The tipoff of the National Basketball Association Playoffs Monday also marks the tipoff of a multiyear marketing platform making DoorDash the official on-demand delivery platform of the NBA, the Women’s National Basketball Association and the NBA 2K League.
DoorDash vice president of marketing Kofi Amoo-Gottfried said in an interview, “There are a number of reasons why this makes sense. It’s a connection with a passion point. There are millions of fans of these leagues. Watching sports goes with eating.”
DoorDash is also tipping off new social media campaign #PlayItForward Challenge, aimed at uniting communities and encouraging fans to support Black-owned restaurants.
As part of the #PlayItForward Challenge, DoorDash will donate $1 for every order placed from a Black-owned restaurant via its platform through the end of August, up to $100,000, to the National Urban League.
DoorDash will also charge no delivery fees on orders from Black-owned restaurants that are merchant partners through the end of the year. The company said hundreds of independent Black-owned restaurants opted into its program and are searchable via the “Black owned” keyword.
In partnership with the National Basketball Players Association, the #PlayItForward Challenge tipped off on social media with support from NBA players including Bradley Beal, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Aaron Gordon, Jrue Holiday, C.J. McCollum, Donovan Mitchell, Ja Morant, Jamal Murray and Dennis Schröder.
Amoo-Gottfried said DoorDash has always been focused on enabling local businesses and local communities, and the #PlayItForward Challenge will encourage people to support Black-owned restaurants with the help of players from around the league.
On the eSports side, DoorDash is the first-ever presenting partner of the NBA 2K League Playoffs and Finals, with the 2020 NBA 2K League Playoffs Delivered by DoorDash set to tip off Thursday, Aug. 20, wrapping up with the 2020 NBA 2K League Finals Delivered by DoorDash Saturday, Aug. 29.
DoorDash and the NBA 2K League will team up on in-game activations and custom integrations and features.
Exclusive offerings will be provided during NBA, WNBA and NBA 2K League games in the U.S. and Canada, and DoorDash will also become an associate partner in marquee events during the next NBA All-Star Weekend.
DoorDash debuted multiplatform ad campaign Food Is Life Monday, across television, digital and social media.
The company said the campaign merges authentic fan footage with “attention-grabbing graphics,” highlighting the variety of food available via DoorDash and the feelings evoked by the NBA’s greatest moments.
Amoo-Gottfried said the ad was created by DoorDash’s in-house creative team.
He added, “We wanted to shine a light on players and their favorite restaurants. Any business is the lifeblood of its community. Without these merchants, we don’t have a business. We have always seen that as a responsibility.”
DoorDash co-founder and CEO Tony Xu said in a statement, “Growing up in Illinois as an avid basketball fan, I have always loved the sport and the joy it brings to communities. We are so proud to be the inaugural on-demand food platform partner for the NBA, an innovative and dynamic league. This partnership will bring together food, sports, culture and technology to create memorable experiences for fans, while at the same time advancing our shared values of diversity, access and empowering local communities.”
NBA senior vice president and head of media and business development Dan Rossomondo added, “This new partnership is a timely first for us, as DoorDash is uniquely positioned to amplify our efforts to engage with fans who are watching games from their homes, while also stepping up to support the Black-owned businesses in their communities—a key priority and area of focus across our leagues.”