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From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

JBL X 100 Thieves

Finalist in Earned Media


Gamers seek authentic voices and turn to trusted influencers and experts for product recommendations. 100 Thieves has become a premier gaming organization and lifestyle brand.  Led by former a former Call of Duty World Champion, 100 Thieves has championship esports teams, is globally recognized for its innovative apparel, and produces massively popular content followed by more than 100M fans worldwide.

The fascination and attention paid to Drop Culture is a Gen Z phenomenon. Driven by a desire for continuous innovation and novelty from brands, Gen Z feeds off the special release, limited availability of drop culture as a mechanism to engage with culture as it happens, be part of the conversation and leverage participation in gaining the drop to build their unique individual social narrative. Creating custom drops gives JBL a powerful opportunity to leverage JBL’s brand ambassador relationships to create relevance and increased consideration within this critical cohort.

JBL and 100 Thieves came together for collaboration storytelling. This collab was amplified with an extensive media/influencer event, surrounding PR campaign, and a large social effort to drive attention, awareness, and generate massive earned media.  JBL wanted a 5% lift in brand familiarity and lift their purchase conversion rate 13%.

Strategy and Execution

A storytelling campaign launched this collab, coupling an exclusive product drop announced on March 16th, a partnership media event on March 18th, and amplifying social engagement with key influencers leading to the product drop on March 21st.  The partnership launch event became a living stage created for collaborative storytelling and social promotion about game culture and this partnership story. From an interactive history of gaming and classic arcade game displays to exclusive product sampling and VIP performances, this drop event at 100 Thieves was packed with social-ready moments. An exclusive music performance an event attended by influencers who collectively reach +15M followers, created compelling earned media and social content.

The event created a first look, hand-on exclusive demo of this hotly anticipated product drop coming to Stock X.  The VIP and influencer guest list leveraged this social announcement and wire release to re-engage media.

This partnership had to draw attention to three big stories bundled together: the product drop, the VIP / game influencer event on March 18th, and the industry pace-setting partnership. JBL x 100 Thieves hosted a stirring blend of notables spanning music, gaming and entertainment at the 100 Thieves Cash App Compound for an electrifying event that brought to life the power of intersecting cultures.

The product collaboration announcement story was promoted through a phased media approach.  The product reveal was pitched under embargo two weeks prior to launch for a burst of coverage to coincide with the announcement.

A larger creative collaboration pitch explored two complementary angles to maximize potential reach. A brand strategy story that points to JBL’s recent series of drop culture announcements, with this 100 Thieves collab being the first in gaming.  A partnership process story offering a peek behind what makes the perfect partner.


The launch event at the 100 Thieves compound in Los Angeles was attended by a diverse mix of Gen Z VIPs and talent across culture – from television to music to esports – with more than 700 guests. Attending talent included “Outer Banks” stars Madison Bailey and Jonathan Daviss, Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree and actress Lexi Underwood and TikToker and “Hype House” star Vinnie Hacker. Social posts from the event were a mix of attendees’ selfies, videos of Gunna’s performance, and group shots with friends, in addition to step-and-repeat photo moments.



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