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Sprint leverages Twitter for second-screen effort targeting NBA championship viewers

Sprint is making mobile the focus of a second-screen campaign during the National Basketball Association championship series that delivers real-time video via Twitter.

The strategy includes leveraging Twitter?s new TV ad targeting tool, which Sprint is a beta partner of. Twitter users who are tweeting keywords or links that indicate they are actively viewing the NBA games will be served a Sprint promoted tweet.

?If you're watching the NBA Finals, chances are you're also on your phone following the game on Twitter,? said Kevin Davis, executive creative director at Digitas Chicago. ?You could be watching replays or trash-talking your buddies, but the point is, you're there.

?Sprint is the official wireless sponsor of the NBA, so we're taking the second-screen experience to the next level for our fans,? he said.

Sprint worked with Digitas to develop the campaign.

Timely in-Tweet content
Last week, NBA player Kevin Love took over the Sprint Twitter handle to live-tweet game four of the NBA Finals.

During the game, Mr. Love took over the @Sprint Twitter handle with The Show The Love With Kevin Love Show that was like a Twitter talk show created on the fly and included game commentary, Q&A with fans and Vine videos.

Fans were able to follow @Sprint and tweet #KLoveTakeover to join the conversation. Sprint promoted the Kevin Love takeover in mobile social channels and invited fans to follow @Sprint to watch the action.

Sprint tweeted a special offer during the event offering users $100 off the HTC One.

Sprint is also sponsoring the delivery of instant replays of the best moments from games, taking advantage of a Twitter and NBA partnership to post game highlights on Twitter during the playoffs using the #NBARapidReplay hashtag.

This is the first time that real-time video technology in tweets has been used for professional sports, giving fans timely content in-Tweet, per Digitas.

The Sprint/Twitter/NBA partnership will be ongoing during the NBA Finals.

Mobile social convergence
The Sprint campaign is a good example of how brands are leveraging the convergence of mobile and social as the use of social networks increasingly migrates to smartphones and tablets.

The effort also addresses how mobile users are increasingly watching TV with a smartphone or tablet nearby so they can engage further with content, including commenting about it on social media sites such as Twitter.

For Sprint, the strategy enables it to be part of the immediate conversation that takes place around a live event such as the NBA Finals.

Sprint is using Twitter?s new TV ad targeting offering, which uses video fingerprinting to enable marketers to engage directly with Twitter users who have been exposed to their ads on TV or are watching specific programming.

?Mobile is key to this program,? Mr. Davis said. ?The basic premise is that Kevin Love will be live-tweeting Game 4 from his Sprint mobile device.

?And it's not just text tweets,? he said. ?He'll be making and tweeting out Vines and other mobile content on the fly all through the game.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York