Michelob Ultra Courtside by FCB Tops Clio Sports With 4 Grand Clios

See all the Grand winners for this year

FCB New York's stunning virtual courtside experience for Michelob Ultra inside the NBA bubble was the top winner at the Clio Sports Awards on Thursday—winning four of the 10 Grand Clios that were awarded.

"Michelob Ultra Courtside," which was a collaboration between the NBA, Microsoft, Michelob Ultra and FCB, earned the top prize in Design, Digital/Mobile, Direct and Innovation.

David Madrid's "Stevenage Challenge" for Burger King won two Grand Clios, for Integrated Campaign and in Partnerships, Sponsorships & Collaborations. The other four Grands went to the NFL, the Philadelphia 76ers, and two agencies—Translation and Africa.

Read more about all the Grand-winning work below. And see all the 2020-21 Clio Sports Awards winners at Clios.com.


Michelob Ultra | Michelob Ultra Courtside

Entrant company: FCB New York

Grand Clio: Design
Grand Clio: Digital/Mobile
Grand Clio: Direct
Grand Clio: Innovation

The greatest challenge ever faced by the sports world, Covid-19, also led to one of its greatest creative solutions—as the NBA, Microsoft, Michelob Ultra and FCB New York completely redefined the virtual-fan experience in a matter of weeks in the most impossible of working situations.

"Michelob Ultra Courtside" combined all sorts of cutting-edge tech—from immersive A.I. segmentation to millisecond data transfers to spatial audio and video design—to bring fans courtside, virtually, in a powerful way that was unlike anything sports or live broadcasting had seen before.

The campaign also became a cultural phenomenon with 13 billion impressions and 81.5 million hours of NBA coverage. Michelob Ultra sales grew 32 percent, due to soaring cultural relevance, on-bottle, scan-to-win ticket promotions, and unprecedented brand exposure.

Michelob Ultra Courtside

Burger King | Stevenage Challenge

Entrant company: David

Grand Clio: Integrated Campaign
Grand Clio: Partnerships, Sponsorships & Collaborations

Burger King found an ingenious way of engaging gamers with the Stevenage Challenge, which saw the brand sponsor Stevenage, a team at the bottom of English football's 4th division, in real life. This got the team's BK-branded shirts into the FIFA 20 video game, where gamers were encouraged to outfit players like Messi, Ronaldo, Mbappé and Neymar in the Stevenage kit and share the results—in exchange for rewards on the Burger King app.

Burger King | Stevenage Challenge

Beats by Dre | You Love Me

Entrant company: Translation

Grand Clio: Film

"You Love Me," which was widely celebrated across the industry and in culture in 2020, picked up its latest Grand at Clio Sports. (It won two Grand Clios at this year's Clio Awards as well—in Film and in Branded Entertainment & Content.) The film unpacked the hypocrisy of brands and corporations profiting off of Black culture while continuing to fail at showing the same love for the human lives behind it.

Sports media was critical to the spot's distribution. The film debuted during the NBA Draft and then focused on high-profile Thanksgiving Day NFL games, while digital media focused on generating as many views as possible on YouTube.

Beats by Dre | You Love Me

National Football League | NFL #ShowtimeCam

Entrant company: National Football League

Grand Clio: Social Media

Much like Michelob Ultra Courtside, the NFL's #ShowtimeCam also sought to translate the feeling and energy that fans experience at a real game to a virtual format. In partnership with Twitter Sports, the league created a new medium to help players celebrate the season’s biggest moments with their fans.

The #ShowtimeCam is an on-field LED screen with a two-way camera feed that allowed players and fans to interact and share the joy of football in real time—from end zone dancing to gestures of solidarity to fan tweets. The #ShowtimeCam was positioned in NFL stadium end zones and traveled weekly for 26 regular season, playoff and championship games, including Super Bowl LV.

NFL #ShowtimeCam

Philadelphia 76ers | Spirit of Small Business

Entrant company: Philadelphia 76ers

Grand Clio: Social Good

Given the impact of Covid on small businesses and the Philadelphia community, the 76ers launched a meaningful season-long campaign that brought the city's spirit of togetherness and vibrant culture to life. Every game day, business owners promoted the team's game day details and drive tune-in, and in turn, the team organically promoted their businesses, special offers, and drove more than 6 million fans their way.

Philadelphia 76ers | Spirit of Small Business

House of Lapland | Salla 2032

Entrant company: Africa

Grand Clio: Public Relations

Salla, the coldest city in Finland, launched a peculiar effort to host the 2032 Summer Olympics—following all of the required steps of real submission, including creating a bid film, logo, bid book, swag store, sports pictograms and a mascot. Only later, at a press conference, did the town reveal its true goal—to fight climate change and keep Salla cold, icy, and snowy.

House of Lapland | Salla 2032

To see all the 2020-21 Clio Sports Awards winners, visit Clios.com.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards, editor of Muse by Clio, and host of the podcast Tagline. Previously, he was creative editor at Adweek.

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