- JBL, the Harman-owned maker of speakers and electronics, will debut a 60-second audio series on Instagram to coincide with Thursday's NBA Draft Day, according to a press release shared with Mobile Marketer. JBL's "Draftwav" series will chronicle the experience of future NBA players and past basketball stars like Kenny "The Jet" Smith.
- The audio content will be available on the brand's @jbl_cast Instagram, and will feature projected top 10 picks Marvin Bagley III, Michael Porter Jr., Mo Bamba and Mikal Bridges. Duke star Bagley is a new JBL partner who also signed a deal with Puma for the biggest rookie shoe contract since Kevin Durant partnered with Nike in 2007.
- JBL said its Instagram account is an evolving storytelling platform that will continue after the NBA Draft, which will air on ESPN and ESPN2 on June 21 at 7 p.m.
While audio isn't new to Instagram, JBL's "Draftwav" is tapping into an innovative use for the platform with its new series while leveraging the popularity of sports marketing on the photo-sharing app. Over the past few years, Instagram has become the place for sports content, from sharing victories and game highlights to tuning in to behind-the-scenes looks into the lives of favorite players.
According to Sports Illustrated, the NBA tops that list. The league, which now has 29 million followers, nearly doubles the NFL and MLB combined in Instagram fans. In addition to the prominent leagues, sports marketing in general is bringing home serious wins on the platform, with sports-related accounts making up 30% of the top 100 accounts followed by teens. One out of three Instagram users follows at least one sports account, per Instagram data cited by Adweek.
For JBL, which makes official headphones and speakers for the NBA, the audio series offers the potential to open up their market to younger consumers who may follow the sport but not know much about the brand's products. Marketers and performers have seen success in using audio in their social media posts to drive engagement and drum up excitement before an event. Singers like Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift are known to drop soundbite teasers of upcoming songs before an album drops, boosting anticipation and likely later sales.