ORLANDO, Fla. (June 23, 2021) — Following one of the most innovative and buzzworthy sports social media activations of 2020, Orlando Pride’s “Pride Stan” account has been named Sports Business Journal’s “Best in Sports Social Media” at the prestigious Sports Business Awards on Wednesday evening. The Pride beat out four other stalwarts in the sports arena including the National Football League, the Arizona Coyotes, Bleacher Report and the Premier Lacrosse League.
“This award is a dedication to every woman that is fighting for equality around the world and trying to succeed despite global challenges,” Diogo Kotscho, Orlando Pride SVP of communications, said upon accepting the award. “To the potential sponsors and partners who may be watching, the Pride Stan account and the Orlando Pride are yet another case that proves women’s sports are worth investing in. The engagement, passion and fan support is simply amazing. We’re honored to accept this award and to be playing our part in growing women’s sports in the United States and across the globe.”
Following the team’s withdrawal from the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup, the “Pride Stan” account was born with the intention of continuing the coverage and celebration of the league and women’s sports despite the Club being unable to compete. Acting a stan, or “superfan”, the Pride social media channels utilized memes, GIFs and in-house produced content to highlight and cover each of the 23 matches of the tournament, from opening game to the championship.
Without having a team competing in the tournament, the Pride social media channels reached landmark numbers, while also delivering relevant, engaging content for corporate partners in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the conclusion of the preliminary round of the tournament, the Pride finished atop the league in both Twitter engagements (93,940) and brand value ($125,449), according to Zoomph. Additionally, the Pride finished second in Facebook engagement (23,263) and top in engagement rate (5.87%) on the platform, and second overall in Instagram engagements (344,594). During the 17 day tournament period, the Pride accounts totaled over 1.5 million engagements across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, a social media reach of nearly 12 million and over 16 million impressions on Twitter.
Additionally, July 2020 was the second highest social media impressions month in Club history, only behind July 2019, which included the Women’s World Cup Final, celebration of the U.S. Women’s National Team’s win and players’ return to market.
During the June 27 to July 13 window, the Pride Stan account also utilized its platform to boost additional storylines across the league, partnering with Racing Louisville FC to help promote their brand launch, welcoming expansion side Angel City FC and helping the NWSL Twitter page to 200 thousand followers.