As we all know, the Cleveland Cavaliers made history in our city in the thrilling NBA Finals Game 7 coming back from a 3-1 lead by the Golden State Warriors to defeat them 93-89. That night, the 52-year major league championship curse on Cleveland sports reversed as “the block” replaced “the shot,” “the drive” and “the fumble” once and for all. Excitement spread throughout the city and it has been electrifying to see the dedicated fans of Cleveland finally get what they deserve. Of course, social media erupted with videos of the team’s reactions, posts from overjoyed fans and even a congratulations tweet from President Obama.

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The wave was explosive, even if you weren’t a Cleveland sports fan; you wanted to be in that exhilarating moment. Since the unforgettable victory, brands have been trying to ride the wave of congratulating the Cleveland Cavaliers on accomplishing the nearly impossible. At this point, it’s almost overdone by brands now, as I have seen SO MANY posts about how brand X supports the Cavs.

However, one particular brand stands out as a leader in riding the victory wave, especially because they posted their content IMMEDIATELY after the intensity of Game 7 was finally over. Nike released “Worth the Wait,” a powerful new commercial in honor of Cleveland sports fans via Twitter. It’s almost like they knew the Cavs were going to win J. As LeBron and Kyrie are signed to Nike, this move was almost as clutch as Kyrie’s 3-point shot that led the Cavs to the big win.

If you haven’t seen the video, do yourself a huge favor and watch it now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWGgMbcTbFk. In one minute, the video captures the heart and soul of why Cleveland fans are so dedicated to their sports teams and how great it feels to finally be champions. I still get chills seeing the faces of the emotional young and old fans that have waited years upon years to be champions.

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Riding the wave is essential for any brand to make an impact on social media engagement. Here are three ways to do it successfully (just like Nike did with “Worth the Wait”):

  1. Timing: Nike had the best timing by releasing their previously filmed content immediately after the Cavaliers’ title was announced. The result of the NBA Finals was fresh in everyone’s mind and they could easily relate to the commercial.
  2. Relevant Angle: Nike knew their audience perfectly when creating this advertisement. It was relevant, interesting and engaging to watch as a NBA and/or a Cleveland Cavaliers fan.
  3. Social is about people not logos: Nike does not expose its logo until the end of the commercial. The ad focuses on Cleveland sports fans with real human emotion wearing Cavaliers gear and reacting as the Cavaliers make history.

Nike followed these criteria and stood out against other brands that were late to the party (or parade) of congratulating the hardest working team in the NBA. Since the videos release, it has been liked 70 thousand times on Twitter and viewed 2.4 million times on Facebook. Nike successfully rode the victory wave by allowing every viewer to understand how meaningful this championship is to The Land.

 

And I’ll just leave this one here:

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