Hennessy x NBA
Courts Beyond Limits



When: June 2022
Where: Butler’s Wharf Pier
Vessels used: Bravo Lima GB; Dixie Queen; Equity; Lima Lima I

A mammoth, multifaceted brand activation for Hennessy and the NBA saw basketball come to the heart of London in another amazing first for the River Thames.

Here’s how we helped make it happen…


Video courtesy of Maritime Filming


Creative & Communications agency Hue & Cry were the primary client for this truly memorable project on behalf of Hennessy. The aim behind the Courts Beyond Limits campaign was to celebrate the NBA’s 75th anniversary season and raise awareness among British audiences of the Cognac brand’s status as The Spirit of the NBA.

The scope of the event was grand, but as the unrivalled experts in PR stunts and brand activations on the River Thames, we couldn’t wait to rise to the challenge.

Timed to coincide with the 2022 NBA Finals, the activation sought to grab global headlines over a four-day series of digital and real-world events. Central to this was a floating basketball court – a first for the River Thames – which hosted celebrities and exhibition matches.

There were also several fan engagement and live events, including a performance from rap superstar AJ Tracey whilst the court was docked Butler’s Wharf Pier.

Just like on the basketball court, teamwork was key to success. We worked with VolkerMarine Services, who provided the modular pontoons needed to build the platform, with Star Events then building the court itself.

One of the many unique aspects about this project was how the court was made to measure; the team at Star Events built a bespoke frame over the modular barges, before laying the court above it.

Bravo Lima GB, Equity and Lima Lima I were all engaged in roles as camera boats and safety boats, whilst Dixie Queen was also used as a luxurious extended event space.

One of our many key tasks was to ensure this large-scale brand activation was achievable at every stage. From securing permissions from the PLA, engaging with all stakeholders throughout months of meticulous planning, coordinating marine activity and much more, our decades of experience came to the fore.

Much to the delight of ourselves and the client, Courts Beyond Limits was a slam dunk success, going on to win at The Drum Awards for Experience in the sponsorship activation/event category. Press coverage included more than 50 published news articles worldwide, and more than 500 social media posts with a combined audience reach of 137m.

In 2018 we created the first floating football stadium on the Thames, and in 2022 we welcomed basketball to the river. We can’t wait to see what sport will get the Thames treatment next!


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