Ronnie Singh, better known as Ronnie2K, started as a forum moderator and over a 15 year career at 2K Games and has become the de facto face of the NBA2K franchise.
It's Ronnie's job to create content around and promote 2K titles, engage with and cultivate the 2K community, and continue to bring the culture into 2K. Whether it's bringing in the latest hit songs, scanning celebrities into the game, or bringing fashion to the city-mode of NBA2K, Ronnie has a hand in it all.
Jason met Ronnie during his time at 2K Games, the publishers behind Borderlands and the 2nd biggest sports title in the world, NBA2K, where Jason worked as a video editor and production specialist where they collaborated on 2K-related media. Ronnie recognized an understanding of culture, marketing knowledge, and an expertise in content creation that drew him to Jason. While at 2K Ronnie asked Jason to work for him as a content creator and brand manager, eventually Jason agreed although it was almost 2 years later.
The ask was simple: create more and more effective content around Ronnie.
A prerequisite focus on TikTok, quality Instagram posts, and elevated visuals were the specific asks related.
Jason first broke the ask down into a clear and actionable formula that he could review back to week over week. The idea was concise, create more elevated content that humanizes Ronnie.
For Jason, everything comes back to content, it's his bread and butter. In today's media driven world, tone and voice is the anchor throughout the content storm. In Jason and Ronnie's mind, the goal became to pump out as much quality content as possible.
For TikTok, Jason studied trends, wrote scripts, then shot 10-12 TikToks with Ronnie on a weekly basis to minimize Ronnie's time in yet maximize his TikTok growth.
Under Jason's strategy, in just 4 months, Ronnie's TikTok gained:
On Instagram, Jason focused on creating high quality and conversation starting posts around Ronnie's activities as well as big NBA2K related moments. Overall, Ronnie's Instagram saw a positive sentiment improvement, over 5m likes, and more engagement.
Twitter, unlike the TikTok and Instagram, did not perform as well when paired with visuals. Instead, Jason discovered that Twitter worked best as an announcement platform and as a place to engage in or inspire conversations among the 2K community.
Whether it's tweeting with NBA players about their in-game rating, commenting on live sports moments, or talking with fans of 2K, twitter is all about engagement and exclusivity. There's a "liveness" to Twitter that no other social media has, taking advantage of that is key.
Elevate the experience
When Ronnie dropped Soulja Boy off with the first copy on NBA2K22 it could have just been a picture of them together, instead, it became a viral TikTok that received tons of media coverage.
A release party usually includes a red carpet photo shoot which is what most non-attendees end up seeing, but why not make them part of the guest experience? Intimate photos of the biggest NBA stars in the world, funny interactions between Ronnie & Ben Simmons? You get it all.
New game announcements, funny interactions with celebrities, and sports commentary all perform great on Ronnie's Twitter, but Logo Show announcements time and time again deliver the best engagement. Arguments between who should receive a logo, vouches for candidates, and congratulations to winners all bring the fan in on the experience.
Another angle on demystifying Ronnie is helping him share his story. Did you know he was a law student before it was his job to be famous? What did it take to get to where he is today? When Ronnie gave a commencement speech at his alma mater, Jason used this as an opportunity to share some of Ronnie's mindset and history in an organic way.
Even after explaining Ronnie's job, it can be hard to understand. For instance, how do you explain that for him, logging on to Instagram and responding to direct messages is productive and helpful to business objectives? Well hopefully this TikTok, and others like it, explain.
for specific needs.
Drive 2K's relevancy
Jason found discovered that content showing multiple copies of NBA2K performed extraordinarily well. Once Jason and Ronnie realized that people wanted to see lots of copies, this multi-platform piece was made.
One of the biggest times of the year for 2K and Ronnie's social metrics is the pre-launch window. The community is excited and desperate for content related to the game. As a result, a simple and hyped up TikTok perform great.
