The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

LGBTQ Community Engagement

Entered in LGBTQ Community Engagement


Hockey Is For Everyone. That is the slogan touted by the National Hockey League. But is not always proven to be the case. We wanted to put our money where our mouth is. We wanted to show everyone that we not only said that, but defined and exemplified what inclusion in hockey looked like. We also wanted to shut down hate quickly.

Our goal was to not only make LGBTQ+  fans feel welcomed in our space, but to have them know they would be safe.

Strategy and Execution

To showcase that our platforms welcome the LGBTQ+ community, we focused on three main components on social media. We highlighted education to lessen the harmful stereotypes, took part in celebration to enjoy the positives alongside the LGBTQ+ community and became a voice of support for the community.

The education component had several elements. Throughout the year we explained parts of the LGBTQ experience that some may not be as familiar with, such as the importance of pronouns in infographics. We posted them at times in which we would be discussing other parts of pride and thought that having a base understanding would be beneficial. Next, we highlighted why June is a month for pride, and why Pride Night is so important for a hockey team to celebrate. This brought forward not only information for people who become hostile to such events, but also made sure we celebrated with the LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, we highlighted organizations in the local area that serve the LGBTQ community, for the queer community to know places in which they are safe and welcomed and resources for when they need support or have questions that can serve them better than a brand account.

While the education component of our plans was key for fans primarily outside of the LGBTQ community to learn more, celebrating Pride and being safe and confident in who each of us are alongside the queer community made it fun. Our athletes wished fans happy Pride and expressed their excitement on celebrating. While the brand wishing the best for fans is one thing, a personal connection from the athletes vocally supporting a historically marginalized community is so much more personal. We also reached out to fans of the organization who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community to highlight the joy of being queer and being an Avalanche fan. One accumulation of this was work done by queer artist, Mio. Her project encapsulated several Avalanche fans who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community and showcased the togetherness we can all experience in celebration.

One of the most popular ways we worked alongside the LGBTQ+ community was speaking out, strongly, against hate and supporting the queer community. Recently, in Colorado we faced heartbreak when an LGBTQ+ bar was the target of a tragic shooting. We acted quickly in alignment with the other sports teams of Colorado to make sure our fans know we stand with the LGBTQ community and that hate is not welcome. All year as well we have been working to shut down hate in our comments. Those who are trolling are ignored, but when a learning moment could be addressed, our team took the opportunity to respond, and in sometime even clap back in viral ways.

Lastly, we began working with a third party platform, Respondology, specifically to shut down negativity and hateful comments as quickly as possible. We minimized the hate while still allowing people to speak freely. We are proud to create a more positive space for the LGBTQ+ community on Avalanche platforms and know there is more impactful work to be done. 


Our efforts were not in vain. We had both You Can Play and the Trevor Project reach out to the NHL and the Colorado Avalanche to thank us for our efforts. We also had several fans who reached out to thank us. Our posts ended up on reddit, in local and national media, and across the internet highlighting where people thought we were supportive. Our efforts had the lowest negative engagement in the National Hockey League for Pride Month.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Colorado Avalanche


Entry Credits