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From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards

Team USA's Night King Recruitment

Entered in Real Time Response

About this entry

Team USA's content strategy is to keep fans excited for the Olympic Games and our Team USA athletes.

But to stay relevant between the Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics can be challenging and it takes more than athlete updates: we want to extend our conversations outside of the sports realm.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

For any sports team, the off-season can be rough.

Now imagine having a two year off-season to maintain follower growth and hold interest until the next Olympic Games! So why not join a conversation while recruiting new athletic talent simultaneously?

After the Night King's remarkable javelin throw during Season 7 of Game of Thrones, Team USA needed to contact his agent FAST before other national teams snatched him up.

The timeliness of Team USA's Night King post and fan engagement following, resonated within and beyond the Thrones community. The Game of Thrones Twitter page alone boasts over 6.9 million followers, 6.9 million fans who are not normally within Team USA's sphere of influence.


It worked! The tweet, along with the engagement following, led to Team USA's top performing post of all time with 6.5M impressions, 35K retweets, 855 replies and over 69K likes. The tweet also led to 2.1K new Twitter followers over the course of just two days and boosted Team USA's digital engagement ranking to No. 24 out of the top 200 U.S. sports franchises, up from No. 72 the prior week.

The meme also led to a review from Team USA's own three-time Olympic javelin thrower Kara Winger. Winger gave her two cents in an article from The Ringer in which she dissects the Night King's form and whether he would make a good javelin teammate.

The viral tweet was shared by over 50 news outlets including, most notably, Refinery29, Complex, USA Today, Bleacher Report and Business Insider.


Produced by

Team USA


Entry Credits

About the Shorty Awards

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media.

Millions of people participate in The Shortys to recognize individuals and organizations producing great content on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitch,, and the rest of the social web.

The Shorty Social Good Awards will be held November 15, 2018 in New York City