The NBA announced Team Partnership Awards for the 2023 season on Friday, and the Toronto Raptors were awarded the NBA Changemaker of the Year Award. The award recognizes a partnership that drives innovation within an emerging category, through a specific marketing channel, or by rethinking the traditional.
The award was specifically for the Raptors partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to create an industry first sports technology research and development lap called SportsX. The program uses a crowdsourced ideation model to test new ways for tech to innovate the fan experience, on-court product, and drive positive social and environmental impact. It is meant to push forward excellence in all areas of sports experience.
Amy Brooks, Chief Innovation Officer and President Team Marketing and Business Operations for the NBA said that “the winning campaigns showcase our teams’ unparalleled proficiency in captivating fans through exceptional, inventive and authentic engagement strategies.”
There were two other awards handed out Friday. NBA Team Partnership of the Year went to the Golden State Warriors for their campaign with Rakuten, celebrating women at the intersection of court, community and culture in the Bay Area. This award recognizes a marketing campaign or platform.
The NBA Team International Strategy Award went to the Cleveland Cavaliers for their commitment to build fandom in communities across Brazil, and grow the game of basketball internationally. This award is given to a team that builds the best cohesive strategy to reach an international and global audience.