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DoorDash Draws Up New Plays To Leverage Sports Comeback

Parents and child sitting on couch cheering while watching TV

When it comes to the future of athletic events, the interplay of social distancing restrictions caused by COVID and sports watching habits indicates that some big changes are on the horizon. As sports brands adapt to this new reality, they could be preparing themselves for future success.

DoorDash – the on-demand prepared food delivery service has taken this to heart by scoring a multiyear marketing partnership with the National Basketball Association that gives the delivery brand exposure during games played by the NBA, the WNBA and the NBA 2K League.

The deal kicks in with the start of the NBA Playoffs and just weeks after the NBA resumed the 2019-20 season in its so-called “bubble” in Orlando where there are players and staff, but no fans on site. It makes DoorDash the first brand to hold the title of Official On-Demand Delivery Platform of the league, a designation that could help the delivery brand—which calls itself “the nation’s leading last-mile logistics platform”—as it competes against the likes of Grubhub, Postmates and UberEats vying to get orders from people watching the games.

Restaurant delivery platforms have gotten more attention during the coronavirus pandemic while restaurant dining rooms are closed and as diners stuck at home look for meals that they don’t have to cook. In early July, Uber announced its play to buy Postmates, a deal that came weeks after Just Eat Takeaway in June unveiled its plan to buy Grubhub.

DoorDash is out with a new “Food Is Life” spot playing up the NBA pact that features fan footage merged with graphics. The spot, set to run on TV, digital and social, shows off a variety of the foods available on DoorDash and a mix of NBA teams.

DoorDash is also launching a #PlayItForward social media challenge as part of its efforts to push people to support Black-owned restaurants. DoorDash introduced the challenge, in partnership with the National Basketball Players Association, with social media messages from NBA players including Ja Morant.

But it’s not all burgers & fries, recently Walgreens and DoorDash, announced a new collaboration to offer on-demand delivery to customers in select cities with plans to expand to markets throughout the country. Today, customers in the Chicago, Atlanta and Denver areas can order on-demand delivery from Walgreens through the DoorDash app and website, selecting from an assortment of more than 2,300 convenience, health and wellness items. By the end of summer 2020, Walgreens and DoorDash plan to offer more than 5,000 items for delivery on the DoorDash platform, and will expand the service to other major markets starting with Cincinnati, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Sacramento and Seattle .

The changing circumstances of COVID, demand shifts in strategies for all industries, especially restaurants and bars. The future is decidedly digital, so brands are better served to consider this when developing advertising campaigns and marketing strategies in the near future.

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