NBA Restart

National Basketball Association

Amid the Pandemic, Helping the NBA Get Back to Playing Basketball

The Mission

As the United States began to confront COVID-19, a single day seemed to change everything.

With a flurry of news, March 11 drove home the emerging crisis like few previous days had. The World Health Organization declared a global pandemic. The NCAA announced that the popular March Madness basketball tournaments would be played without fans. And then, within one hour that evening, Tom Hanks revealed that he and his wife had tested positive, President Trump announced a ban on travel from Europe, and the NBA officially suspended its season.

Four long months later, basketball finally found a way to return, as the NBA restarted games in the “bubble” — with players and coaches quarantined at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Florida. Before players took the court, though, the league teamed up with Reingold to help communicate the importance of following health and safety protocols to make the restarted season a success.

The Results

Before the games resumed on July 30, players, coaches, and other team personnel logged onto the NBA’s e-training platform to watch short videos about how to say healthy and help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Reingold helped write, design, and produce eight animated videos for the NBA and, later, an additional eight videos for the WNBA. These videos included tips for playing safely on the court, reminded personnel about staying healthy off the court, and communicated the league’s expectations for practices, meals, and other interactions in the bubble.

The league’s bubble approach worked: Over 74 days, from July 30 to October 11, the NBA finished its season, held playoffs, and crowned a champion without a single player testing positive for COVID-19.

Meeting the Moment

Reingold worked on an accelerated timeline to help the NBA resume its season quickly and safely.

We assisted with scripting, recorded voice-over narration by NBA announcers, and led the design, animation, and production efforts. Building on the NBA’s established look and feel allowed us to develop a suite of videos quickly. And after finalizing the initial eight videos, we shifted the branding and made subtle adjustments to the design to produce a second set of videos for WNBA players and other personnel.

Reingold designed the videos to communicate a sense of energy and excitement and engage the audience. The videos featured constant movement, dynamic types, and animated textures, and key words appeared animated on-screen as they were spoken in the voice-over.