Social Media comes alive through interactive technology with Social Media Wall.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) had a special treat for its fans during the 2012 Olympic Games in London. For 10 intense days, the Jubilee Hall gym, located in the heart of Covent Garden, became the NBA House.
Over 53,000 fans visited the NBA House in person and millions of supporters followed it online. The unique brand experience, created by two agencies; Flourish and Ignite-London, gave guests the chance to meet their basketball idols; try their hand at basketball and other interactive games; and talk to other fans and stars using Cisco Telepresence. It also included a shop, a PlayStation Vita area and a VIP area.
But most importantly the NBA House was a manifestation of the power of social media and its embodiment was possible thanks to an interactive Social Media Wall developed by Touchez.
Darrell McLennan-Fordyce, senior director of marketing communications EMEA says: “We embrace new media all the time. Communicating with our fans is essential for us and social media gives us the right platform to do so.
“The NBA was founded back in 1946 in North America. Now with fans all over the world we are always looking for new ways to connect. Currently we have over five million followers on Twitter. Touchez’s social media video wall allows us to showcase how big our conversation is.”
In 2011, the NBA came up with the idea of creating the NBA House, a first of its kind for the brand in the UK. A tender was sent out and Flourish and Ignite-London were appointed. The brief was to create and activate the NBA House, which would be a base for the NBA during summer 2012. The objective was to attract new and existing consumer fans to the NBA during the day times and be a base for VIP and partner hospitality during the early morning and late evening times.
Bart Kamp, director of Touchez comments: “When Ignite asked us to create a multi-touch video wall for its social media activity at NBA House we knew it was going to be a great project. We chose to visualise a large amount of data by using the iconic NBA basketball, which rotated like the world and around it, it would show 1000 tweets with the avatar of each tweeter on display.
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In screensaver mode the wall would display #nba and #nbahouse tweets in real time, which encouraged many visitors to tweet their own pictures on the wall again.
The most exciting feature of this social media video wall, is its interactivity. People can touch the screen to navigate and spin the ball, open the tweets and view them in a new window.
Located just by the entrance of the NBA House, Touchez social media wall was a combination of four 55” slim bezel NEC screens with a bespoke 110” 32 touch points multitouch powdered coated steel screen overlay to allow the interaction with visitors.
“We specialise in touch interactive solutions,” explains Kamp, “This goes from the sale and rental of large multitouch screens and overlays, to software that is tailored for the client.
In this case we used flash for the design and touch interactivity, and our data base is cloud based as the NBA wishes to use it whenever wherever’’
Social media played an important role in building awareness about the activities at the house and in lengthening the interactive period of the event. Tweets were updated every minute. The NBA House Facebook page reached over one million people during the event.
Cris Cicirello from Ignite–London says: “We, at Ignite, believe that the fusion of live experience and social media play key roles in the present and future of brand experience and experiential marketing. Brands no longer want to put on a single or series of live events, where the public turn up and then leave – they need their marketing spend to be maximised and for the duration of the experience to last for as long as possible. It is in this area where social media plays an important role in the pre- and post-communication and interaction with all participants of the events and the brand.”
Dave Corlett of Flourish says: “The NBA’s brief made it clear that essential to the success of this activity would be the intelligent use of social and digital media to communicate the scope and reach of the sport of basketball. Touchez’s solution brought this to life perfectly and it went down an absolute storm with fans throughout the duration of the NBA House experience.”
Kamp concludes: “A recent report by Futuresource Consulting said that the global video wall industry is on track to reach 380,000 unit sales in 2012, equating to year-on-year growth of 60 per cent. We are confident that the use of video walls, and in particular social media walls, with touch interactivity will become common place in events and corporate applications.”
The NBA House was a very successful event, likely to be repeated in other locations around the world. It was a feast of digital signage and interactive games that fans could enjoy during their visit and also share with their friends on their social networks or take home as memorabilia. Most interactive experiences in the house were connected to the internet – with 100MBs broadband speed, courtesy of NBA partner Cisco. Social media was embodied at the NBA house.