Black Fives Foundation
Consulting & Social Listening
One of or our clients is the Black Fives Foundation. For those that don’t know, the term “Black Fives” refers to a group of five basketball players on the court before the integration of the NBA in 1950. These all African American teams pre-NBA were often sponsored by black churches, athletic clubs, social clubs, businesses and newspapers. We work directly with the Executive Director of the Black Fives Foundation, Claude Johnson, who is responsible for preserving this amazing piece of American history. His primary focus is to “research, preserve, showcase, and teach” the pre-1950s history of African-Americans in basketball.
One of the biggest challenges that the Black Fives Foundation faces is that many people don’t even know that this history exists. While Claude has partnered with various NBA teams over the years, including the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, and New York Knicks, the Oklahoma City Thunder were the first NBA team to bring him in to present to its players. For Black History Month, Thunder general manager Sam Presti invited Johnson to speak to the Thunder players after practice on Jan. 21. In addition to meeting with the players, Johnson spoke with the Thunder business and basketball operations staff members. This presentation was also documented by the team, cut into short videos, and used during the in-game presentation to OKC fans on the jumbotron. The story was subsequently picked up by both local and national media.
We were able to use Brand 24 to monitor social media and the reach of the event. While it would be expected to see a spike in mentions and reach for the Black Fives Foundation. We were able to monitor the Oklahoma City Thunder as well. We also noticed a significant spike in their mentions and reach on the exact same days the story ran in the media, which helped to prove that the programming was beneficial to both parties. This information is invaluable for an organization like the Black Fives, which relies heavily on donations from corporate sponsors to raise funds.