Influencers, creators to occupy Helium space for All-Star Weekend

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More than 100 content creators and influencers will have access to an invitation-only space inside Helium Comedy Club in downtown Indianapolis as part of NBA All-Star Weekend.

Known as NBA House, the 9,000-square-foot club at the northwest corner of Meridian and Georgia streets will be fully taken over by the league for the entire weekend, Feb. 16-18.

It will feature a lounge, creative space, a gaming area, meeting rooms and a small stage to accommodate pop-up music performances. The space, league officials said, is meant to help influencers “authentically create” in conjunction with major events during the weekend—whether they’re participating in events on the courts at Gainbridge Fieldhouse or Lucas Oil Stadium, exploring downtown or spending time at NBA Crossover.

The NBA wants the venue to “serve as a hub for [influencers] to create content,” said Tammy Henault, chief marketing officer for the league, adding that it will give creators a space to network and learn more about best practices and business strategy.

The league has invited more than 150 creators to use the space, a mix of those with whom it already works year-round to share content and others who have been invited to showcase All-Star events across social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube. Some of the content will also be featured on various NBA platforms, including its official mobile app.

In addition to access to the space, the creators will also be given behind-the-scenes access to events during the weekend to share with followers.

Henault said the space will allow influencers to collaborate and meet with each other, as well as celebrities and any power players who come through.

“It’s really a home base, if you will … but we’ll definitely be leveraging the space and bringing through a lot of different types of attendees and audiences over the course of the weekend,” she said.

Indiana Pacers player Myles Turner is expected to showcase his interest in Legos by asking participants join him in building a special Legos structure. Chet Holmgren of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Basketball Hall of Fame player Pau Gasol will also spend time in the space, as will other undisclosed league legends and pop culture celebrities.

The space will feature a showcase of up-and-coming music artists associated with the Roc Nation label, including Eric Bellinger, HDBeenDope, KalanFrFr, KenTheMan and Maeta. It will also feature work from artists attending Historically Black Colleges & Universities, as well as digital artwork, custom portraits and international works curated by the NBA.

The NBA House first debuted as part of the 2021 NBA Finals and joined the All-Star lineup in Salt Lake City last year.

Henault said creators and influencers will have full creative control over their content, and the space is designed to help the league tap into new audiences and bring additional interest to professional basketball.

“With tentpole moments like this, it’s a way to amplify the megaphones that they have with their audiences, to deepen engagement,” she said. “So, we see the investment in the creator community as helping extend our reach and scale to different audiences, particularly … amongst youth and Gen Z.

“It helps bring our fans closer to the game at the end of the day, so it’s [about] the earned media value. It’s the conversation, it’s inserting cultural memes and moments that just come organically through the creator community.”

Helium opened its Indianapolis location in March 2019 and will resume normal operation after All-Star Weekend, with three nights of performances by comedian Dusty Slay from Feb. 22-24.

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