Case Study

Detroit Lions Get Creative During COVID, Increase Partner Value Across Social Media

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The Detroit Lions fan base consists of more than 5 million fans, primarily based in Michigan and the Midwest. Across all social media platforms, the team has more than 4.5 million followers, with a year-over-year growth rate of 2%. In 2019, the Detroit Lions partnered with Blinkfire Analytics to measure real-time sponsorship performance and actively manage their social content strategy.

With no fans in the stadium for the 2020 NFL season due to COVID-19, the Detroit Lions needed to create new and engaging ways to bring their fans from the couch onto the virtual gridiron, while also driving value for both marquee partners and in-stadium partners, including Rocket Mortgage, Kroger, and Toray Industries.

The sports team as a media company - that was the vision and approach the Lions took when creating and executing their content and programming for the 2020 season. Leveraging the expertise of the Blinkfire Analytics Customer Success Team and the Lions’ 2018 and 2019 season data in the platform, the team’s analytics and marketing departments added new partners to unsponsored social assets and created a pregame and postgame video series.

The Lions developed hour-long pre-and-postgame shows for Facebook and YouTube to include presenting partners, sponsor ad roll, and highlight reels. The pre- and-postgame shows aired for both home and away games, creating an opportunity for in-stadium sponsors to receive valuable exposure while also controlling and creating the content fans watched.

Additionally, the Lions used the Blinkfire Analytics Scene Value Report to add a sponsor to their score graphics. After each quarter, score graphics were posted to X and Instagram Stories, and final score graphics posted to Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories, and X.

The pre-and-postgame live shows allowed our team to engage with Detroit Lions fans through longer form live programming, despite not having fans in our building for the 2020 season. Additionally, the show has been a valuable channel to provide additional marketing opportunities to our corporate partners, while keeping fan interest high.

Alex Ballew
Business Insights Manager, Detroit Lions

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Pre & post game show highlights
Engagements per show
Total views

(Across Facebook and YouTube)

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