FX Activates a ‘Courtside Club’ Exhibit to Highlight One of the Biggest Scandals in Sports

exhibit 2024_ Credit Cody Marquez Courtesy_ FX Networks_2

Experiential venue SRGN Studios was the setting for the Courtside Club experience.

When you’re resurrecting one of the biggest scandals in sports history, it’s a “go big or go home” kind of moment. And that was FX’s approach when it unveiled a “Courtside Club” fan exhibit to bring to life the real events behind its limited series “Clipped” about disgraced NBA team owner Donald Sterling.

The free experience activated on June 1 was hosted at SRGN Studios in Los Angeles, which boasts a regulation-size basketball court and ample space for FX to implement large-scale storytelling. And what a story it is. “Clipped,” which is based on ESPN’s podcast The Sterling Affairs, goes behind the scenes of the infamous leaked tape on which Sterling, then the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was heard making racist comments to his mistress at the time, V. Stiviano. He was ultimately forced to sell the team and banned from the NBA for life, which many fans believe solidified the “Clippers Curse.”

fx-sdcc-2022-labyrinth-teaserMore from FX’s Event Portfolio:

For FX, the challenge of the activation was to give Courtside Club attendees enough information about the scandal to attract their viewership, but avoid giving the whole story away. And to ensure it attracted an audience that was of age, and likely interested in, the Sterling scandal when it broke in 2014, the brand targeted a subset of its primary audience in the 18-49 age range.

Consumers over the age of 18 who stopped by the Courtside Club were invited to take a sensory journey that detailed “Clipped” through audiovisual storytelling tactics, like a larger-than-life news ticker, on-court projection-mapping and the chance to hear reproduced audio featuring snippets of the leaked tape. There was also a throne photo op with a backdrop of visors in a nod to Stiviano’s notorious visor moment.

FX Clipped exhibit 2024_ Credit Cody Marquez Courtesy_ FX Networks_5

Attendees took a storytelling-driven journey, powered by a/v effects, through the “Clipped” scandal.

After touring the exhibit, attendees could engage with ancillary touchpoints that fused basketball, food, music and the L.A. lifestyle together. Among them: a dj spinning tracks, an interactive on-the-court experience, a courtside photo op and exclusive show-inspired merch.

“When we got the news that we were going to get ‘Clipped,’ our goal was to create an experience that was able to highlight the scandal that’s at the heart of the series,” says Kenya Hardaway, svp-integrated promotions at FX. “We wanted to find an engaging way that we could get our audience buzzing about the moments that contributed to Donald Sterling’s downfall, and in doing so, be able to remind them of everything that went down and entice them to watch the story unfold. It’s really complicated when you’re working on a true story because it’s so important to give the audience just enough information to essentially whet the appetite and have them interested in driving to the platform to watch the series.” Agencies: Game Seven Agency; The Offense.


More Scenes from the Courtside Club:

Photo credit: Cody Marquez; Natasha Campos/Getty Images for FX

Kait Shea
Posted by Kait Shea

Kait joined EM in 2015 and today enjoys her role as senior editor, digital content. When she’s not in reporter mode, rocking mermaid pants at Comic-Con or running laps at MWC Barcelona, you can find her at home listening to music.
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