For the eighth consecutive year, 3PT staff played a production role in NBA All-Star Weekend, with this year’s event taking place in the largest city in America…NYC. The NBA took a different approach this year by splitting the festivities between home base for two of its franchises – Brooklyn and Manhattan – which for all intents and purposes, are both larger than the majority of cities in this country.
With Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden each hosting major events throughout the weekend, the NBA wanted to created a fan fest experience near both arenas to ensure that all fans had an opportunity to partake in the fun. This meant that they needed to develop a concept that would differ from the traditional NBA Jam Session that has been so successful over the years, because that has always been staged in a single convention center in the host city.
Which brings us to NBA House, an intimate fan fest concept that was initially developed overseas on the NBA’s international grassroots tours. While NBA House pales in size compared to Jam Session, it offers fans an experience that ensures everyone who attends can get up close and personal with the NBA experience. We produced the Center Court programming at NBA House – Brooklyn, which was set in the historic Paramount Theatre on the campus of LIU. Across the East River in Manhattan, a second NBA House was created at Moynihan Station just blocks from MSG.
Throughout the week, fans were treated to appearances by NBA Legends such as Robert Parrish, George Gervin, Darryl Dawkins, Pearl Washington, Gary Payton, Mitch Richmond and Muggsy Bogues. With tickets limited to around 1,000 per session, those in attendance were able to interact with these legends on a very personal level, compared to the long lines that accompany large fan fests like Jam Session. In four-hour blocks that flew by, fans were also able to shop at the NBA adidas store, interact with sponsor activations, get a selfie with the Larry O’Brien trophy and compete in contests alongside mascots from around the league.
Over the years, these headline sporting events have taken a bigger is better approach, but I applaud the NBA for rethinking their model and utilizing The Big Apple to test drive a new style. I am excited to learn more about how this impacts their fan fest approach next year in Toronto and beyond.