Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center hosted the 64th annual NBA All-Star weekend February 12-15 in New York City, and Facebook was the home for global fan conversation and behind-the-scenes access to players and key events.
NBA All-Stars engaged in exclusive, Facebook Video Q&A sessions, answering questions from fans around the world with the help of comedian JB Smoove. Fans submitted over two thousand comments and questions via the NBA’s Facebook Pages. The NBA, along with various teams and the athletes themselves, distributed a number of short-form clips in real-time to Facebook Pages.
In addition to athletes like Carmelo Anthony, global fans interacted with actor Abhishek Bachchan, who also participated in the Facebook Q&A. He was the first Bollywood star to participate in the NBA’s annual All-Star Celebrity Game.
In partnership with the NBA, Instagram delivered a custom built “gravity room” simulating a New York subway car (with a visual twist) for Media Day with the All-Star players. The league and the players themselves shared dozens of fun photos to their Instagram accounts, allowing fans to see their favorite stars, like the Heat’s Dwyane Wade, in a whole new way.
The NBA also posted real-time game highlights to support the second screen experience around broadcast and enhance fan engagement.
NBA Players were active all weekend across the spectrum of events, providing behind-the-scenes peaks like this trick shot by the Magic’s Victor Oladipo.
The NBA was the first sports organization to use hashtag combined with (free) text votes on Facebook powered by Telescope. Facebook voting allowed fans to post a status from their personal Facebook accounts. The posts included the player’s first and last name, along with the hashtag #NBABallot. Additionally, fans also voted on Instagram by posting an original photo, using #NBABallot and the player’s first and last name in the photo caption.
The NBA All-Stars who dominated the conversation on Facebook throughout the weekend’s events were Zach LaVine, Steph Curry, Victor Oladipo, Klay Thompson and Kyrie Irving. LaVine and Oladipo were the two most-mentioned players in the Slam Dunk Contest.