Awards Categories

Digital & Social

Best Website or Mobile Experience

This award recognizes a digital destination that puts the fan at the heart of the experience. Judges will look for a website or mobile app that plays a critical role in driving results for the organization across sales, marketing, and more.

Best Real-Time Engagement

This award recognizes an organization for an outstanding interaction with fans on social media which was a direct response to a live game, current event, or cultural phenomenon.

Outstanding Use of Facebook

This award recognizes the most innovative and effective use of Facebook to engage an audience of connected fans and consumers. Judges will look for entries where the unique attributes of the platform helped achieve specific business goals.

Outstanding Use of Twitter

This award recognizes the most innovative and effective use of Twitter to engage an audience of connected fans and consumers. Judges will look for entries where the unique attributes of the platform helped achieve specific business goals.

Outstanding Use of Instagram

This award recognizes the most innovative and effective use of Instagram to engage an audience of connected fans and consumers. Judges will look for entries where the unique attributes of the platform helped achieve specific business goals.

Outstanding Use of Snapchat

This award recognizes the most innovative and effective use of Snapchat to engage an audience of connected fans and consumers. Judges will look for entries where the unique attributes of the platform helped achieve specific business goals.

Campaigns

Best Social Media Campaign

This award recognizes a campaign that involved the use of one or more social media platforms. Judges will be looking for viral and coordinated campaigns that generated fan/consumer conversation, connection—and results. Entries may be part of a multi-platform campaign but will be judged on engagement derived through social media.

Best Multi-Platform Campaign

This award recognizes campaigns that lived dynamically on two or more digital platforms. Judges will be looking for campaigns designed to reinforce messaging across multiple mediums to engage the limited attention spans of modern fans and consumers. Entries may be part of an integrated campaign but will be judged on results derived through digital platforms.

Best Integrated Campaign

This award recognizes campaigns that meld new media and traditional channels (out-of-home, PR, print, etc.) to create a unified and engaging message. The mix of marketing channels, strategy showcasing how content was enhanced across each platform, and engagement that drove measurable results are key factors judges will be looking for.

Breakthrough Sports Ad of the Year

This award recognizes the most creative and effective individual advertisement in or around sports. Judges will be looking for spots that broke the mold (and the internet). Engagement and results across all platforms will be considered.

Content

Best Original Content or Programming

This award recognizes the most unique and high-quality shows, series, films, or podcasts with which an audience is proven to have engaged. Judges will look for entries that reflect the publisher’s core values. Entries may not include the use or incorporation of a brand sponsor (see Best Branded Content or Series).

Best Branded Content or Series

This award recognizes content that is fused with a marketer’s product, brand, or message. Judges will be looking for video series, podcasts, or films that offer entertainment value and effectively amplify both the brand and publisher’s core values.

Best Athlete Storytelling

This award recognizes exceptional efforts of a publisher in telling stories through the lens of an athlete. Judges will look for entries that resonate with fans by sharing an athlete’s most personal stories and passions.

Best Fan-Generated Content

This award recognizes the most creative and effective use of user-generated content to engage a publisher or property’s fanbase. Judges will look for content in which the fan or the fan’s perspective is the focal point. Entries may also include co-creation with digital influencers.

Experience

Best Event-Based Activation

This award recognizes an innovative live experience, stunt, or activation built to engage fans on-site at a live sporting event. Judges will look for entries which boosted brand buzz and built long-term relationships with fans.

Best Connected Experience

This award recognizes an organization in or around sports that effectively integrated one or more digital technologies into a live activation or experience. Judges will focus on experiences that collected data for inspiring uses or generated direct response. Entries need not be tied to a sponsorship agreement.

Best Use of Immersive Media

This award recognizes an organization in or around sports that effectively used an emerging technology to actively engages fans’ senses. Entries most commonly utilize virtual, augmented, or mixed reality. Judges will be looking for content, campaigns, or experiences that were undoubtedly enhanced by the use of immersive media.

Best Engagement Through a Live Event

This award recognizes an organization for the most innovative and effective strategy used to drive real-time tune in or maintain viewership for live sports coverage or a sports-related event.

Best Use of Technology

This award recognizes an innovative approach to leveraging technology and/or data to provide personalized content or experiences and better connect with fans. Entries may relate to artificial intelligence, analytics, sports betting, in-venue tech, and more.

