building a lifestyle brand by challenging conventions

posted by

Paul McDowall

the OKC Thunder 2018 off-season campaign

OKC Creds '18 D5

nominated as finalist for The Drum’s 2018 Global Experience Awards!

The Oklahoma City Thunder is one of the most successful teams in the NBA and have some of the most noted players within basketball on their roster. the organization is progressive, fresh-thinking and not afraid to challenge the traditional marketing approaches to sport.

as their branding agency we are helping take The Thunder from ‘another NBA sports team’ to a ‘lifestyle brand’ that makes a lasting impression on culture and community forging more powerful connections globally as well as locally.

to build on OKC’s regular season momentum and sustain brand engagement we developed a campaign that leveraged the off-season with a three-part series featuring the three premiere players – Paul George, Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams – that broke with the conventions of sports marketing. specifically:

we maximized our share of voice by using the typical ‘downtime’ period in the league to build OKC brand and forge fresher connections with fans

we marketed in a less ‘noisy’ period for higher visibility and attention with players, team and brand

we elevated consumer connection to players by showcasing them off the court ensuring audiences have a holistic view of them as individuals who are pushing sport and culture forward

we created new and disruptive ways to build OKC lifestyle credentials by leveraging existing cultural events to align with an effort, building positive associations with an already captive audience.

as disruptive ‘change-makers’ in their own right, Paul George, Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams are unique characters that embody the Thunder’s values and spirit. each player had a unique lifestyle experience developed specially for them based on their personal passions and interests. the events would be a celebration of the player, an expression of their impact as sports stars and an opportunity for fans (and media) to see them off the court as cultural icons.

the result was massive social media buzz, countless articles and global press coverage plus huge fan engagement recognizing the Thunder as a tapped-in team that goes beyond the obvious sports paradigms and connects at a contemporary cultural level.

you can also view more of our OKC work here