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Eurobasket2011. “60000 basketballs bouncing”

Baltic PR Awards 2012
Organization: VIP Communications
Client: Lithuanian Basketball federation
Country: Lithuania
Project name: Eurobasket2011. “60000 basketballs bouncing”

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Eurobasket2011. “60000 basketballs bouncing”

  1. 1. Category: PUBLIC SECTOR &NGOsVIP CommunicationsEurobasket2011. “60000 basketballs bouncing”Lithuanian Basketball federationSummaryA nation-wide “basketball bouncing event” was organized in Lithuania to celebrate its hosting EUROBASKET2011.Since Lithuania last hosted the championship way back in 1939, demand for tickets in this basketball obsessed nationwas high – and not everyone could get a ticket to national team games. So how could everyone, even those thatcouldn‟t get into the arenas, get a chance to feel that they were also part of the team?More than 60000 people bounced basketballs simultaneously for 5 minutes in 6 EUROBASKET2011 host cities and 5community centres. The event was broadcast live by the country‟s most popular TV station, so even those who werenot dribbling the orange ball at that moment could still experience a feeling of togetherness and triumph.It took weeks of preparation but each step was a chance for publicity. Domestic media coverage began by meeting60000 specially imprinted flat orange balls shipped from China. Later, separate events were organized for public toinflate balls in different cities.The event broke the record and impressed foreign visitors, positive emotional environment was ensured in both -public and media, highest ticket sales in EUROBASKET history reached. FIBA Europe recognized the championshipas the best ever.SituationThe campaign was created for the local organizers of EUROBASKET 2011 when it became clear that most fans of theLithuanian national team would not be able to watch the championship games live in the arenas where their team wasgoing to play. Local fans were not buying tickets for foreign team games.A basketball obsessed nation was divided into the few who had tickets and the majority who didn‟t. This long awaitedevent threatened to become a disappointment – both financially and emotionally.We proposed to organize a nationwide basketball related event with massive direct participation of the public.ObjectivesMain goal:Create a positive emotional environment for EUROBASKET 2011 and ensure its financial success. Goals:Encourage fans to watch games at special fan zones that were constructed beside every arena with a large screen andoutdoor seating available.Promote a healthy lifestyle and reduce social exclusion.Target groups: basketball fans; publicity; media; influencegroups (politicians, social and public institutions, business) Lithuania was also hoping to host major internationalbasketball events in the future so it was also important to strengthen Lithuania‟s image as a basketball nation for FIBAofficials.StrategyThe campaign‟s strategy was built on targeting Lithuanian basketball fans or about 90% of population.The main idea was to transform fans from spectators into participants and let them feel important for this long waitedevent. The solution was a nation-wide “basketball bouncing event”, which took place at the opening ofEUROBASKET2011. We invited people in 6 EUROBASKET2011 host cities to become members of the same teamby dribbling basketballs at the same time. Each step of a campaign was a chance for public to get involved.FIBA officials were so fascinated with the nationwide event that it donated basketballs to participants to promote ahealthy lifestyle.Lithuanian basketball fans were informed about event through different channels of communications – outdoorbillboards, web and radio ads, direct mailing and a special website, created to attract the maximum number ofparticipants by allowing them to register and by encouraging competition between cities.ExecutionMay-June:• Kick-off via an interactive presentation. First „ball bouncing‟ demonstrations by basketball players, celebrities andjournalists.July: 60 000 specially imprinted flat orange balls were shipped from China. Baltic PR Awards 2012
  2. 2. Category: PUBLIC SECTOR &NGOs Website‟s online registration activated. Online results stimulate competition between cities for participants. “Inflate the balls” action in Klaipeda - 10,000 balls were inflated in two days! Advertising campaign started.August: “Inflate the balls” events in the other 5 EUROBASKET2011 cities. Community centres joined in; do nations to a charity fund begun. Due to strong interest, more balls were donated. EUROBASKET2011 opened on 29/08/2011 in 6 championship cities and 5 social centres. Participants bouncedballs simultaneously for 5 minutes. Live TV broadcast with cities connected via a „TV Bridge‟. Politicians, fans,celebrities – all were equal and united by love for basketball.September: Press releases announced: Lithuanian „ball bouncing‟ record confirmed by FACTUM record agency official. Announcement oftotal donations.Documented Results• The event had more than 60000 participants (every 30th Lithuanian between the ages of 15-65 years). Over 49,000people registered on the website.• Community centres such as prisons participated, promoting a healthy lifestyle for socially sensitive groups andstimulating their integration.• Ticket sales were the highest in EUROBASKET history (75% of the total were sold)• Crime in EUROBASKET cities dropped by 10% compared to the same period during the previous year.• Specially designed EUROBASKET screenings in public areas near arenas were watched by 120,000 people.• The number of positive stories about EUROBASKET 2011 increased from March to August by 111% whilenegative messages decreased more than four times.• FIBA Europe recognized EUROBASKET2011 the best championship ever organized.• Public in Lithuania recognized EUROBASKET2011 an event of the year. Baltic PR Awards 2012