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Basketball The Drum Awards Brand Strategy

How Hennessy celebrated an NBA anniversary with a four-day London party


By Awards Analyst, writer

December 6, 2022 | 5 min read

Hue&Cry, Kingdom Collective and Hennessy won at The Drum Awards for Experience 2022 in the sponsorship activation/event category for Courts Beyond Limits. Here, we find out more about what it took to translate basketball for UK audiences...


When Hennessy celebrated an NBA anniversary with a four-day London party

To mark the NBA's 75th-anniversary season Hue & Cry and Kingdom Collective worked with Mo√ęt Hennessy UK to raise awareness among British audiences of the brand's status as the spirit of the NBA.

The brief

Hennessy and NBA's "Courts Beyond Limits" took the form of a four-day series of digital and real-world events and brand experiences set against the backdrop of some of London's most famous landmarks. Attractions such as Tower Bridge and the London Eye served as wallpaper for a series of basketball-related stunts, notably including a floating basketball court on the River Thames.

Timed to coincide with the NBA Playoff Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics the transatlantic PR strategy sought to grab global headlines by marrying street culture, basketball stars and music to enthuse communities on this side of the pond.

The idea

A celebration of hip-hop, pop culture and street life the activations highlighted the shared values of both brands in a bid to break down national barriers to promote the sport on an international stage.

A packed PR-friendly diary included a floating basketball court sailing down the Thames in front of the Houses of Parliament, upon which British star Ovie Soko was invited to find his sea legs.

When not being used for exhibition matches the float served as a mobile party pad for cocktail and canape parties for over 350 VIP guests. Packed with influencers and celebrities these showcases included prize-giving events, customized kits and branded merchandise.

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The results

The high-profile activity did its job with 51 news items posted by regional, national and international press; including appearances in The Times and London Evening Standard.

Across the media, 80% positive sentiment was reported with 72% dedicated pieces to court activation. A further 89% mentioned Hennessy with 72% including branded imagery.

Social activity was similarly successful with over 500 posts delivering a combined audience reach of 137m.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Experience in 2022. The Drum Awards for Marketing are currently open for entry. Find out how you can enter now.

Basketball The Drum Awards Brand Strategy

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