What does the National Basketball Association and mobile marketing have in common? At the 2008 NBA All-Star Weekend, held in New Orleans, Louisiana, that answer is plenty. During this year All-Star festivities, fans, for the first time ever, decided the winners of the notorious Slam Dunk Contest as well as the MVP for the All-Star game. As if the incredible dunks of Dwight Howard and outstanding play of LeBron James were not enough, this revolutionary night allowed fans to vote via text message for their favorite players. Basketball aside, this new trend represents the growing popularity and reach of mobile marketing campaigns.
Sponsored by Sprite, a soft drink leader, fans simply texted the letter "A" or "B" to the code word "DUNKS" in order to vote in the Slam Dunk Contest. As Thomas Umstead notes, "over one million text messages" were received worldwide in the Slam Dunk Contest and another 500,000 were received the following night to elect LeBron James as the MVP.
Looking at this from a mobile marketing perspective, we begin to see the reach mobile marketing campaigns can elicit in their users. Mobile media like this has the ability to generate interaction and excitement among its audience, pointing to the overall strength of the mobile marketing industry. As powerhouse brands like Sprite continue to grow, they are utilizing the latest technologies to create a buzz that no other medium can rival.
Many sports teams and industries are working to integrate mobile marketing and advertising into there integrated marketing communications platform. The faster this is completed the more of an established competitive advantage these associations will have when attaining market awareness, interactivity, and market share.