Fan Marketing Awards: 2021

2020 has been a roller coaster of a year, and although we've certainly had our ups and downs, we wanted to start 2021 off on a positive note. However as we look towards the future, we also wanted to celebrate 2020's fan marketing accomplishments and milestones with our very first Tradable Bits Fan Marketing Awards. We took a close look at the best fan marketing campaigns, ads, shows and engagements of the year to see who went above and beyond! Read on for our top picks of the year.

Best Engagement Campaign

Our first awards go to the campaigns that did it all right. We looked for campaigns that nailed every single component from meeting overall goals, entries, engagement, promotion and creative.


The Trailblazers wanted to celebrate their 50th anniversary with a bang and created a multi-part, season-long fan voting campaign, featuring each decade throughout Trail Blazers history. To add some nostalgic flair, each piece of creative was designed around a particular decade. Their campaign truly told a story and engaged fans both in-person and online.


After Covid-19 hit, Secret Sounds had to pivot quickly to figure out their plan for their upcoming festival. They decided to opt for an all-Australian lineup and had their fans choose which local artists they wanted to see. While they had to adapt quickly to the new reality, they made their fans feel like they had a say in the changes that were made.

Most Successful Campaign

Which campaign reached the greatest number of fans? When we looked for the winner of this category, we wanted to find the campaign that garnered the highest number of entries within the past year.

BC Hydro collected a whopping number of entries with their Holiday Countdown campaign, making it our most entered campaign of the year! This Bundle campaign is an advent calendar style countdown with a new activity unlocked each day and a chance to win a prize every week. Fans had a multitude of engaging campaigns to choose from!

Best Engagement Campaign Design

Design is a huge part of a campaign's success and fans' willingness to participate. The winner of this award had the most visually pleasing campaign, with best use of creative, CSS, and a great user-experience.

When it comes to design, the 20th Anniversary Dream Team campaign by the Columbus Blue Jackets takes the cake. This aesthetically pleasing campaign was clean, user-friendly, and easy on the eyes as fans chose their all-time starting lineup for the team. The Blue Jackets made excellent use of all available assets, including a video background, color-coordinated finishes, and custom CSS.

Best Partner-Branded Activation

At Tbits, we're all about synergy across teams and companies to drive amazing results. The winner of this award created a campaign that did just that, and drove the best results for themselves and for their partners.

The Toronto Raptors partnership with Pizza Pizza found success with their Score-a-Slice campaign. This mouth-watering campaign even won an award for its sustained success. By incorporating their partner in this fun Instant Win campaign the Raptors were sure to get fans excited. This campaign drove amazing results for the partner, as well as sustained fan engagement via the Raptors mobile app.

Best Use of a Campaign for CSR or Charity

After the year, we've all had, we know that giving back is extremely important. The winner of this award used their engagement campaigns to drive Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and give back to their communities.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, in partnership with the Penguins Foundation and their partners, launched their annual Renovate the Rink campaign that awards $100,000 dollars for a community rink in need. Not only is it a great way to give back to the community, but it's a cause that is clearly important to the team and helps grow the game.

Best Digital and Physical Activation Combination

In 2020, digital activations were more necessary than ever, but combining a physical activation with a digital counterpart really set you apart. The winner of this category sucessfully leveraged the both an in-venue activation and digital component to engage their fans.

When Covid hit, the AFL went above and beyond to make their fans feel like they were in the stadium with them. Fans could send a photo of themselves to the league and, if chosen, their photos were turned into paper cutouts that sat in the stands. It's almost like they were actually there! This was a great way to encourage fans during tough times and build their fan community.

Best Use of Fan Data

There are a lot of things you can do with fan data and, when done right, you can follow your fans throughout their entire fan journey. The winner of this award used all aspects of the Tbits platform from engagement campaigns, to Fan CRM, to ads in order to drive successful business results.

You know you're using fan data right when you sell out of your festival tickets. Bonnaroo used every aspect of the Tbits platform to ensure that they were optimizing their data and going far with their ad spend. By understanding their audience, engaging them, and sending targeted ads, they drove sales and sold out.

Best Social Ad Campaign Creative

With this award, we're determining which ad campaign had the best use of creative in order to capture their fans' attention and increase conversions.

When creating their ads, Bonnaroo clearly catered to their fans and created assets that they could relate and connect to. From memes to puns, they had no shortage of engaging content to showcase! They also kept very consistent branding across their ad campaigns, using their flower child creative.

Best Livestream Event (Ticketed)

2020 was the year of the livestream, with countless examples of creatively executed performances that catered to audiences around the world. We took it all into account including the best use of CTAs, fan engagement and content during the show. The winner of this award executed an amazing livestream experience, from start to finish.

With 98% audience retention and 50% merch conversion, Peach Pit's livestream was certainly a success story. What did they do right? They created merch exclusively for the livestream, used the stream to announce important milestones and engaged their fans throughout the event.

Best Livestream Event (Free)

While most companies ran ticketed Livestream events, some brands wanted to create a free experience for their fans by off-setting the costs through sponsorship placements and partnerships.

The team at Cavendish Beach Music Festival did a brilliant job with their Holiday Hangout event by first creating a contest for fans to register themselves (for free) to the Livestream for a chance to win a prize pack which they would have delivered to them before the live stream show. They were also given the opportunity to ask Brett questions that he would answer during the live stream. Throughout the show fans were shown videos and overlays from sponsors and fan connected with one another in the live chat from all across North America. Congrats to our friends at CBMF and Murphy Hospitality Group!

Best use of AR

When the world went into lockdown, this meant that the Titans needed to figure out how to engage with their fans using technology to reach them in their homes. They first started out by launching an Instagram AR effect for the graduates of 2020, followed up by the very timely ’Mask Up’ effect, ‘ Code Blue’, and Derrick Henrys ‘Rushing Crown’ . For the playoffs, the team launched ‘Never Satisfied’, featuring 3 totally unique options within 1 AR effect. Be sure to check them out for yourself on their Instagram profile using your mobile device!

Most Innovative Partner of the Year

You may have heard it countless times, but 2020 brought us unprecedented challenges. With that, fan-based industries had to learn to adapt. The winner of the most innovative partner of the year did just that. They worked with our team to think outside of the box and create custom projects to enhance the overall fan experience and continue to drive value for the fans and their partners.

Even through difficult times, MLSE continued to innovate and think of new ways to engage their fans. In order to adapt quickly, they had creative custom projects built through the Tbits Innovation Lab, complete with Google Home integrations and even a brand new streaming platform for sporting events. Their ability to think outside of the box this year led to amazing results and engagement from their fans.


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