BPI Case Study: Warriors On The Waterfront - Launching Public Policy Through The 2013 NBA Playoffs

BPI Case Study: Warriors On The Waterfront – Launching Public Policy Through The 2013 NBA Playoffs

This past spring, Bully Pulpit Interactive worked with 50+1 Strategies to help launch Warriors on the Waterfront. The goal for Warriors on the Waterfront is to bring together business and labor leaders from around the Bay Area, Warriors fans & non-basketball fans, as well as community residents to support a privately-funded arena in San Francisco. Together, we built a bridge that connected playoff energy and online sports conversation into a larger public policy conversation about the project.

The creation of this arena could mean thousands of jobs, plus the opportunity to transform a neglected pier into parkland and space for concerts, cultural events, basketball games and more. 50+1 Strategies, a local San Francisco consulting firm, helped to launch the brand’s website and organize online, while Bully Pulpit Interactive put together a strategic online approach to reach future voters and arena supporters in San Francisco.

While the arena is estimated to be built by 2017 once approved by San Francisco voters, the 2013 NBA playoffs turned out to be the perfect time to launch this new brand as it was one of the longest playoff runs for The Golden State Warriors in the past 30 years. With enthusiasm for the team at an all-time high, it was critical to be nimble, responsive and fun with the messaging around the campaign. In just eight weeks, Warriors On The Waterfront ads reached over 3 million users online and helped to create a local audience to support a privately-funded Warriors arena in San Francisco

Examples of shareable images created by Bully Pulpit Interactive for Warriors On Waterfront:

Key Takeaways 

1. Plan The Narrative, Visualize The Brand: Before launching the Warriors On The Waterfront online, we worked to build a comprehensive plan that stitched together graphics, logos, and images into an editorial vision for the brand that helped to tell the story, build the audience and drive the narrative. 

2. Speak The Fan’s Language: Using localized terms and themes such as #Warriors415 and “Make SF Warriors Ground,” Warriors On The Waterfront engaged with fans and potential supporters in San Francisco on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

3. Don’t Miss Key Moments: By preparing content in advance and reacting during the NBA playoffs games in real-time, Warriors On The Waterfront was able to participate in the larger online conversation and build enthusiasm for future policy initiatives around the arena. We launched a Thunderclap to amplify our efforts during the playoffs and extend the reach of the new brand during key moments.

See the example below for an image that was posted during the playoffs to engage NBA fans of the Warriors on the Waterfront:


4. Paid Dollars Matter With Social Media: By running banner ads on local sites, in addition to aggressive Facebook, Twitter, Instagram outreach, Warriors on Waterfront launched a new brand and built a voice in a crowded space. Warriors on the Waterfront was able to amplify our messages through paid media and recruit the right people to join the Warriors On The Waterfront movement.

See the chart below that compares Facebook likes with overall news trends in Google. This is demonstrates how important it is to tie real-world interest to social media paid and organic engagement.


5. Mobile Drove Most Likes On Facebook: Given the prevalence of users on their phones during games, we saw the most Likes come through mobile sources during the playoffs.

6. Our Audience was Small, but Engaged: On Instagram and Twitter, Warriors On The Waterfront was able to generate over 14 Engagements per follower by growing a high-quality, targeted audience and sharing content that was unique, timely, and relevant and tapping into the larger conversation with hashtags and relevant sports terminology.

Make sure to check out Warriors On The Waterfront’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.