House of Highlights began as an NBA Instagram account with approximately 500K followers six years ago. Since then it has become the #1 sports media brand on Insta with more than 16 million followers. In 2019, the team wanted to build on this massive reach by diversifying their sports content way beyond the NBA, create deeper connections with a loyal Gen Z audience, and drive further revenue through authentic brand partnerships.
House of Highlights’ strategy, simply put, is to curate the best possible content on Instagram by being celebratory, inclusive, and relatable.
Getting a second-screen perspective on sports is imperative. While many sports accounts focus on highlights of a game, House of Highlights tries to catch what the naked eye missed. That could be as simple as a pre-game handshake or a funny blooper that the broadcast unknowingly filmed. This gives our audience a leg up on the personalities of their favorite leagues, teams, and players.
While building up original programming like The Broadcast Boys, the Through the Wire Podcast, The House of Highlights LIVE Twitter show (also on IGTV), and The Reel, House of Highlights also focused heavily on broadening their playbook beyond the origins of its NBA-focused past - in fact only 41% of content was NBA related.
From soccer, to football, and most notably to user generated content, House of Highlights celebrates trickshots, extreme sports stunts, high school buzzer-beaters, and “feel good” moments on the lighter side of sports. House of Highlights shows the culture of sports from backyard to courtside in a relatable fashion, and Gen Z has taken notice.
Sponsors and brands have as well, relying on House of Highlights’ platform to tell their story in an authentic and relatable fashion for young consumers. As the saying goes: good branded content is just content -- it should be seamless. House of Highlights delivered on that in a big way with 52 of the top 100 branded posts on Instagram in 2019 including the #1 branded content post of the year.
This is what makes House of Highlights different. It allows its audience to join the conversation with their own voice and live out their own contexts of the sports world, boosting engagement and a sense of connectivity between us all.
House of Highlights grew at a rate of 314,000 followers per month to eclipse 15 million followers in 2019, making it the No. 1 most followed sports media account on Instagram.
That audience drove 1.19 billion engagements and 6.33 billion video views, allowing House of Highlights to also capture 52 of the top 100 branded content posts on the entire Instagram platform.
Whether it be working on content with soccer clubs like PSG, celebrating creative UGC, or covering more women’s sports with HighlightHER, House of Highlights expanded well beyond the normal wheelhouse of NBA posts.
With those stats and strategies in mind, House of Highlights met its objectives of diversifying content, building up its Gen Z audience, and driving revenue for brands catering towards younger demographics.