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Phoenix Suns See Big Numbers As They Play Out Season On Twitch

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

With the world of sports postponed amid the Covid-19 response, many teams begged the question: “What now?” Amid the uncertainty, the Phoenix Suns seem to have found a great way to keep fans engaged and the spirit of the NBA alive, by playing the rest of their season in NBA 2K and streaming it on Twitch.

In an article by Front Office Sports, The Phoenix Suns’ marketing team began to brainstorm ideas of how to move forward, as soon as news released that the NBA season would be cut short. The team then came up with the fantastic idea to simulate the rest of the season’s games on NBA 2K, streamed on Twitch.

“[Social Media Senior Manager Allison Harissis] and the social team thought beyond traditional broadcast and what are other ways to give to fans,” said Suns’ Chief of Marketing, Dean Stoyer. “We knew the sports world would take a timeout and how do we give everyone a way to continue to enjoy sports the best way.” The team decided that Twitch would be a great avenue to reach fans, as it was an under-utilized tool and could help foster more positive conversations compared to what was occurring on other platforms.

In their debut stream, set to mimic their scheduled game against the Dallas Mavericks, the Suns’ Twitch stream reportedly drew in 221,000 views, including 126,000 unique viewers. The Suns Twitch page also went from 0 followers on Friday to 4,867 as of Tuesday. 

“The results of the first Twitch stream have changed the conversation within the organization for the current and future context of how do we insert that into our overall strategy?” Harissis said. Through this learning experience, Harissis and Stoyer are reportedly looking for additional ways to add value to this new endeavor. “That’s what we’re trying to explore,” Stoyer said. “We entered new territory and are looking at monetization, broader engagement, and partner integration. Those are the next steps.”

What do you think about this new idea for continuing sports for fans? Should Sacramento and other organizations follow suit?

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