In 2021, a common TikTok metrics hack was all about using trending sounds. The sound in the below TikTok was tending and used as background for an above average production value asset, this clip performed incredibly.
In many ways, Instagram is Ronnie's biggest platform! It serves as his official channel for announcements, 2K happenings, and life updates. Below are the top 6 performing posts that Jason and Ronnie created.
In August of 2021, Jason was notified that in 4 days that Ronnie would be featured on one of the world's largest video billboards and that a graphic was needed.
On a vacation, Jason whipped up a looping billboard of Ronnie featuring high-res images of him, custom flame and basketball overlays, all with a specific color treatment.
Just a few days later, Jason landed in Las Vegas and actually saw the billboard from the sky, which can be see in the video here.
Resorts World Las Vegas played the graphic in a mix of other media for 2 days while Ronnie and Jason visited Las Vegas.
VFX for elevation
A key change if not the most noticeable since Jason began working with Ronnie is the usage of visual effects (VFX). NBA2K is a highly technical game where every NBA player is scanned into the game, linked up with motion capture data, then controlled by an advanced AI system. As a result, creating content around such an advanced game without shooting high budget commercials or using in game footage is challenging, this is where VFX come in handy.
Jason highly skilled in 3D animation from modeling and animation to blocking and lighting. This, in conjunction with his feature film experience as a compositor, allows him to do meticulous and high quality work or quick and dirty effects in a pinch.
Whether animating and compositing a parrot that "trash talks," simulating over 500,000 copies of NBA2K raining down from the sky, or green-screening the entirety of a commercial spot for the Apple Arcade edition of NBA2K, Jason has done it.
To help promote the launch of NBA2K22's Apple Arcade Edition, Jason pitched Ronnie a simple concept for a commercial.
"You are in the park, in the grocery store, at the dentist and you're sad. Why? Because you can't play 2K. Now though, with Apple Arcade Edition, you can."
Ronnie bought in and they shot the entirety of the spot on green-screen. All of the footage used was licensed stock footage that, for the most part, was selected before the shoot. You can watch the full spot on YouTube or the green-screen before and after here.
While posting as many pieces of content despite quality is a common strategy, Jason always maintained a certain level of quality even in "spammy" posts. However, from time to time, Jason and Ronnie elevated things past the normal social media video.
From renting higher quality gear, to hiring crew, and working with other celebrities on a scripted video were things that Jason and Ronnie did to raise the bar beyond the normal social video.
On the far left, a high quality montage of Ronnie was shot to promote a recent song that actually shouted Ronnie out.
In another video, Ronnie is presumed to be so bad at basketball (even though he's surprisingly good) that he needs not 1, but 2 professional shooting coaches.
Around Christmas time, Jason coordinated with a few influencers to create a fun, holiday themed, video about playing 2K.
Ronnie, Austin Mills and Tommy Unold all hung out for the latter half of a day and filmed a spot showing Ronnie beating Austin in 2K then losing to Austin in IRL basketball.
2K Live Replay.
the game with
A unique angle
Jason saw it as an opportunity to engage in fan discussion beyond the replays themselves: asking fans for their input on a play, using Ronnie's Twitter to make live commentary, and sharing Twitter polls.
For the first 5 games of the NBA 2021-2022 season Jason pitched the idea of "2K Live Replay," a Twitter series where Ronnie would tweet out live 2K replays of a specific play to show off the realism of NBA2K22.
The way it would work is simple: a team of capture artists would have the live NBA game setup in 2K, when a great play happens they'd recreate it, an editor would cut it together, then Ronnie would post it minutes after it happened in real time.
The idea was approved and met with great reception. Fans were shocked and confused by the speed of the replay, non-2K fans were amazed with the image quality of the replay, and several large media companies re-posted the replays.
The following morning, Ronnie would wake up to a script summarizing last night's games. Ronnie would edit the script to be fully in line with his views, he'd record it, then send it back for a quick edit, then a near immediate release on his platforms. This project boosted social metrics and further inserted 2K into the NBA.