2020 Shortlist

Bleacher Report #1 in Engagement

Entrant Company: Bleacher Report

Winner
  • Outstanding Use of Instagram
Bleacher Report House of Highlights

About this Entry

House of Highlights began as an NBA Instagram account with approximately 500K followers six years ago. Since then it has become the #1 sports media brand on Insta with more than 17 million followers, covering a multitude of sports.

How does entry represent "Excellence in Engagement"?

House of Highlights set the standard in engagement boasting 52 of the top 100 branded content posts on the platform in addition to producing 4 of the top 15 videos on the platform for both views and engagements. For both sold and unsold posts, HoH ended the year in the #2 spot for engagements and the #3 spot for engagements and views - across the entire platform. This is all on top of becoming the #1 sports media brand Instagram with more than 17 million followers.

As for a benchmark, it's important to note the balance struck between paid and unpaid content and an ability to bridge the gap by remaining true to brand voice throughout. This is a blueprint for all to follow.

Objective: In 2019, the team wanted to build on their massive reach by diversifying the brand's sports content beyond the NBA, elevating new talent, creating deeper connections with a loyal Gen Z audience, and driving further revenue through authentic brand partnerships.

Strategy & Execution: House of Highlights’ strategy, simply put, is to curate the best content on Instagram by being celebratory, inclusive, and relatable. While many sports accounts focus on highlights of a game, House of Highlights (oddly enough) tries to catch what the naked eye missed. That could be as simple as a pre-game handshake or a funny blooper that the broadcast unknowingly filmed. This gives our audience a leg up on the personalities of their favorite leagues, teams, and players. Realizing today's fan seeks personalities, HoH developed programming like The Broadcast Boys, the Through the Wire Podcast, The House of Highlights LIVE show, and The Reel, featuring fresh new faces to connect directly with audiences.

The team also broadened the playbook beyond its NBA-centric past - with only 41% of content focused on the NBA. From soccer, to football, and most notably to User Generated Content, House of Highlights delivered. Probably, most notably, it is #1 in branded content boasting 52 of the top 100 branded posts on Instagram in 2019 including the #1 branded content post of the year.

Results: House of Highlights grew at a rate of 314,000 followers per month to eclipse 16 million followers in 2019, making it the No. 1 most followed sports media account on Instagram. That audience drove 1.19 billion engagements and 6.33 billion video views, allowing House of Highlights to also capture 52 of the top 100 branded content posts on the entire Instagram platform.

Whether it be working on content with soccer clubs like PSG, celebrating creative UGC, or covering more women’s sports with HighlightHER, House of Highlights expanded well beyond the normal wheelhouse of NBA posts. With those stats and strategies in mind, House of Highlights met its objectives of diversifying content, building up its Gen Z audience, and driving revenue for brands catering towards younger demographics.

Production

  • Bleacher Report

Credits