The Chicago Cubs are a franchise steeped in tradition. The famous Wrigley Field Marquee welcoming millions of fans each year. The ivy lining the outfield walls. The organist. Day games. The hand-operated scoreboard. And the iconic W Flag that has flown above that scoreboard after each win since the 1930s. That W Flag is a symbol our fans treasure and a tradition they proudly pass along to friends and family. This symbol would become the fabric of our historic postseason campaign. As we entered into the postseason and watched thrilling win after win, our players, fans, media and celebrities were excited to #FlyTheW all over the world en route to the most incredible "W" in franchise history: Game 7 of the 2016 World Series.
With a postseason campaign, our goal is to drive broad participation from fans, media and players that supplements the exciting action taking place on the field. This year featured incredible success on both fronts.
The #FlyTheW campaign kicked off as soon as the Cubs became 2016 National League Central Division Champions late on September 15 – the earliest postseason berth in either league. A truly integrated campaign showcased social media in our team's videos, website, email marketing, celebrity and media outreach and fan activations.
- At launch, an initial #FlyTheW spot debuted on social media and showed fans across the globe proudly flying their W Flags, with a message saying, "If we fly it high enough, and loud enough, and proud enough, well, you get the idea … " narrated by none other than emerging superstar Kyle Schwarber, who would later make an incredible return from injury to help the team fulfill that promise.
- The theme transpired into 10 creative #FlyTheW vignettes released on social media, including the making of a W Flag, a masterful Cubs cake, babies wearing W onesies, dogs catching W frisbees, kids getting fresh W flag haircuts and more.
- A live #FlyTheW Rolling Rally fan activation featured our owner, front office staff and mascot giving away W Flags/posters/stickers, etc. across the city and suburbs. We asked fans to share their stories at Cubs.com/FlyTheW, and some received a visit on this day from former Cubs players Ryne Sandberg and Steve Trout. We monitored #FlyTheW in real time and altered our route to visit fans who tweeted. One fan said he brewed us a pot of coffee and invited us to his apartment – we took him up on it! Corporate partners like Dunkin Donuts, Under Armour, Advocate, Giordano's and Wintrust Bank contributed to the festivities.
- The Cubs are fortunate to have some great celebrity fans, and we took care of them with impressive "influencer kits" including a custom "W" wine bottle, cork, glasses, a 2016 postseason hat and a W Flag. From Bob Newhart to Nick Offerman to Scottie Pippen, many shared their excitement on social media using #FlyTheW.
- Iconic destinations in Chicago like the
Field Museum, Willis Tower and Shedd Aquarium flew massive W Flags in
support of the Cubs and posted their support online.
- We worked with MLB and Twitter to generate a miniature W Flag emoji next to #FlyTheW each time it was published in a tweet during the postseason.
- Organically, fans began putting the hashtag on their jerseys, creating "W" lights to put in their windows, bringing W Flags with them as they traveled the world … #FlyTheW spread far and wide.
- Not only were fans getting behind it, but so were the players. They would carry W Flags around after a win, use it in their tweets, wear T-shirts and reference in interviews.
- From vignettes to game highlights to live streams, and fan stories to celebrity photos, we showcased #FlyTheW across all our social media platforms. And after every win, you knew our first tweet was always a W Flag GIF (which of course was also made available for fans).
A historic World Series run generated historic results online. With a postseason campaign, our goal is to drive broad participation that supplements the exciting action taking place on the field. Mission accomplished.
- #FlyTheW was used more than 3,000,000 times on Twitter and 213,800 times on Instagram, and was trending multiple times on Twitter after games. Our hashtag was also used more than any other MLB club postseason campaign.
- We shared 217 Facebook posts and 406 tweets using #FlyTheW, which generated more than 1.2 billion total impressions and 13.9 million total engagements.
- Across platforms, our #FlyTheW videos were viewed more than 120.6 million times.
- We mailed more than 35 #FlyTheW influencer kits to celebrities and media.
- We distributed more than 6,000 W Flags and 13,500 #FlyTheW posters.
- Cubs.com/FlyTheW received nearly 38,000 visits with more than 350 fan stories submitted.
"#FlyTheW Rolling Rally" Chicagoland fan activation:
Video for #FlyTheW: Chicago Cubs are World Series Champions!
- We visited more than two dozen locations across Chicago and its suburbs.
- Fans received more than 900 W Flags, 2,500 #FlyTheW posters, 4,000 #FlyTheW stickers and 1,000 rally towels.
- More than 20 TV segments generated 1.4 million daily impressions and nearly a million online impressions, with a TV publicity value of roughly $160,000 in one day.
- #FlyTheW was trending in Chicago this day, and we posted 54 times from Cubs' social media accounts (across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat), which generated more than 3.3 million impressions on Facebook and 636,700 impressions on Twitter.