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2021 SHORTLIST

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BACK TO BASEBALL

Entrant Company: Kansas City Royals

FINALIST

Best Sports Return Storytelling

Back To Baseball

ABOUT THIS ENTRY

What started out as a social video to celebrate the return of opening day became a TV spot that not only encouraged excitement for the upcoming season, but it allowed reflection of the time that had passed since March 2020, as the Royals honored the front-line workers during the pandemic and acknowledged the protests for social justice.

How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

Not only did this video far exceed normal Royals KPI's, it also helped set a new standard of excellence for hype videos while also weaving in larger societal issues that transcend the importance of sports. This video absolutely evoked emotion and excitement surrounding the return and recovery of live sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic, showcasing the unifying power of sports.

 

Objective: Baseball is back. After canceling spring training games on March 12th and postponing Opening Day due to the spreading of COVID-19, MLB announced on June 23rd that play would resume, and the 2020 MLB season would consist of 60 games. The Kansas City Royals posted this video to Twitter on that same day, letting fans know that Royals baseball would be back soon.

Nobody could have predicted the events of 2020 and how it would all unfold. This video started as a welcome back to fans and thank you to front-line workers once the health and safety protocols allowed baseball to return. However, in the weeks that followed, tragedy ignited a movement across the nation with Black Lives Matter. We could not ignore what was happening in our community and across the world. We adjusted this video to embody all that fans were experiencing and the Royals organization’s response in support of the movement. Our brand campaign for the season, #AlwaysRoyal, allowed us to position the script to include not only baseball but the community rallying to beat the pandemic, while also standing up for their beliefs.

 

Strategy & Execution:  The video encompassed all the feelings in the landscape at the time. Through storytelling and shot selection, the video moved fans with different emotions. It reminded us to never take baseball for granted while remembering that we are #AlwaysRoyal.

This video was originally produced for social media. We were asked by leadership to turn it into a television spot, that would air throughout the first month of the shortened baseball season.

We showcased a lot of the main Royals baseball players, along with first responders in the Kansas City Community. You can also see the Mayor of Kansas City attending a Black Lives Matter protest, along with participants in the march. Drone shots of Kansas City landmarks are used throughout the spot.

A well-respected leader in the community, a staunch baseball supporter, and a friend to the Royals organization, Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (located in Kansas City) lent his voice to narrate the video.

 

Results:

Royals fans, players, and community members retweeted, commented, and liked the Royals back to baseball video.

The emotions, goosebumps, and tears were shared through the comments and quote tweets. Even rival baseball fans jumped into the conversation.

This video was one of our most-viewed Twitter videos of 2020, with 204K views.

All of the Twitter numbers far exceeded normal Royals KPI’s with 2.2K likes, 18.8K engagements, and 329K impressions.

Between Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the video generated 645K impressions, 298K video views, and 27K engagements.

PRODUCTION

Kansas City Royals, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

 

CREDITS

VP, Marketing & Business Development
Kansas City Royals
 
Senior Director - Digital & Social Media
Kansas City Royals
 
Senior Director - Advertising & Marketing
Kansas City Royals
 
Video Content Trainee
Kansas City Royals
 
Manager - Content
Kansas City Royals
 
Content Producer
Kansas City Royals
 
President
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
 

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