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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards


Winner in Hashtag

Audience Honor in Hashtag


The #BGisBack campaign for the WNBA stands out as an exemplary effort to unite fans, players, and consumers in a heartfelt welcome for Brittney Griner's return to the league. The objective of this campaign was to transcend the challenges Griner faced during her detainment in Russia in 2022, turning 2023 into a triumphant comeback year as she resumed playing in the WNBA. The focus was her on court play and her dominance that was missed on the court.

The campaign brilliantly leveraged the power of social media through the strategic use of the hashtag #BGisBack. This not only created a digital rallying point for fans but also served as a beacon of support from fellow players, reinforcing the league's commitment to solidarity and camaraderie. The hashtag also transcended social media by making its way to national broadcasts of WNBA games, aired by ESPN networks.

The objective was two-fold: first, to extend a warm and enthusiastic welcome to Griner, ensuring she felt the embrace of the entire WNBA community. Second, it aimed to broadcast this collective celebration to the world, emphasizing that Griner was not just back on the court but back to excel, inspire, and make an impact.

Strategy and Execution

The #BGisBack campaign was meticulously crafted with a multifaceted strategy aimed at not only welcoming Brittney Griner back to the WNBA but also engaging fans, players, and the broader community in a celebration of her triumphant return. The strategy can be dissected into five key components:


1. Strategic Hashtag Creation:

   The campaign began with the creation of the hashtag #BGisBack. This hashtag was not only catchy and easy to remember but also encapsulated the core message of the campaign—Brittney Griner's return to the WNBA. The simplicity and resonance of the hashtag facilitated its widespread adoption across various social media platforms, ensuring a unified and easily searchable narrative.


2. Highlight Content Generation

   To emphasize Griner's greatness on the court, the campaign strategically leveraged archival content from the WNBA. By creating a career top 10 mix, showcasing her iconic dunks, and highlighting her exceptional shot-blocking abilities, the campaign aimed to reignite the admiration and excitement surrounding Griner's skills. This content not only served as a nostalgic trip for longtime fans but also introduced newer fans to her unparalleled talent.


3. Player Involvement:

   Recognizing the importance of community and camaraderie in the WNBA, the campaign reached out to current players league-wide. Gathering words and messages of welcome for Griner from her fellow athletes added a personal touch to the campaign. Focusing specifically on the LA Sparks, the team she faced first upon her return, created a poignant connection. Broadcasting these player messages across social media not only engaged the league but also garnered national editorial coverage, amplifying the campaign's reach.


4. Team and League Collaboration:

   To ensure a cohesive message and widespread adoption, the campaign strategically partnered with the Phoenix Mercury, Griner's home team. Aligning promotional messaging with the #BGisBack hashtag, the Phoenix Mercury leveraged their platform to further amplify the campaign. This collaboration not only strengthened the campaign's impact but also demonstrated the league's unity in celebrating its players.


5. Fan Involvement and Inclusivity:

   The campaign's final element involved the fans directly. Providing fans from all corners of the globe with the opportunity to send positive messages to Griner added a layer of inclusivity. This user-generated content not only fueled the campaign but also created a sense of connection and community among fans. The messages were not just confined to the digital realm; they were made accessible in arenas, fostering a tangible and immersive experience for attendees.


The #BGisBack campaign emerged as an undeniable success, leaving an indelible mark on both the digital and real-world landscapes. The campaign achieved an extraordinary milestone, generating over 1 million impressions across various social networks. This widespread reach not only signaled a high level of engagement but also showcased the campaign's effectiveness in capturing the attention of diverse audiences.


Brittney Griner's return to the court became a spectacle, with her first home and away games emerging as the most-watched events during the WNBA tip-off. The surge in viewership underscored the campaign's impact in reigniting interest and enthusiasm for Griner's athletic prowess. The trend continued throughout the opening weekend, firmly establishing #BGisBack as a trending topic, not only within the WNBA community but also in broader conversations.


One of the campaign's most notable achievements was capturing the attention of Vice President Kamala Harris, further validating its significance. The acknowledgment from such a prominent figure elevated the campaign's visibility and emphasized its cultural and societal impact.


In conclusion, the #BGisBack campaign surpassed expectations, not only meeting its initial objectives but exceeding them with remarkable results. The combination of strategic planning, widespread engagement, and the undeniable star power of Brittney Griner resulted in a campaign that resonated deeply with audiences, transcending the realm of sports and making a lasting impression on both the WNBA community and the broader public.


Video for #BGisBack

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