Millions will be tuning in to the 2018 NBA Finals to see if LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers can dethrone the heavily favored Golden State Warriors, led by Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. While the majority of that viewing attention will be paid to the ABC/ESPN television broadcast, a new, social media-driven enterprise has emerged for Games 1-3 of the series stemming from a partnership between UNINTERRUPTED and Twitter.
Crown Royal Canadian Whisky serves as a sponsor of the broadcast, which is a halftime show exclusively available on Twitter, to both logged-in and logged-out users across the world. Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe, Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers, podcast personality Big Wos and Van Lathan will be present for all three broadcasts, with San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay taking part in the festivities during both Game 1 and Game 2.
T.J. Adeshola, Head of US Sports League Partnerships at Twitter, emphasized that “UNINTERRUPTED will deliver authentic storytelling directly from influencers” in an effort to drive the conversation. In addition, Devin Johnson, UNINTERRUPTED President and COO, foresees “an irreverent perspective on the game, through the lens of those that play and create the culture around basketball.”
In recent days, Twitter has aimed to attract viewership in the sporting arena, with pre-game content in partnership with ESPN (featuring Ryen Russillo and Dave Jacoby) in addition to other broadcasts. Still, this new venture, centering on recognizable athletes, could inspire a new audience to make the plunge away from the typical studio broadcast on linear television and into a new space.