February 28, 2017

JayRay and Boys & Girls Club Team Up for Opening of Isaiah Thomas Court

Dozens of teens gasped in delight as they entered the new gym Feb. 10 to discover a smiling Isaiah Thomas, NBA player and Tacoma native. Together they celebrated the unveiling of Isaiah Thomas Court at the Al Davies Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound (BGCSPS).
BGCSPS leaders selected JayRay to manage media relations and social media for the gym’s ribbon-cutting event, to attract coverage despite the need to keep the identity of the celebrity guest a secret.
“JayRay had a smart media relations plan that helped us get great visibility for the event and for the club. They were a valuable resource so I could focus on other details for that day,” said Jinnie Horan, BGCSPS director of marketing and communications.

JayRay sent dozens of tweets during the event and streamed the ceremony live on Facebook. Results include: 
  • More than 6,480 engagements on Twitter, including retweets by Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics; the top three tweets combined for 118,973 impressions 
  • 2,770 organic views of the Facebook Live video; the post reached 6,870 people and had 424 reactions, comments and shares
Print and broadcast reporters attended the Friday afternoon event, yielding coverage in The News Tribune, Seattle Times, KING TV, South Sound Magazine and the Boston Globe.

The $150,000 gym will help the Al Davies Branch serve twice as many teens in Tacoma’s Hilltop community. Thomas often visited the branch as a teen and continues to be involved today.

“Not being able to reveal Isaiah Thomas’ participation in advance meant we had to be scrappy. Our social team did a terrific job of leveraging every available asset to tell a good-news story that illustrates what the club does for kids on our community. It created a lot of excitement around our office, too,” said Kathleen Deakins, JayRay president.

Thomas was the gym’s primary donor. Other funds came from a Lowe’s grant and the National Basketball Players Association Foundation. Thomas also had a hand in the gym’s decorations: Banners from his “Pick Me Last Again” campaign with Nike and jerseys from his time at University of Washington, Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics and his two NBA All-Star game appearances.