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From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

Hitting a Home Run for Veterans

Silver Honor in Media Partnership


On average, nearly 17 Veterans die by suicide each day, a rate 57.3 % higher than non-Veteran adults. Since 2021, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Ad Council have partnered on the national “Don’t Wait. Reach Out.” campaign, which encourages Veterans to proactively seek help for life’s challenges and, ultimately, prevent Veteran suicides.

The U.S. Veteran population is diverse across age, race and gender. A live sports event—with its broad reach and appeal—offers an ideal media opportunity to effectively reach a wide audience of U.S. Veteran adults with this critical message.

How do we capitalize on the attention garnered by live sports to drive Veterans to the campaign site to explore available resources for support? We meet Veterans where they are: tuned in live to baseball’s crown jewel, the World Series, one of the most-watched sporting events of the year in the U.S.

Strategy and Execution

We wanted to reach the Veterans audience in a moment when they were highly engaged with captivating content. Using an environment when they may be watching with family, were attentive, relaxed, and in an open mindset, would enable them to start with a small step: ultimately taking action to help improve their, or their loved one’s, lives.

Two :30 Veterans Crisis Prevention PSA spots, Battle Buddy and Women Veterans, ran a combined six times during Games 1, 4, 5, and 6 of the 2022 MLB World Series on FOX. But we didn’t just air the PSA’s on FOX and hope we were connecting with some Veterans. We examined the data closely to measure the impact of these spots running, analyzing how site traffic to the campaign website corresponded to airings.

This was a scenario where we had effective creative aligned with a strategic, wide-reaching, contextually relevant programming environment. We drove direct site engagement with our target audience from our asset Call-to-Action and messaging.

FOX was the perfect partner to reach the campaign target audience through Live Sports programming at a time when Veterans were receptive to hearing about an important social cause. The PSA’s resonant, personal messages would stand out during TV commercial breaks and connect emotionally with the Veteran audience. The two chosen assets were specifically developed to reflect and resonate with two key audiences within the Veteran population: 1) older Veterans aged 55+, who make up the largest population of Veterans in the U.S. (nearly 65%), and 2) women Veterans, the fastest-growing group of Veterans with over 2 million in the U.S.

The 2022 World Series on FOX delivered an average of 11.8M viewers across 6 games, finishing as the #1 program in primetime each of the six nights it aired. The 2022 World Series also delivered over 4.7M female viewers, a +108% advantage versus the 3-net broadcast prime average in Q4 of 2022.

Afterwards, we looked closely at our website analytics, examining website traffic and engagement in alignment with when the PSA’s aired in the World Series. We found a clear and strong relationship with website activity in the hours following a PSA airing.



Using this strategic alignment match to reach our target audience, we spoke directly to Veterans and their families. Our two creative spots resulted directly in a substantial lift in KPI conversions/actions taken on site.

Primary website conversions on peaked in direct correlation with the days and hours the PSAs ran during the MLB World Series:

Website “Conversion” actions included: viewing resources for themselves or as friends and family of Veterans, clicking to talk to the Veterans Crisis Line, or taking a self-assessment and viewing resources on the Support page.  

Each of these actions represents Veterans getting support for critical aspects of their lives: mental health, relationships, medical issues, financial needs, and even immediate crisis intervention.

This is the power and efficiency of live TV, and best-in-class sports content, to deliver large marketing impact. We showed the power of live broadcast television ads to be the second-highest driver of website conversion rates for the campaign, compared to all other media channels for the year.


Video for Hitting a Home Run for Veterans

Entrant Company / Organization Name

The Ad Council, Fox Corporation, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


Entry Credits