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2021 SHORTLIST

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BUILDING THE PACK

Entrant Company: vineyard vines, PLL

FINALIST

Best Branded Content or Series

Building the Pack

ABOUT THIS ENTRY

With the success of "24/7" or "All In" type content, vineyard vines and PLL embarked on a way to execute an all-access look inside not only the creation of an expansion team in professional sports but in 2020, an expansion team that would have to come together during a pandemic.

How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

There was a specific direction from vineyard vines to have brand and product inclusion within the series but to not take away from the story telling and engagement of the fan in an advertising first manner. Utilizing product placement and authentic brand integration there were opportunities to align the vineyard vines brand with players, coaches and staff that we wouldn't have had otherwise. We saw specific interest and sales around the products featured. We also found success as the branding was blended into the content rather than just feeling like paid media/product placement. vineyard vines and PLL were able to take advantage of the fact that this lacrosse content was able to reach new/non-lacrosse audiences through the lifestyle messaging of vineyard vines social. We were able to speak to our partnership and create excitement around the sport to hundreds of thousands of our followers who are not direct lacrosse fans.

As the PLL thinks about their branded content strategy, they have signaled to us that this series is the benchmark for content quality as well as brand integration. Moving forward, we expect to see the PLL integrate the key learnings and best practices from our content series into future content.

 

Objective: vineyard vines looked at the opportunity to become a founding partner of a start up professional sports league and not only reach a key demographic but help gain awareness and grow the league through our marketing prowess.  For the brand the key measurables for success would be product sales, social and digital engagement.  For PLL it would be brand awareness and digital reach through vineyard vines' large scale social platforms.  With the creation of an all access multi-part series, this was a new direction in online content for both vineyard vines to be a part of and for PLL to create.   We both felt that "Building the Pack" could be extremely compelling content for the 2020 season and even beyond as fans look back at this time period in sports.  When else would there be an opportunity to document one of the first professional sports to come back and compete during the pandemic, to have a new expansion team playing for the first time as well as the creation of a safe bubble to ensure team/player/staff safety?

Strategy & Execution: The modern sports fan wants to engage with their fandom, their favorite team, the league and support brands that support their interests. Ultimately the fan today wants to see behind the curtain, be inside the conversations and have a look into the decision making. How would the Waterdogs build and gel as a team with literally only days before the start of a bubble season? vineyard vines and PLL was able to capture this in "Building the Pack - an all-access documentary on the Waterdogs inaugural season"

Results:

With PLL having the highest social interaction in sports, and multiple millions on vineyard vines' social channels, this content was some of the most engaged on both platforms. This was the first long form content piece the PLL created in collaboration with a partner and has now set the standard for long form branded content for the league moving forward. We saw success with this long form content as the series was in the top 4% of both youtube video views and digital impressions for PLL during the Championship Series. The goal throughout our partnership with the PLL is to 1. Create authentic and engaging content with a tie back to the brand and 2. Continue to highlight vineyard vines product in order to drive sales. The "Building the Pack" content series was at the core of our marketing strategy with the PLL during the Championship Series. With the brand and product exposure across PLL channels, we were effectively able to introduce PLL team product for the first time and continue to build fan affinity through natural brand integrations.

PRODUCTION

vineyard vines
Premiere Lacrosse League

 

CREDITS

Director - Sponsorship, Events & Philanthropy
vineyard vines
 
Director, Sales Strategy & Partnerships
PLL
 
Coordinator - Sponsorships, Events & Philanthropy
vineyard vines
 
Account Manager - Partnerships
PLL
 

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