WSE initially set out to create a digital series featuring NFL players that could provide fans unparalleled access and candid insights into the NFL. When we heard the Kelce Brothers were interested we felt we had found the perfect fit. As beloved NFL veterans we knew fans would be eager to hear their inside stories of life in the League, and as brothers we knew their chemistry would create an authentic and candid atmosphere that couldn’t be found elsewhere. The primary creative goal was to showcase the unique perspective, journey and bond of brothers who went from backyard ball in Cleveland Heights to future Hall of Fame NFL players.
We leaned into their talents, stature, and unique shared experience and combined this with WSE’s unparalleled social media reach and cross-platform expertise to build a hit show capable of reaching the top of the podcast charts and developing a massive community of fans.
The first step was identifying active players who were interested in sharing their NFL experience weekly throughout the season. After several months of outreach and conversations, we met the Kelce Brothers who shared a similar programming vision. After the introduction, we had to demonstrate to them that we were the right creative, production, and distribution partners, because we were one of many media companies eager to build this with them. Several factors gave us the edge and made them choose WSE. First, there was a mutual understanding of the creative goals for the show and the Kelces felt comfortable that we could help them unlock the types of conversations they were looking to have on a weekly basis. Secondly, WSE separated ourselves from the pack with the unmatched social media marketing and distribution services we could provide. Our network of 100m+ digital followers, built by an in-house team of expert social media creatives, was a major factor in making the Kelces believe that WSE offered the best support system to market and grow this series quickly.
Once an agreement was reached in early August of 2022, the next challenge was building the show in time to launch for week 1 of the NFL season in September. This required expedited creative development of the formats and segments that would anchor the show, and the build out of a show name and branding that matched the vibe and aesthetic of the show’s Hall of Fame bound hosts. Ultimately we landed on “New Heights,” a nod to the Kelces’ upbringing in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and their new venture into media. The last preparation for launch was addressing the production challenges presented by their weekly NFL schedule and the fact that they would be filming remotely each week from their respective cities.
Once the show was ready for air, the final challenge we had to tackle was making this show stand out from all the others in an increasingly crowded player-centric podcast space. We were successful in doing so for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, the brothers bring incredible insights, perspective, and personality to the show every week, and have connected with fans who appreciate their candor, humor, and relatability. Secondly, we put a lot of work into building a social media marketing and programming strategy that prioritized short-form, snackable clips as a growth lever on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube shorts. These clips helped rapidly scale New Heights social pages on these platforms to nearly 1.5 million followers in aggregate in the 5 months since the show launched, and have been a key part of driving engagement and retention on the show, and placing it at #1 on the sports podcast charts.
“New Heights” consistently ranks as a top 5 sports podcast on Apple and Spotify, and has held #1 on the Spotify sports podcast charts for 4 months running. It peaked as the #1 overall podcast, agnostic of genre, on Apple in the week of January 30.
“New Heights” fan community growth has been rapid. In the 5 months since launch we’ve accumulated 500,000 YouTube subscribers, 625,000 TikTok followers, 101,000 Twitter followers, and 272,000 followers on Instagram. On these platforms we’ve racked up over 250 million views.
“New Heights” is a sports and pop culture mainstay. It’s regularly highlighted on Monday Night Football on ESPN, Sunday Night Football on NBC, Forbes, and was named the Sports Illustrated Sports Podcast of the Year. Journalists rely on “New Heights” for insider commentary on NFL news and rumors.
Numerous blue chip brands joining “New Heights” include DraftKings, LinkedIn, Athletic Greens, and more. Inbound interest from brands has shattered records.
The first “New Heights” apparel hit the market in partnership with Homage, a leader in sports team apparel. Hoodies and tees flew off virtual shelves in the all-time-most-successful launch in Homage’s history, totalling well into six figures of revenue within a few weeks of launch.
Most importantly, fans love this show and express it in unique ways, like the listeners who took their engagement photos in the brothers’ jerseys, or the couple who announced the birth of their baby with the Kelce brothers’ tagline “NEW NEWSSSS”.
Fill out the form below and we'll work on connecting you to the entry creator!