Following the example of their club's superstars on the court, Anadolu Efes Istanbul's off-the-court team has become a title-winner, too, taking the Golden Devotion Award at this year's Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Marketing Directors Workshop on Tuesday. Efes was rewarded for its #TakeAction project, an initiative against environmental degradation.
Climate change action sees Efes win Gold Marketing award
The project saw Efes launch a significant reforestation program, involving the club's players, supporters and partner +1. A number of activities included the team wearing special playing uniforms depicting the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with the club committing to planting trees in line with the team's success on the court under the motto 'Each Point Means +1Tree'.
New attendance records in the post-pandemic period, especially during the playoffs, allowed Efes to reach even more fans with the project, boosted by online and offline activations to further increase engagement.
Ultimately 10 seed balls were donated for each of the 39,261 fans who watched three EuroLeague games at Sinan Erdem Dome, and more seed balls were donated on behalf of other Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and 7DAYS EuroCup teams who supported the campaign on social media, taking the final total to 579,390 seed balls – enough to reforest an area the size of 600 basketballs courts.
The club also worked alongside partner Wilo to raise awareness about the importance of clean water resources, with the team wearing a specially designed playing uniform for the game against Real Madrid on March 22, World Water Day.
The Silver Devotion Award was taken by 2019's gold-medallist, Zalgiris Kaunas, for its project: 'Brand Monetization: Zalgiris Kaunas Licensed Product Family'.
Recognizing the significance of a business area that can generate additional income, Zalgiris developed a form of partnership that allows a manufacturer to add exclusive Zalgiris branding to its product range.
The business plan generates three-way income for the club: for the license, with a fixed monthly fee for the right to use the trademark; through sales, with a monthly success fee per product sold; and through advertisement, with revenue coming via sales arising from promotional campaigns.
The initiative included a wide range of Zalgiris licensed products, such as mineral water, cookies, chocolate, bread, detergent, watches, milk products, sandwiches, beer, nuts, potato chips, ice cream and cosmetics, along with a non-conventional product: Zalgiris Electricity.
The project objective, to find ways for the team logo to contribute to sales, proved a resounding success, with more than 31 million units of licensed products sold, providing 2.46% of the team's budget.
The Bronze Devotion Award was won by Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade for its 'We Are Growing Together' project.
With the goal of building a young fanbase, the project focused on educating fans about the club's history through exclusively created short-form digital content. On gamedays, Zvezda also implemented a 'Junior Stand', working with club partner IDEA to upgrade this area for young fans, paying extra attention to them and making sure they never left the arena empty-handed.
The club also organized several group visits, with children from all parts of Serbia invited to attend games, where they could enjoy activities such as 3D floor-mapping, music stages, DJ performances, a robot show, skill challenges, partner activations and giveaways. Further community engagement took place with the organization of various events, including e-sports tournaments, the ANGT youth tournament, One Team activities and sports conferences at universities.
Euroleague Basketball congratulates the three winning clubs and the many other clubs who also carried out excellent marketing projects during the season.