At the Chicago Bulls, one of our strategic priorities is to grow the next generation of fans while building affinity towards the Bulls brand. Given the large, young demographic on TikTok, the platform was uniquely positioned to help us accomplish these goals.
There was one problem: how do we introduce our brand onto the platform in a way that isn’t intrusive to users’ experience? Introducing Benny the Bull; the Bulls beloved mascot, 12-time NBA All-Star, elite athlete and dancer, and most importantly, the perfect personality for the platform.
Along the way to accomplishing our objectives, we aim to become the most followed sports account on the platform while inspiring and uniting TikTok creators.
Benny the Bull’s TikTok presence is different. It’s an account for everyone from the sports fanatic to the follower who has never watched a game — this is on purpose. Benny is a creator who is a part of the community rather than just another brand on the platform trying to ride the next wave. We take a true creator-first approach with Benny’s account, which involves staying authentic to his character while abiding by what makes TikTok, Tiktok.
Whether it be using an audio before it goes viral or taking on a challenge the first day it comes out, Benny is prompt. Doing so not only keeps Benny relevant within the culture, but also provides strong exposure as his videos claim top spots under the respective audios and hashtags. Staying in line with the current state of TikTok also extends beyond content to other platform details such as having a relevant bio (ex. CEO of Mascots) or profile photo (ex. Star Wars Benny).
Engaging with others
Benny the Bull’s presence is comprehensive: it’s about much more than just posting videos. Benny is very active on the platform as whole, often becoming a top comment on other user’s posts and starring in other creators’ videos. A simple like on a comment or video makes a difference, and thousands of users have received comments from Benny both on their own posts and within the comment section of Benny’s videos.
Community is a key component to our creator-first approach. Regardless of prominence on the platform, Benny the Bull interacts and creates with everyone ranging from funny duets with the everyday user to making videos with some of the most well-known TikTokers. One of the most notable series on Benny’s account is the iconic “face reveal” series, which involved notable dancers on the platform revealing themselves as if they were Benny. Throughout the series, followers were guessing who would be next and began nominating their favorite creators to join in.
In less than eight months since launch, Benny’s account has grown to 1.9M followers to become the most followed professional sports TikTok account in North America and the second most followed sports account in the World. Since launch, Benny the Bull has 41 videos with 1M+ views. Benny's TikTok presence is often referenced as a best practice on the platform, highlighted across leagues, mentioned in articles, and featured in TikTok’s on-boarding presentations for brands new to the platform.
Benny the Bull created a mini viral #BullsBMOChallenge for the first branded TikTok content series for a sports team. Benny choreographed and performed a dance to original audio as part of a partnership with BMO Harris Bank. Over 8,000 creators learned the dance and published videos to join the challenge resulting in more than 5.5M hashtag views.
Fandom With Creators
Total viewership across Benny’s posts involving other creators has surpassed 53M views. Benny is also featured in other creators’ content, TikToking with fans during games and bringing popular creators into the arena.
Of the audios, challenges, and memes Benny has helped ignite, one in particular stands out: the Dip and Lean challenge. Benny’s video garnered over 9M views and claimed the top two spots across TikTok for both the audio and hashtag used in the challenge. The copy used in the post inspired a wave of mascots - even those outside the realm of sports - to join the platform.
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