Best Activation to Reach Young Fans

This award recognizes an organization in or around sports that utilized a live activation or experience to engage Gen Z or Millennial fans. Judges will be looking for experiences that catered to short attention spans and generated social buzz among the target audience. Entries need not be tied to a sponsorship agreement.

Partnerships

Most Creative Partnership With an Athlete or Influencer

This award recognizes creative excellence from a sports property, publisher, or brand that integrated an athlete or sports influencer into content, campaigns, or experiences. The entry should detail how the athlete/influencer helped the entity better engage fans. Judges will be looking for partnerships that drove sales, views, or other measurable outcomes.

Most Creative Partnership Without an Athlete

This award recognizes creative excellence resulting from the collaborative effort of two or more organizations in or around sports. Judges will be looking for partnerships that drove sales, views, or other measurable outcomes. Entries may not include the integration of an athlete (See Most Creative Partnership With an Athlete).

Entertainment

Best Engagement Through Esports & Gaming

This award recognizes the most effective use of esports and/or gaming to build deeper relationships with fans and leverage the enthusiasm of its audience. Entries may include partnerships, events, content, and other media forms.

Best Use of Culture, Music, or Entertainment

This award recognizes the most creative integration of popular culture into sports content, experiences, or campaigns. Entries may utilize music, comedy, celebrities, film, or broader entertainment to highlight the increasing convergence of sports with popular culture and the importance of such in engaging young audiences.

Good

Best Engagement for Good

This award recognizes one or more organizations that have demonstrated excellence in championing engagement which has a positive impact on individuals or society. Judges will examine how resources were deployed across content, campaigns, or experiences to create long-lasting results. Entries may relate to social activism, community work, diversity & inclusion, and more.

Athletes & Creators*

*Not eligible for paid entry. Finalists will be selected by a Nominating Committee of expert press.

Best Male Athlete on Social Media

This award recognizes the male athlete who best demonstrated excellence in building relationships with his fans through social media in the past calendar year. Judges will be looking for individuals who consistently excel across all platforms in producing inspiring, entertaining, and creative content and generating fan interaction.

Best Female Athlete on Social Media

This award recognizes the female athlete who best demonstrated excellence in building relationships with her fans through social media in the past calendar year. Judges will be looking for individuals who consistently excel across all platforms in producing inspiring, entertaining, and creative content and generating fan interaction.

Best Creator

This award recognizes the online influencer or creator (non-athlete) who best utilizes digital video content and platforms to build authentic audience relationships. Judges will look for creators whose content reflects the tastes and passions of his/her fans.

Best Social Highlight Star

This award recognizes an individual whose athletic performance has translated into viral social success. Judges will be looking for nominees whose performance has inspired shareable memes, GIFs, and short highlight clips that entertain fans. Nominees may include athletes or trick shot artists.

Best Parody or Comedy Account

This award recognizes a comedic account on social media that has demonstrated excellence in audience engagement through sports. Nominees may include parody accounts of athletes or sports personalities, team mascots, and/or other unique/creative uses of comedy.

Best Streamer

This award recognizes the best use of live streaming by an individual to connect with fans in real-time. Judges will look for streamers who are consistent, creative, and extraordinarily engaging.

Best Original Show or Series

This award recognizes the most engaging digital content starring or hosted by an athlete or influencer. Judges will be looking for unique and quality shows or series with which an audience is proven to have engaged.

Best Sports Podcast

This award recognizes the most engaging podcast hosted by an athlete or sports influencer, demonstrating excellence in relevant conversation and meaningful connection.

Best in Engagement for Good

This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated excellence in championing engagement that has a positive impact on individuals or society. Examples include activism, fundraising, community work, and more.

Best in Engagement for Change

This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated excellence in championing engagement that promotes social change by raising awareness for a mission he or she firmly believes in. Examples include activism, social movements, social justice, and more.

Top Honors

*Entrants must submit to multiple categories to become eligible for this distinction

Outstanding Achievement in Overall Engagement for an Organization

This honor will be given to the most awarded or highly-rated entity across all industry categories to reflect excellence in engagement on all platforms and projects. Entrants are encouraged to submit to multiple categories in order to become eligible for this distinction.

Outstanding Achievement in Overall Engagement for an Individual

This honor will be given to the most highly-rated athlete or creator to reflect excellence in engagement across all platforms and projects.