back to case studies

76ers

Helping the Sixers approach the future.

CHALLENGE

On draft night 2013, the Sixers front office made clear their intention to overhaul the roster to plan for the future. This meant that the team was likely to struggle in the near term as the building process took shape. Philadelphia fans can see through hype, so an overly hopeful, win-now marketing message would not resonate, nor would appeals to nostalgia or campaigns centered around players who might not be here very long. We knew that during the building process a bright future would seem tantalizingly close some nights, at other times years away. The need was to enroll the fan base in the journey, communicate a shared sense of purpose and ensure the operations team could do business even as the on-court product was likely to suffer in the short-term.

SOLUTION

How do you market a team that is willing to trade losses today for a bright future? With honesty and a shared sense of purpose. ’Together We Build’ connects the franchise’s moment with the workmanlike ethic of our city. Philadelphia built a nation. We were once known as ‘the workshop of the world.’ Today, Philadelphia stands for tenacity and hard work. That’s why the line itself was interspersed with authentic images from around the city, both recognizable landmarks and surprising images, all skillfully shot with an authentic, gritty aesthetic. The integrated campaign influenced everything from the look of tickets and sales packages, in-arena signage and all manner of external communications to providing an internal rallying cry to keep the intensity desk-to-desk as the future takes shape. Sixers fans can tolerate losing if there is a plan. The campaign joined together our basketball team, its office staff and this city with a shared sense of energy and purpose.

RESULTS

From the initial teaser campaign that featured billboards and loose cobblestones emblazoned with just the hashtag through the release of the full campaign, the campaign further cemented and crystallized the organization’s strategy to do what needs to be done to build an elite basketball team in Philadelphia — and the market understood this. The hashtag became a unifying asset on social media as well as a salve for diehard fans as the 2013-14 season proved to be as challenging as expected. While ticket sales declined in a manageable way, the forward-looking nature of the franchise (reflected in the campaign) gives the fan base a great deal to buy into. Internally, Sixers business operations leadership used the campaign to drive unity and build excitement for the future. Honest, award-winning and unique, the Together We Build campaign will only grow in meaning as the Sixers’ vision takes shape.

Finch Brands, 325 Chestnut St Suite 1313, Philadelphia, PA, 19106, Phone: 215.413.2686
 |