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From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

Jordan Brand, Emoji Battle

Silver Honor in Real Time Response

Bronze Honor in Emojis


To be the most culturally relevant brand on social, including knowing when to enter conversations.

Strategy and Execution

This past August, there was an emoji battle on Twitter (yes, that's right). NBA star DeAndre Jordan was being courted by multiple teams, and their respective players began tweeting emojis of how they would get to his home to convince him to sign with them (planes, cars, helicopters, etc).

This grew to a wider conversation across the sports landscape, with teams and sports figures posting their own emojis to represent themselves. Stars on both sides began tweeting various emojis relating to their preferred method of travel. Other NBA players, coaches, and even teams began tweeting emojis, such as the Golden State Warriors tweeting a trophy, a signifier of their recent championship. Kobe Bryant, Adam Schefter and even Billy Crystal (!) tweeted their emojis. Sensing a way to organically join the conversation and effectively shut it down, the Jordan social team sprang into action. We constantly listen and respond to relevant conversations for Jordan Brand, so we saw the trend early on. We advised the brand that there would be an opportunity to join and add value, but they should only participate once the conversation spread to brands, otherwise they may seem intrusive and out of place.

As soon as we saw brands post emojis, we confirmed participation with our clients and tweeted six trophy emojis to represent Michael's count of NBA championships, followed by a tweet of a goat emoji, reminding everyone that MJ is the Greatest Of All Time.

The two tweets received 25K and 32K retweets, respectively. To put that in context, the Oreo Super Bowl halftime tweet only received 15K.

We saw an opportunity to further amplify our success by creating an NBA player emoji chart, which we delivered to ESPN Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell to tweet out. It was subsequently picked up by ESPN on air, Huffington Post and Digiday.


The emoji tweets were two of the most successful in the history of Twitter:

Thousands of RTs in mere minutes showed our fans knew what we were saying, and they agreed. So did Scottie Pippen, MJ's right-hand man. So did J.A. Adande, one of the top NBA beat reporters. So did CBS, Bleacher Report, and ESPN, who featured the tweet on their flagship show Sportscenter, on SportsNation, and on multiple Twitter accounts. Numerous blogs and media outlets followed up with stories claiming the Jordan brand as the clear victor That's the power of real-time social, the power of emoji, and the power of more than 55,000 retweets and 5 million impressions in 24 hours.

Publications and influencers who covered the tweets and emoji chart:


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Laundry Service , Jordan Brand