleek way of propelling the audience by asking your loyal viewers to rope in more eyeballs.

India has been a top priority for the NBA for a while now, thanks to the country's humongous viewership. But, it is really hard for a sport to make a name in a demographic that follows cricket like a religion. The NBA has tried multiple campaigns in the past to increase its outreach in India's landscape. Just a few weeks ago, it launched its Dribble-a-thon challenge in Chandigarh. Since then, the campaign has expanded to other cities like Jaipur. Speaking about the campaign then, NBA India's managing director Rajesh Sethi said in a statement, “We launched Dribble-a-thon to promote basketball participation in a fun and unique way.”

Before that, the league also tried its hands at localising the sport by introducing NBA Program in association with Reliance Foundation – a youth initiative that aimed to develop the game at the grassroots level in India. The effort reached more than 10 million youth in 13,000 schools across 34 cities, and trained over 13,000 physical instructors nationwide since its launch in 2013.