The 2020 categories are split into eight groups:
This award recognizes an exceptional sponsorship activation, ad campaign, or piece of content built around one of the globe’s biggest games (including but not limited to the 2019 Women’s World Cup, Super Bowl, All-Star Games, and more). Judges will look for entries that evoked emotion and showcased a unique ability to engage fans on the world’s biggest stage.
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.
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 or integrated campaign but will be judged on engagement derived through social media.
This award recognizes the most entertaining and effective individual advertisement or video-based promotion surrounding sports. Entries may directly promote an endemic sports brand or may leverage a live sports event or athlete spokesperson to amplify a non-endemic brand’s message.
This award recognizes exceptional efforts of a publisher or platform 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.
This award recognizes content that is fused with a marketer’s product, brand, or message. Judges will be looking for digital content, web series, or short-form films that offer entertainment value to fans and effectively amplify both the brand and publisher’s core values.
This award recognizes the most creative and effective integration of the fan perspective, fan-generated content (UGC), or fans themselves into content or a campaign. Judges will look for entries in which the fan is the focal point of the narrative. Entries may also include co-creation with digital influencers.
This award recognizes high-quality digital content, web series, or short-form films with which fans are proven to have engaged. Judges will look for entries that leverage the influence of sports and power of video to connect with fans outside of the game. Entries may be scripted or unscripted but must not include the use or incorporation of a brand sponsor (see Best Branded Content or Series).
This award recognizes the most engaging podcast devoted to sports news, sports culture, sports storytelling, or that is hosted by an athlete and/or sports personality. Judges will look for podcasts that set the industry standard for conversation and connection through audio.
This award recognizes the most effective use of esports to leverage the enthusiasm of the gaming and streaming communities. Entries may include esports partnerships, events, teams/leagues, content, and other media forms.
This award recognizes the most effective use of sports betting to build deeper relationships with fans and capitalize on the rapid market expansion. Entries may include the launch of sportsbooks, gamified apps, data products & partnerships, betting-centric content or experiences, and more. Judges will look for entries with direct implications on how fans view and consume live sports.
This award recognizes the most creative integration of popular culture into sports content, campaigns, or live experiences. Entries may utilize music, comedy, celebrities, film, fashion, culinary or other verticals to highlight the increasing convergence of sports with popular culture and the importance of such in engaging young audiences.
This award recognizes an organization in or around sports that utilized an activation or live experience to engage Gen Z or Gen Alpha fans. Judges will be looking for experiences that catered to short attention spans and generated social buzz among young fans.
This award recognizes an innovative brand activation, stunt, or in-person experience built to engage fans on-site at a live sporting event. Judges will look for entries which enabled the brand to amplify a targeted message and connect with fans on-site.
This award recognizes an interactive showcase or temporary retail experience designed to bring a campaign, product, or partnership to life. Judges will look for events that sit at the intersection of sports and pop culture which are equal parts engaging and accessible for fans.
This award recognizes a live event that has been optimized for the creation of audio or video content and is used for real-time sharing and/or repurposed for later distribution. Events are not limited to games and may include brand activations and other fan experiences.
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.
This award recognizes an OTT service or streaming platform that delivers a fresh take on sports coverage (live or shoulder programming) and high-quality user experience in order to adapt to evolving consumption habits.
This award recognizes exceptional fan engagement efforts of a brand sponsor or technology innovator through integration into a live game or sporting event. Integrations may be in-venue or through a live broadcast (television, streaming, etc.). Judges will look for entries designed to entertain or enhance fan loyalty.
This award recognizes an innovative approach to leveraging technology and/or data to provide personalized content or engaging experiences and build deeper relationships with fans. Entries may relate, but are not limited, to artificial intelligence, AR/VR, data analytics, blockchain, or proprietary platforms.
This award recognizes work to engage fans that 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, CSR, community work, charitable efforts and more.
This award recognizes content, campaigns, or other work that confronts gender disparities in sports—whether in the boardroom or on the court/field—and promotes equal opportunities for all.
This award recognizes content, campaigns, or other efforts by an athlete or sports organization to erase the stigma of mental health struggles and/or increase awareness, compassion, and conversation around the topic by leveraging the power of sports.
This award recognizes a partnership between a brand and sports property that creatively activates a jersey sponsorship using new media, live experiences, and other forms of engagement to maximize value and reach new fans. Judges will look for partnerships that extend beyond the real estate provided on the jersey.
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 engagement, revenue, or other measurable outcomes. Partnership may exist between brands, technology companies, publishers, and more, but entries may not include the integration of an athlete or social influencer (See Most Creative Partnership With an Athlete or Influencer).
This award recognizes creative excellence from a brand, property, or publisher for the integration of an athlete or social influencer into content, campaigns, or activations. Judges will look at how the talent helped the organization better engage fans and deliver mutual & measurable impact on KPIs.
*Entrants must submit to multiple categories to become eligible for this distinction
This prestigious honor is given to the organization with the highest rating across all categories to reflect industry-wide excellence in engagement on all platforms and projects. Rating is determined through a combination of categorical wins, shortlist nominations, and weighted scores of judges. Entrants must submit to two or more categories in order to become eligible for this distinction.