- Basketball equipment maker Spalding will host a two-hour shopping event on social media to give fans a chance to buy limited-edition gear. The "Spalding.com Holiday Slam" will be headlined by NBA players Damian Lillard and DeMar DeRozan from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern time on Nov. 24, per an announcement.
- Spalding will sell 30 items, including new basketballs and hoops in a collaboration that also will include former L.A. Lakers star Kobe Bryant, the NBA and global travel brand Sprayground. The products include the Sprayground x Spalding 94 Series Diamond Capsule Collection, the Sprayground x Spalding 94 Series Fire Money Capsule Collection and the Kobe Bryant Mamba Marble Series Limited Edition Basketball, among other items.
- The shopping event will be hosted at a special microsite and on Spalding's @spaldingball account on Instagram and @Spalding handle on Twitter. Some of the proceeds from the shopping event will be donated to the NBPA Foundation and LA84 Foundation's joint Court Refurbishment Program that provides places for youths to play basketball in Southern California, per the announcement.
Spalding's online shopping event borrows from the "drop" model that makers of sneakers and apparel use to spur consumer demand by offering exclusive, limited-edition items that typically sell out quickly. By hosting the event on its website and showcasing it on social media, Spalding aims to reach younger shoppers who have shifted their media consumption to mobile devices. Instagram is used by 67% of U.S. adults ages 18 to 29, while Twitter reaches 38% of that age group, per Pew Research Center. Twitter has made a special effort to appeal to NBA fans, and this week introduced this season's emojis that automatically appear in posts with select hashtags.
Spalding is using the event to promote its MVP loyalty program that offers special discounts and access to exclusive gear. To drive signups for the program, Spalding is giving away eight specially made basketballs to MVP members, according to its "Holiday Slam" microsite. Customer loyalty programs are key to cutting through ad clutter and boosting customer lifetime value (CLV) among repeat shoppers. Forty-three percent of brands this year reported an increase in loyalty membership amid efforts to appeal to core customers, per a survey by 3Cinteractive.
Spalding is among the brands that have hosted product drops aimed at targeted groups of consumers. Sony Music Entertainment and audio streaming platform Spotify last month gave fans of the U.K. rock band Bring Me the Horizon a chance to buy T-shirts personalized based on their favorite songs. Earlier in the month, shoe marketplace GOAT gave its 20 million app a chance to bid on the world's rarest and most coveted sneakers after viewing them in an augmented reality (AR) try-on. Sportswear brands Adidas and Nike also have hosted multiple product drops in the past couple of years on social media.