How Spalding Has Undergone a Digital Transformation

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Like Chris Paul, they want to make sure other athletes are ‘Always Ready’


Kenyatta Bynoe had a fair set of challenges ahead of her when she was heralded VP of global brand marketing at Spalding last year.

She was spearheading the messaging of a brand that was strong with its awareness with young consumers, but lacked the requisite oomph on the engagement front to continually stay relevant. Digital content was barely existent, and much of the brand’s marketing efforts relied upon their partnership with the NBA.

“It starts with being present where they are. We have a laser focus on engagement. We want to have continuity across all consumer touch points and be consistent to who we are as a brand. Consumers tend to engage when you are relevant and believable.”

To enhance those efforts, Bynoe inked NBA stars Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, and DeMar DeRozan to the brand, bringing recognizable faces to Spalding clinics and digital content that would bring a buzz to attract the younger demographic. Along with a team of stars, Bynoe christened the ‘True Believers’ campaign which sets out to, “evoke the inner confidence that lives within every athlete.”

This particular piece features Paul, a heady and meticulous point guard whizzing his way across the court, lending voice to how hard work is the genesis of being clutch and a “true believer.” That sentiment falls right in line with how Bynoe is electing to market both the Spalding brand and their product line.

“A deep product story gets into what makes our basketball equipment unique and how it can be used as a tool to make your game unique.”

As “Always Ready” outlines, the work that goes into the game can sometimes be overlooked. The hours upon hours of spent in an empty gym with nothing but a net, a backboard, and a Spalding basketball is what separates the good from the elite players. Ultimately, that is where the true believers are born, and Spalding surely wants to be an integral part of that process.


They have overhauled their website, hinging on the idea that they can help an up and coming player improve their game with their products. It’s a smart bet, and works in cohesion with their ethos as a marketing team.

“We want to be associated with the work that goes into the game of basketball rather than the hype that surrounds it.”

This piece has been presented to you by SMU’s Master of Science in Sport Management.

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