NBA announces recipients of NBA Team Partnership and NBA Ticket Sales & Service Awards for 2018-19 season

NEW YORK – The NBA recognized outstanding achievement in team marketing and business operations yesterday when it presented the NBA Team Partnership Awards and the NBA Ticket Sales & Service Awards for the 2018-19 season during its Revenue & Analytics Workshop in Las Vegas.

The Toronto Raptors won the NBA Team Partnership of the Year Award and the Phoenix Suns received the inaugural NBA Changemaker of the Year Award as part of the NBA Team Partnership Awards.  The Minnesota Timberwolves earned the NBA Event of the Year Award, the San Antonio Spurs were honored with the NBA New Sales Campaign of the Year Award, and the New Orleans Pelicans received the NBA Group Sales Program of the Year Award as part of the NBA Ticket Sales & Service Awards.

All 30 teams were invited to submit for each category, with the winners chosen by both NBA league executives and a Finalists Committee comprised of team representatives.

“We honor the winners of the 2019 NBA Team Partnership and Ticket Sales & Service Awards for setting a new standard of excellence in fan engagement, creative partnerships and innovative programming, all of which enhanced the fan experience throughout the season,” said Amy Brooks, NBA President, Team Marketing & Business Operations and Chief Innovation Officer.

NBA Partnership of the Year

The Raptors won the NBA Partnership Award for their multifaceted program with McDonald’s.  The partnership centered on Beyond the Arch, a campaign in which fans won a medium order of French fries when the team made 12 three-pointers in a game. To be eligible, fans download the McDonald’s App for a digital coupon to redeem the fries, resulting in 2 million redemptions representing 36 percent of all McDonald’s App transaction in Ontario.  Promoted on digital and social platforms, co-branded French fries’ boxes and in arena, it featured the Beyond the Arch: The Game within the Raptors App that gave fans a chance to win prizes if they made 12 virtual-reality baskets during the game.

In addition, the Raptors and McDonald’s created the Raptors Nugget 20-Pack, a co-branded box with a basket-style pouch to hold dipping sauces. Promoted through unique branded content featuring Raptors forward OG Anunoby, the campaign encouraged fans to share their #Nuggetiquette on social media and resulted in a 21 percent lift in all McNugget sales during the regular season.

Finalists for the NBA Partnership of the Year Award included the Minnesota Timberwolves for their Partnership with Target and the New York Knicks for their partnership with Squarespace.

NBA Changemaker of the Year

The Suns were honored with the NBA Changemaker of the Year Award for their partnership with PayPal.  Built on their jersey patch deal, the partnership brought the Suns into the financial technology space with PayPal being integrated into the customer journey from box office tickets, cashless garage entry, merchandise, SixthMan season ticket renewals, mobile entry, mobile wallet, express orders in-arena, concession fast lanes and 50/50 raffles.

The partnership generated new PayPal users, increased PayPal’s Total Payment Volume and helped PayPal drive multiple products (banking, credit card & financing) to deepen connections with its customers. PayPal’s partnership with the Suns helped drive an additional $5 billion in transactions through their products.  The Suns benefitted by integrating PayPal services as a seamless payment option.

The Portland Trail Blazers (Brew Dr.) and the Sacramento Kings (MGM) were also finalists for the NBA Changemaker of the Year Award.

NBA Event of the Year

The Timberwolves received the 2019 NBA Event of the Year Award for their “2019 Member Party.” Held at Paisley Park, home of the late musician and Minnesota native Prince, the event capitalized on the team’s Prince-themed Nike city-edition jerseys while providing members with a memorable experience.

More than 600 attendees had the chance to go on a private tour of Prince’s estate, take pictures with Timberwolves players and watch a live performance of St. Paul and the Minneapolis Funk All-Stars.

Finalists for the NBA Team Event of the Year award included the Cleveland Cavaliers for their Locker Room Dinner Series and the Boston Celtics for their Season Ticket Member Hall of Fame Dinner.

NBA New Sales Campaign of the Year

The Spurs received the 2019 NBA New Sales Campaign of the Year Award for their “2018-19 Ticket Sales Campaign.” The team transformed their sales and service strategy by prioritizing the development of people, culture, efficiency and new product development.  As part of this campaign, the Spurs restructured their sales and service division, invested heavily in sales enablement technology, and created new flexible ticketing products such as the Spurscription and Spurs Passport.  These changes led to higher employee satisfaction and retention rates, and the highest overall ticket revenue generated in franchise history.

The other finalists for the NBA Sales Campaign of the Year Award were the Sacramento Kings for their Kings Pass flexible ticketing product and the LA Clippers for their Courtside Launch Campaign.

NBA Group Sales Program of the Year

The Pelicans received the 2019 NBA Group Sales Program of the Year award for their “2018-19 STEMfest” on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. The STEMfest took place at the Smoothie King Center and Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where more than 6,000 attendees took part in science, technology, engineering and math related activities from over 100 different vendors. All attendees received a ticket to a Pelicans game.  Presented by Chevron, STEMfest exceeded sales goals and provided an educational experience for fans.

The other finalists for the NBA Group Sales Program of the Year were the Charlotte Hornets for Career in Sports Day and the Philadelphia 76ers for their Barber Appreciation Night.