Putting up All-Star Numbers

Our Rakuten NBA All-Star Weekend pop-up drew crowds in Chicago and on social.

Multiple cameras are setup to record people in the cash machine
White-colored basketballs dangle from the ceiling like ornaments

Experience Design
Sensorial Technology
Connected Activations
Behavioral Intelligence
Purposeful Partnerships

The shopping portal elevated its game.
NBA fans recognized the Rakuten name… but they didn’t understand what Rakuten does.

Only six weeks from NBA All-Star Weekend, Rakuten brought in GMR to help change that. We transformed a building in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, aligned the brand with the vibrant culture of the NBA—and connected with millions of shoppers on social.

the story we made

A consumer inside of the money machine holds money in her right hand.
“It’s money in here”​

At every touch point, the house drove home exactly what Rakuten delivers: cash back. Guests registered for Rakuten’s award system upon arrival. At stations throughout the house, guests could earn cash instantly.

young, black woman smiles as she dunks a white-color basketball through a hoop at NBA All-Star Weekend
Built to be shared​

The goal of Rakuten House wasn’t just to make a splash in Chicago. It was filled with playful, discoverable, Instagrammable spaces that were just begging to be shot and shared.

A speaker with colorful shoes looks out at the audience and explains Rakuten House
The fans go wild

We attracted crowds with a Zach LaVine meet-and-greet, watch party, Rakuten employee party, and live “master classes” hosted by influencers twice a day.

Elise Swopes, an influencer on Instagram, wears a soft pink blazer over a pink shirt. She is smiling and having fun

How We Built It
An incredible architectural comeback

The space began as a completely barren former restaurant with exposed studs. We relocated the front door, changed the façade, erected walls, built all the installations and created all of the graphics.

Former restaurant with exposed pillars and a glass window garage door Redesigned space branded for Rakuten
The right game plan for social

GMR enlisted influencers at the crossroads of hoops, creativity and culture, and got over 2.5 times more content than we’d even asked for. All weekend long, legit all-stars drew attention to the House.



of registered guests completed the shopping experience


of registered guests participated in the Cash Cam


social impressions from influencers alone


total impressions on social

The House generated over $404k in earned media.

It took a wide range of skills to execute a project of this complexity.

Influencer marketing

Graphic & environmental design

UX & digital design  

Partnership & sponsorship strategy 

Partnership relationship management 

Marks & rights management 

Data capture & lead generation  

Sweepstakes administration 

Experiential fabrication & on-site installation 

Staffing & training 

Social strategy & content amplification  

And many more