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From the 9th Annual Shorty Awards

Football is Family

Entered in Sports


Despite being America's favorite sport for several decades, the NFL is consistently trying to reach a new, young audience to adopt the game. More and more, younger generations are turning away from live TV and focusing on other more curated forms of entertainment. In addition, the last several years have seen the league challenged with player and game-related criticisms, leading to negative media speculation. With the introduction of Football is Family, we helped shine a light on the positive personalities of the league and its players, and in doing so, started to see improvements in the perception of the game. This year, our goal was to grow the popularity of the game by connecting to a younger audience and continue to improve their perception of the league, the game and the players. Secondarily, we wanted to continue increasing the volume of Football is Family conversation online, allowing teams, players and fans to bring their own perspectives and stories to this inclusive campaign idea.

Strategy and Execution

Football is Family is a declaration of the power of football in our culture. Through it, we celebrate and shed light on the relationships forged by and because of football.

To put our football family on display, we needed to introduce all the members of our family. Through social listening, we looked around the league at all the unique personalities who make up the NFL family. We looked for players who had sparked unique news attention, and cross-referenced those who could spread this message with powerful social followings. In our storytelling, we would get up close and personal with these players and teams, and put them in touch with fans, the other vital members of the football family.

The family was big.

Von Miller showed off his chickens, who he names after his teammates. Eddie Lacy and the Lambeau Field ground crew mowed their neighbors' lawns in Green Bay. John Urschel showed off his chess skills.

Sean Payton and Ron Rivera went undercover to show fans how they should be buying authentic tickets. DeAngelo Williams and Greg Olsen helped some busy women make time for lifesaving breast cancer screenings. Some of the Dallas Cowboys helped a family surprise their active on-duty father in Afghanistan. Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas even threw a baby shower for a few Denver Broncos fans and their brand new Super Bowl Babies.

We connected this ever-growing football family by utilizing the built-in scale of players, team and league social channels. With organic and paid content cycling regularly throughout the season, we had everything from personalized player tweets to custom Snapchat filters.


All told, this year's Football is Family campaign resulted in more than 300 stand-alone pieces of video creative. With a total of 390 million online impressions, we saw 52 million social engagements and more than 160 million video views. We even got to the vital young audience - content reached more than 40 million unique Millennials across social media networks. Campaign recall for fans 18-24 outpaced total audience recall by nearly 25%, and was ranked 2nd in campaign recall (highest recall was among Avid Fans). And even more impressive, among all audiences, teenage fans were the most likely to find the campaign entertaining, unique and cool.

Throughout the season, the league, teams and players also took it upon themselves to find #FootballisFamily moments in their own worlds. Whether it was a post-game jersey swap, fan-shared pre-game celebration, or any powerful relationship, #FootballisFamily became a clear rallying cry that anyone connected to the NFL could own and celebrate. Additional organic uses across social media resulted in an additional 10 million engagements and 3.5 million video views throughout the season.


Video for Football is Family

Entrant Company / Organization Name

National Football League, Grey New York, NFL Films, Final Cut New York, Havas Media, NFL


Entry Credits