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#AccessGranted 2016 Tony Awards

Entered in Business to Business


Our goal was to create an unprecedented awareness of the Grant Thornton brand with our first-ever major entertainment sponsorship through the 2016 Tony Awards. We developed exclusive content that was fun and engaging. We created a unique "behind the scenes" experience for our audience, specifically leveraging the hashtag #AccessGranted.

Our objective was to provide access to compelling and interesting information about the Tony's and the nominees themselves, while focusing on innovation and inspiration for future possibilities in the Arts and beyond, which ties directly to our brand position as the professional services firm of the future.

Strategy and Execution

Tabulating the Tony's was a first for Grant Thornton, and we wanted to share that experience with our target market and beyond. Our strategy was to provide exclusive, insider access to the presenters, nominees and winners in 3 stages – Pre, During and Post event. Our main focus was Twitter, with a subset of postings on Facebook, leveraging the 'double-screen' effect for viewers of live events.

We created unique types of content to reach our target market throughout each phase of the campaign, along with using the hashtag #AccessGranted.

Pre-Event content

•Future projections - Leverage current knowledge/data about theatre/the Tonys/the arts to make projections about the future

•Famous Firsts- In honor of the first year of our partnership with the Tonys, we celebrated famous firsts for the Tony's – people and shows that
are truly in a category of one.

•Quick facts- Leverage quick facts from the Tonys website and associate some of these numbered factoids with GT's own factual tidbits.

•Meet the nominees – Data-backed factoids about the evolution of Broadway, integrating the shows and celebrities of today

•Countdown gifs to live event - Nominees hold signage that GT leveraged in social media channels as "countdown to the Tony's"

•#AccessGranted sweepstakes - How has the theatre inspired your future?

• Participants encouraged to answer our question via a tweet or submit a short video clip to be entered for the chance to win tickets to a Tony Award-winning show with accommodations

Live Event content

• Live tweeting + posts to Facebook

• Content capture of red carpet arrivals, photos, etc

• Engagement with theater influencers

• On-air segment featuring GT auditors + James Corden

Post Event content

• Hamilton Files videos – spoke with Tony Award nominees and winners from Hamilton and asked them tell us their vision for the future of theater.

• A look into our Auditor's experience: behind-the-scenes footage from our auditors who were on stage and a part of the show


Grant Thornton exceeded 11 of 12 social media goals with the following highlights:

•Twitter: Achieved highest performance ever for our firm on a given day. On Broadcast day we had over 3.7M impressions; an increase in impressions year over year by 1039%

•Facebook: Post about auditors had a reach of 11,975 – 2nd highest in firm history generating over 53,000 impressions.

On Twitter we earned 4,735,203 total impressions for the campaign, 115% above our goal and 237,545 engagements, 286% above goal.

YouTube earned 1,958 views, 113% above goal and 37 engagements, 311% above goal.

For our current position, and the fact that we had ben "dark" in the market for a number of years prior to this, it was an outstanding way for us to reintroduce ourselves to the market, gain wide-ranging brand awareness, and kick-start our social media presence. To date, our followers are Twitter are steadily increasing, and we plan an even bigger splash with the Tony's in 2017.


Video for #AccessGranted 2016 Tony Awards

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Grant Thornton LLP and Doremus


Entry Credits