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13th Annual Shorty Awards Categories

The Shorty Awards honor the talented agencies, brands, and industry leaders behind the best and most innovative work on social media and digital channels, campaigns, websites and applications.

Alex Gordon's Retirement

Finalist in Sports

Entered in Storytelling

Objective

Selected second overall by Kansas City in the 2007 MLB Draft, Nebraska native Alex Gordon would become the epitome of a Royal and beloved by fans over 14 accomplished seasons with the team. On September 24, 2020, Gordo, a World Series champion, three-time All Star and eight-time Gold Glove Award winner, announced his retirement from baseball upon season’s end.

Gordo, known for his defensive prowess, clutch at-bats and tireless work ethic, deserved a proper sendoff. However, due to the pandemic, fans were not allowed in the stands, therefore placing a heightened importance on telling Gordo’s retirement story through Royals digital and social media channels since fans couldn’t be there to experience it in person. Our objective was to make fans feel as close and connected to the moment as possible by sharing a variety of engaging content including graphics, photos and behind the scenes video across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Strategy

From beginning to end, all aspects of Alex Gordon’s retirement were covered in a meaningful and engaging way, giving fans both a behind the scenes and on the field look into the special weekend. This included:

  1. Motion graphic announcing his retirement
  2. Static graphic highlighting his accomplishments
  3. Live stream of his final press conference
  4. Video of Gordo’s locker dedication with a permanent plaque (unprecedented and exclusive clubhouse access)
  5. Video of Gordo's reaction to seeing his teammates’ jerseys marked with his iconic pine tar in the clubhouse (unprecedented and exclusive clubhouse access)
  6. Photos highlighting his No. 4 mowed into left field
  7. Tribute video honoring his legacy and importance to the organization
  8. Thank you video from past and present teammates showing their appreciation
  9. Video following Gordo as he took his final run into left field, giving fans a new and intimate perspective
  10. Unique #4EverRoyal hashtag to tie all the content together and give fans a voice to share their own memories

Through it all, fans were effectively engaged, immersed and connected to Gordo’s retirement story.

Results

Fans engaged with Gordo retirement content in a big way. Featured photos, videos, graphics and live content overperformed across platforms. There were 101 total Alex Gordon posts across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from September 24-27, totaling 2.0M engagements, 3.6M video views and 21.9M impressions. These totals far exceeded normal Royals KPIs and accounted for 22 percent of our total engagments, 8 percent of our total video views and 6 percent of our total impressions in 2020.

The Royals had the highest engagement rate of any team in Major League Baseball during that time period on Facebook and Instagram and the third highest engagement rate on Twitter. Three Gordo posts resulted in the third, fourth and eighth most engagements in the history of Royals Instagram and the Gordo retirement announcement motion graphic was the second most liked post in the history of Royals Twitter.

While fans couldn’t be in the stands during Gordo’s final homestand and experience his last few games as a Royal, they still felt connected to the moment as a result of all the content produced and distributed to them throughout the weekend.

Media

Video for Alex Gordon's Retirement

Produced by

Kansas City Royals

Links

Entry Credits

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