The Los Angeles Lakers won professional basketball’s inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament Cup. The championship game took place on December 9, 2023 in Las Vegas, with LeBron James claiming the MVP award.
Professional basketball announced its inaugural In-Season Tournament in August, to take place during November and December. The league created the tournament in hopes of generating revenue and drawing new viewership to the league.
To incentivize teams to perform at their best, the tournament games count towards the regular season, keeping teams and players from opting out. The tournament acts as an appetizer before the league Finals in June — fans get a glimpse of who the big names might be at the end of the season.
The league also awards prize money, another incentive for all players to perform. The players of the winning team each get $500,000, the runners-up get $200,000, the losing players of the semifinals get $100,000, and the losing players of the quarterfinals get $50,000. Every player on every team has a reason to feel passionate about this tournament, and it showed.
The league succeeded in their goals. According to Nielsen, the championship game was “the most-watched non-Christmas NBA game during the regular season on any network in nearly six years,” (sportsvideo.org). Viewership peaked at 5.68 million viewers, meaning fans tore their eyes away from football during basketball season’s typical lull.
With the single-elimination aspect of the tournament, as well every team having a shot at the championship from the beginning, the In-Season Tournament is valuable for the entire league. Being in Indianapolis, the Pacers weren’t getting the mainstream attention they deserved before the tournament. Now, after taking advantage of the big stage, Pacers and Tyrese Haliburton are gaining national recognition. Small-market teams and their fans really cared about these games, and the Pacers proved they should.
Next year’s In-Season Tournament can only upstage this one. Plan accordingly, and get involved in small-market fanship. Of SCA’s coveted strategies, solutions for leveraging the In-Season Tournament include digital engagement, event-based rebates, bracket contests and Pick’em contests.
With digital engagement, expand client reach and increase sales in-app. SCA offers endless game options for fans to access via mobile phone, tablet or desktop. Digital engagement also includes social media contests. Build a following and humanize your brand with social media content – offer prizes for the best watch party or most unique game day outfit.
SCA’s event-based rebates are proven to generate sales and media buzz for any business or brand. Event-based rebates are the best way to boost visibility and brand loyalty with limited budgetary risk. An event-based rebate promotion gives customers the chance to have their purchases refunded based on a predetermined trigger. For example, a customer making a qualifying purchase during the In-Season Tournament could receive a full refund on that purchase when a designated team wins X games in a row.
You seize the opportunity, SCA takes on the risk. Contact SCA Promotions today to customize your own plans for the 2024 In-Season Tournament.