TNT Travels Back in Time With Shaq, Barkley, Johnson and Smith

WBD Sports leverages 'Now vs. Then' trend

After months of planning, Anya Johnson, VP of marketing at Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, has unleashed a campaign to hype TNT's coverage of the 2023-24 NBA season, which tips off on Oct. 24.

WBD's Playmaker team, which creates content targeting Gen Z and Millennials, is having some fun with the "Now vs. Then" trend on social media.

Look for Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and other members of TNT's Inside the NBA broadcast squad to appear in this format across TikTok, IG Stories and YouTube Shorts.

WBD Sports | Now vs. Then

The push also includes a partnership with Uber and Uber Eats.

"We're really excited about this, because whether you're a fan on the way to a bar, or staying home to watch the game and ordering food, you will be reminded that these games are happening on TNT," Johnson tells Muse.

What's more, working with WBD's live events and sales experts, Johnson is orchestrating a glitzy activation in Denver on Oct. 24, starting at 3 p.m.—"The NBA on TNT American Express Road Show."

"It's kind of like a welcome-back party," she says.

Free to the public, the event will be held at the Tivoli Quad on the Auraria Campus. The Mile High City was chosen because the Denver Nuggets are the reigning NBA champions, and will host the Los Angeles Lakers that evening. 

The entire Inside the NBA crew—Barkley, O'Neal, Ernie Johnson Jr. and Kenny Smith—will broadcast from the "Road Show," which will wrap up with a post-game concert by The Chainsmokers and Dermot Kennedy.

Attendees can access an American Express vending machine that will dole out prizes to eligible fans who correctly answer sports trivia questions; a re-creation of the famed B/R Kicks Tunnel Cam where folks show off their game-day footwear and outfits; and a half-court challenge hosted by Bleacher Report. Local artist Thomas "Detour" Evans will create a custom mural celebrating the Nuggets. 

Johnson, who will be on hand, looks forward to "bringing that in-person vibe to fans on opening night."

As more marketing unfolds during the NBA season, the goal will be to "make sure that we're reaching our core, our casual [viewers] and also the 'opportunity audience' as we call it,” Johnson says, noting, "This season we're really looking at women."

Christine Champagne
Muse contributor Christine Champagne is a writer based in NYC.

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