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Special Project

Special Project
From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards

NFL Network Social Experience

Winner in Integration with Live Television


The NFL Network's goal is pretty simple--Get Social! With an assortment of social platforms available, there is no shortage of user generated content, and that content was access to see football and fandom thru the lens of our players and fans. Social content is valuable in that it served as a beacon in planning our shows. What was trending? What did our audience care about? What were they talking about? Those factors guided and helped us prioritize content within our shows--we merged social content with our football content and it's become so ingrained in our workflow and narrative that the merger of the two is seamless. This year was a banner year for us in terms of social integration into live TV primarily because we have been able to internally develop social tools that are proprietary to the NFL Media Group. By understanding how social works and the affect it has on our digital citizens, we are pushing ahead in developing for this ever-changing technology--taking social integration to another level.

Strategy and Execution

This year, our strategy was to create efficiencies that allowed us to take more content to air. Content was content, regardless of where it was sourced.. We developed and created a variety of social segments that highlighted the best social content from clubs, players and fans. Descriptions and links below.

Drawing Board

Our "Drawing Board" app is by far our favorite development this season. We commissioned our in-house Real-Time Systems team to build a touchscreen app that mimicked the logic of social apps like Snapchat and Instagram. The app allowed us to enhance photos with text, emojis and stickers. It was a game-changer as it created a new vehicle for us to tell a story and engage in conversations and debate in a manner that is relatable to our younger demographic.

Snapchat & Instagram Stories

Another game-changer for us was finding a social tool that helped us pull in Snapchat and Instagram Stories. SO much video content is created for both of these platforms, but with no way to thoroughly curate, let alone shift content to air, we were missing out on a lot of great social material. We used to employ a very manual process thus limiting how much we could take to air. This year, we partnered with a vendor who listened to our needs and developed a tool that allowed us to curate and take Snapchat and Instagram Stories quickly to air.

Fandom Friday

Our Fandom Friday segments continue to be a fan favorite. We post polls for our fans to weigh in on and pay off the results every Friday. Occasionally, celebrities like Joe Manganiello and Jordan Fisher come into studio to help us reveal the winning results

Julian Edelman & Tom Brady "Bromance"

We source social content and utilize our custom touchscreen templates to produce fun and engaging segments with our Super Bowl winning players

Break The Internet

When the ultimate football moment happens and Twitter explodes, we capture the fervor and jubilation in a segment called "Break The Internet".

Social Blitz

Our Social Blitz segment puts a spotlight on the most engaging social content from the day. Most of the time, it's fun and silly or outrageous content--to end our show with a laugh. But one of our best examples this season was more touching than silly. We sourced social content showing all the ways every day people in our social community supported Todd Heap's family and their #HugsFromHollyDay, utilizing our platform to share a heartwarming


Television ratings continue to plummet, our slate of programs saw an uptick across the board. In fact, excluding Thursday Night Football, 2017 was NFL Network's most watched regular season ever (2006-present). Our signature daily show, NFL Total Access experienced a 9% increase during the regular season. Our Sunday pregame show GameDay Morning saw a 10% gain across all demographics while our biggest surge was 27% gain in rating by Aftermath. Ten of our NFL Media programs experienced increased viewership this season. Digitally, our show handles saw positive growth every month with double digit increases in followers last year--@NFLGameDay (+21%), @NFLTotalAccess (+13%) and @NFLFantasy (+27%). Additionally @NFLGameDay experienced a 71% increase in interactions. We strongly believe while ratings drop, we're able to stay relevant and attract viewers by merging and integrating social and digital content into our live broadcast shows.


Video for NFL Network Social Experience

Entrant Company / Organization Name

NFL Media

Entry Credits