The National Basketball League Increases Ad Efficiency and Sells Out Events With Braze Audience Sync
100% Event tickets sold


Ahead of the official season launch, the National Basketball League wanted to reach superfans with exclusive opportunities to meet their new ambassador, Scottie Pippen. They also wanted to reach fans who weren’t currently opted into messaging. However, their traditional marketing efforts weren’t yielding results, and they needed to pivot quickly.


With Braze Audience Sync, the NBL team was able to easily create effective audience segments in Braze and automatically sync them to Meta Ads Manager. From there, they were able to deliver relevant ads that engaged each unique audience.


The team achieved their two-fold goal of selling tickets and increasing opt-ins through their jersey contest. They were able to sell out every event, all while increasing the efficiency of their ad spend. They were also able to launch their campaign in record time and made impressive strides in audience growth.

Since 1979, the National Basketball League (NBL) has been giving their heroes a platform to inspire the next generation. They are all about telling stories and engaging fans, focusing on efforts that will grow and strengthen their online community. With a vision to become the biggest, most engaged global fan base in Australian sports, customer engagement is crucial to the NBL’s success.

To keep fans coming back to their digital platforms, the NBL uses a wide variety of channels: Email, mobile app messaging, web, broadcast, social, and more. The team also keeps a close eye on developing channels to ensure they’re covering the ever-growing digital landscape where NBL fans engage. Although the team found success in their existing strategy, they saw an opportunity for greater personalization: How could they capture and better leverage relevant customer data through engagement?

While the team had previously relied on an email point solution, they turned to Braze for its cross-channel capabilities, personalization features, and integration with Google Cloud Platform (GCP), a Braze Alloys tech partner. This switch unlocked a wealth of opportunity.

Using Customer Data to Power a Time-Sensitive Engagement Campaign

With Scottie Pippen coming to Australia as the official season launch ambassador of the NBL, the league wanted to connect with fans by offering exclusive, premium meet and greet opportunities with the basketball legend. With a short turnaround time and more traditional marketing efforts not making a dent in sales, the NBL decided to pivot to targeting event goers and people willing to spend money on VIP events.

As a secondary goal, the marketing team also wanted to capitalize on Scottie Pippen’s ambassadorship by hosting a competition to win one of his signed Chicago Bulls jerseys. The audience for this content would be entirely different—die-hard basketball fans who weren’t already part of the NBL database.

The NBL marketing team began by passing their existing GCP user data, which included lifestyle segments and other customer attributes, over to Braze to create user segments and messaging relevant to those segments. From there, they used Braze Audience Sync, which dynamically and securely syncs owned data from Braze into popular advertising platforms, to export an audience directly into Meta Ads Manager. This allowed the NBL to create more targeted and relevant ad sets by combining first-party customer data in Braze with interests native to Meta Ads Manager. For the acquisition competition, they excluded any fans with a known email address from receiving ads to save on ad spend and acquire fans who weren’t already in the NBL database.

From beginning to end, campaign development required 25 hours of the team’s time, which included building relevant ticketing and competition landing pages, visual creative, copywriting, etc. The Braze component took the least amount of time, clocking in at around 20 minutes.

The National Basketball League’s Results: More Efficient Ad Spend, More Profit

With Braze, the team was able to quickly and successfully pivot from their existing campaign strategy to sell out every ticket for the Scottie Pippen campaign events. They were also able to increase the efficiency of their ad spend by targeting more fitting and appropriate audiences, a strategy that continues to maximize profit as they launch more campaigns.

Braze has helped the NBL improve its efficiency and effectiveness when communicating with fans. As the NBL learns more about each individual fan’s preferences, Braze is allowing us to provide an increasingly personalized experience across our digital products.

Ben Jenkins
Executive General Manager Marketing, National Basketball League

Key takeaways:

  • Find tools that let you do more with less. With Braze and the Braze Alloys partner ecosystem, the National Basketball League was able to quickly and easily change strategies, standing up a campaign that drove profit. All in all, they were able to maximize the effectiveness of both time and money spent.

  • Reach the right audience with the right messaging. The NBL had two defined goals—selling out tickets to their events and increasing user opt-in. They were able to achieve both goals by thoughtfully using customer data to create defined audiences, and then speak to those audiences.