Sometimes when you are an attacker brand it is a lot easier to create sizzle and buzz around mega-events like the NBA All-Star Game. Want to try a little virtual reality for fans to give them a glimpse of the future? We have that. Superstar player needs a new sneaker launch party? There’s a place for that. New kind of space age smart water? Let’s say out the cash and fire up the dance floor to bring the cameras. How about sunglasses or fashion statements, we have that too.
But American Express? The card of choice with its massive financial services roots and its ample customer experience platform for cardholders may have a little trouble with some splash and dash getting its place in the limelight. However Amex is always about access for its cardholders, and they found a very strong way to create content, and access, and then engage some of the world’s greatest athletes to come along for a new digital experience that helped them cut through the clutter, tell not just the company story but the story of the athlete, and give themselves a place in all the brand extensions going on in and around the NBA’s biggest weekend of the year.
The company launched American Express PIVOT; a digital video experience that gives basketball fans a never-before-seen perspective of NBA stars John Wall, Anthony Davis, LaMarcus Aldridge and Mason Plumlee. Hosted on American Express’ destination for behind-the-scenes basketball content and access to NBA players, “Home Court AdvantageSM,” American Express PIVOT gave fans a closer look at every angle of these players’ signature move using state-of-the-art, wrap-around camera technology allowing fans to customize their virtual viewing experience. Fans can also learn about the pivotal moments in the players’ basketball careers that ultimately shaped their signature move. A narrative film with each player was created to explore their personal journey as they strived for success both on and off the court.
American Express PIVOT was made accessible for fans wherever they wanted to engage; desktop, tablet and mobile at AmexAllStar.com. They also made sure that those actually attending NBA All-Star 2015 were able to experience American Express PIVOT technology on 103-inch, NBA player-sized screens immersing them in the movements of each player. The screens were set up at NBA House, located in Skylight at Moynihan Station, off W. 33rd in Manhattan through February 16, and in Brooklyn on the Barclays Center’s main concourse through spring 2015.
The best thing about the launch of PIVOT are the extensions the technology can have not just for Amex’s NBA partnership, but for probably any sports, and possibly entertainment brand, the company works with now and in the future. By having the athletes take such a hands on (literally) approach, they are not just brand ambassadors, they are participants in the creative process, and that ownership grows their affinity with Amex.
Now of course American Express will pull all the other bells and whistles with their customers in and around the game, but PIVOT puts them in a unique storytelling and content position with John Wall and company, they speak to a younger and more engaged fan base than many make think of when they think of American Express, and that audience will be a huge help going forward as the company fights the good fight of relevance in every sector of their business with an audience whose choices can be pretty wide and varied.
Smart non-traditional play for AMEX as they scored All-Star points with a broad audience.