Hurricanes Fiona and Ian, a devastating series of storms in 2022, left communities across the Caribbean islands and southwest Florida to rebuild and recover.
To support ongoing recovery efforts, T-Mobile and Team Rubicon leveraged the passion and power of sports fans to assist impacted communities, showcasing the importance of hurricane relief on the biggest stage in baseball: The World Series.
Tapping an existing partnership with the MLB, T-Mobile affirmed its commitment to the cause and challenged baseball fans to act through the 2022 Postseason. With each home run, the "Un-carrier" donated $5,000, amplified by an additional $5 donation from T-Mobile for each consumer text received. Players and spectators both knocked it out of the park, as efforts to assist those impacted by Hurricanes Fiona and Ian totaled $1 million.
The goal: Raise funds to support relief efforts around Hurricanes Fiona and Ian and increase consumer awareness for both brands.
The objective: Create a storytelling framework to engage fans, unite the stories of each brand, and build advocates for the future. As Team Rubicon exploded in popularity with a “national organization that helps local” approach, T-Mobile sought the opportunity for a mass-market, omnichannel campaign.
As the official wireless sponsor of the MLB Postseason, T-Mobile leveraged its position to create social impact. Through televised, streaming, digital, and in-stadium opportunities, T-Mobile engaged baseball fans across the country to support hurricane recovery efforts in Florida and Puerto Rico.
T-Mobile used the Postseason as experiential marketing and social engagement, literally exchanging “Home Runs for Hurricane Recovery." The Postseason, which includes the World Series, averages over 12 million viewers each game, offering a sizable audience to show the power of numbers to effect change. With the crack of a bat, the Postseason began.
T-Mobile pledged $5,000 for every home run through the World Series up to $1 million. Spectators nationwide were called upon to participate in the program through text-to-give, with further donations from T-Mobile, and social media engagement with the hashtag #HR4HR.
As fans interacted with the experience, brand affinity for T-Mobile and Team Rubicon increased. This elevated brand awareness and positive interaction are expected to fuel growth and impact for both organizations. Television broadcasters encouraged fans watching at home to engage with the promotion after every home run.
The direct calls from broadcasters complemented 30-second advertising spots highlighting the work of Team Rubicon. T-Mobile-sponsored Magenta Moments—takeovers of the stadium’s displays, Jumbotron, and all digital signage—engaged spectators inside the venue. In-stadium placements displayed information about the Home Runs for Hurricane Recovery campaign and encouraged spectators to support Team Rubicon from the comfort of their seats.
The engagement continued on social media, where T-Mobile rewarded Tweets from fans with bonus donations from the brand—$100 per tweet—to boost total funds and reach the $1 million goal. Team Rubicon amplified these surprise-and-delight moments across their social channels.
Home Runs for Hurricane Recovery succeeded in activating sports fans to assist communities impacted by disaster. #HR4HR fueled Team Rubicon’s recovery efforts in Florida and Puerto Rico, allowing teams to serve over 2,000 individuals across communities with core capabilities, including debris removal and chainsaw operations.
The thousands positively impacted by these efforts could not have been aided without Team Rubicon’s volunteers, known as Greyshirts. The partnership with T-Mobile allowed TR to mobilize more volunteers, totaling over 2,300 Greyshirts from across the country.
The #HR4HR takeover during Game 1 of the World Series not only contributed to creating further sponsorship association with the league, but also successfully improved and elevated fan attitudes across all KPIs.
- T-Mobile remains the most-associated and most-recalled MLB sponsor
- Fans who participated in the program had exceedingly higher perceptions of T-Mobile than those who didn’t participate or were unaware of the program entirely.
- #HR4HR was the third most-recognized sponsored World Series program this year, with 23% of fans recalling the campaign.
#HR4HR allowed sports fans to engage with Team Rubicon through text-to-give interaction. T-Mobile's campaign amplified the power of social good, driving mass awareness and direct fan participation to raise donations for hurricane recovery.
Through this partnership, Team Rubicon reached millions of households across the country during the World Series, raising $1 million in 2022 and nearly $7 million since 2017. This increased brand awareness will fuel operations for years to come, especially as the frequency of disasters increases.