The Basketball Tournament (TBT) is an annual single-elimination, bracket-style, winner-take-all basketball tournament. TBT’s digital team focuses on telling the great stories they have with their players and teams as they grow their brand. They’re using Greenfly year-round to help athletes tell their own stories, with TBT providing media assets to every player through Greenfly. The players use the Greenfly mobile app to show what their lives are like as pro basketball players, and the TBT team amplifies that on their social channels.
In a Greenfly Q&A with TBT’s Content Coordinator Joshua Brown, he reviewed their success using Greenfly. Some excerpts from that conversation follow.
Founded in 2014, the tournament airs on ESPN and the champion takes home over $1 million in prize money. When the COVID-19 pandemic altered sports in 2020, TBT was one of the first major sports events to play during the pandemic, bringing 24 teams into a “bubble” in Columbus, Ohio, for the tournament from July 4 to 14.
“This year was definitely a unique year given everything that was going on, but I think it actually led to some of the best content we ever did because we were all in one central location. We were able to do a media day with each team [and] we were able to film individual content videos with each team. And this is all stuff we’ve never really had the bandwidth to do before when we’re all spread out. And we used Greenfly for basically all of that stuff that we produced.
“We wanted to produce a video about what teams were doing to stay entertained while in the bubble because there was so much free time. We sent out a request to each team, like ‘Hey, can you film what you guys are doing for fun?’ Whether it be playing bean bag or playing cards or watching film to get ready for games. And they would all just snap a video on Greenfly and send it back to them. And then we compiled all of that into a big video. I think in general, us being all in one location and having Greenfly to be able to execute some of these ideas — it just resulted in some of the best content we’ve ever done.
“During games, we have two people who are pulling highlights from Twitter LiveCut and they’re feeding it to our social feeds to put out on TBT social channels. And then we have guys working in the truck on game highlights and packages and uploading photos from our photographer and they all go into a Box folder. We had Box synced with Greenfly [using Greenfly +Connect], so not only could we push this stuff out on our social channels, but, the game highlight videos would go to all of our teams and players who had Greenfly, too. All of the photos taken would go through Box into Greenfly for our players and our teams. We had it where basically all of our players and teams — the second they get off the court — they check their phone and they can say, “Here’s ten different photos of me, here’s all my highlights from the game.”
Brown noted that the process to onboard players to Greenfly was ‘super easy’
“Because of all the COVID restrictions, when players entered the TBT bubble for the first time, they had a pretty long process they had to go through. We set up a station as they were walking through that process. So they had to get tested, they had to get gear and they had to get information. And one of the steps was downloading Greenfly. We just had someone on our team literally just saying, “Hey, if you want pictures, if you want videos of yourself, download Greenfly.” I think all the players were always super excited to get the pictures, get those highlights, get that video.
TBT broadcasters received requests (through Greenfly) leading up to TBT.
“We’d ask which players are you watching or give us a preview of this region or this game. And we would send them a request and they would send it back. But those guys have actually gotten so into it that now they just send us content on their own. If they have a thought about a game or a team or a player, they’ll just record a video [on Greenfly] for us. Like if they’re taking a walk in the morning, or it’s a week before TBT and they’re eating dinner and a thought comes to mind about a game or something, they’ll just hop on Greenfly, take their own video and send it to us. I actually think that’s been one of the most valuable ways we’ve used Greenfly.
“I think the biggest thing that we got out of this year was having players create their own content. We were stuck in that bubble, [but] even though we were in the same hotel as them 24 hours a day, there were restrictions on how much we could be in the same room as them. So I think we really recognized the power of player-driven content and just sending them a request (through Greenfly) and asking them for something. And then putting out that video or editing it into something larger.”