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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

All American Games 2023

Finalist in Sports

Entered in Event & Experiential


Whether you were live at the Toyota Center in Houston alongside Lebron James cheering on the heart-catching plays, or engaged online in 1 of the 4 trending Twitter hashtags, it’s likely the McDonald’s All American Games (McDAAG) were on your radar and flooding your timelines last March. 

McDAAG had something to prove this year. Despite the rise of other basketball showcases catching the attention of Gen Z and basketball fans alike, McDAAG was here to remind everyone who was the definitive, premier showcase that births legends-in-the-making. For the 2023 Games, we knew that McDonald's had to come out bigger than ever before — especially with internet celebrity talent from the likes of Bronny James, Jared McCain, Jada Williams, and Juju Watkins, on the roster this year.  

With the ever-changing landscape of events and social media, these upcoming stars are now influencers in their own right, often boasting hundreds of thousands – sometimes millions – of followers on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. The goal was to tap into these athletes to connect with the masses.That’s why this year, we pivoted our social media approach to hero the players themselves, co-creating hype-building original content to highlight the players as stars. 

Strategy and Execution

To keep the authenticity intact, we set out to co-create content that would naturally live on these players’ pages - which prompted a whole new look and feel of the All American Games branding. Coined “Galactic Maximalism,” the new look closely reflected the youthful energy of online sports culture and incorporated the themes from the host city of Houston. Our content spanned from hard-nosed basketball during practices and gametime, to playful BTS moments during the off-hours, like fit checks and locker room talk. We always put the players front and center to elicit sharing, resulting in over 478,000,000 organic impressions in just 5 days, and ensuring that audiences saw the All American Games as not only the premiere basketball talent showcase, but also a week that’s truly a joy to be a part of. 

The anticipation and excitement around McDAAG took over not only the Houston market, but the entire nation. The players and celebrities in attendance allowed coverage and conversation of the Games to spread into new platforms, shows and podcasts, resulting in a 70% Increase in Media Volume from last year’s Games, and inspiring the next class of legends-in-the-making to put McDAAG on top of their list of career goals. 




Video for All American Games 2023

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Wieden+Kennedy New York, McDonald's


Entry Credits