Forget about the World Series.
The 2015-16 NBA season tips off tonight on TNT and that means E.J., Chuck, Shaq, and Kenny “The Jet” Smith” are back for the best mix of expert analysis and hijinks.
Hijinks are a key component to Inside the NBA’s success, and to capitalize on how fans react to Chuck and Shaq on social, Turner Sports has forged new partnerships ahead of this season with Dubsmash, Giphy, and BuzzFeed, among others.
These partnerships - aside from making things more fun for fans - are an effort to build on Turner’s strategy from years past:
“Our NBA social strategy has evolved season to season,” Morgan Dewan, Senior Director of Social Media, Turner Sports, told Found Remote. “Last year was all about complementing the telecast - being right there, the first ones out with the best content, chatting with viewers, bringing unparalleled access to our fans. This year, we are adding to that. Our goal is to evolve the Inside the NBA and NBA on TNT brands to 24/7. What does that mean for a show that's on one night a week? Discovering and partnering with up-and-coming influencers, producing exclusive content around our talent and showing the full family of Turner Sports staff on Thursdays. And lastly, it means continuing to toe the line between the NBA and pop culture.”
One of the up and comers that networks have taken a particular liking to is Dubsmash. The two-year-old social platform is a perfect second screen complement for shows with characters producing memorable quotes. It has worked well for reality shows, where the next thing out of a person’s mouth can become meme gold; it also works well for Shaq and Chuck, who coin new phrases nearly every airing.
“Our guys are some of the most quotable personalities in sports,” Dewan said. “We saw fans doing this already - mimicking Shaq’s "BBQ Chicken" or Chuck's "GINOBILI!!!" Why not serve this up to them? Dubsmash is another platform, another level for us, we can pull to make our talent and our show the most engaging on the social web. As long as fans love it, we'll keep doing it.”