It may not have lured LeBron James to join the team, but the #LVwantsLeBron social media campaign the Lehigh Valley IronPigs conducted earlier this year has turned out to be a winner in many other ways.
The basketball great ultimately signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. But the team’s use of social media and other advertising avenues to convince James otherwise got fans excited, talking and sharing the IronPigs’ efforts.
And now the Pigs’ marketing team has brought home two Golden Bobblehead awards from this year’s Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar.
Representatives from all 160 minor league baseball teams voted for the best promotions of the year and the LeBron effort received an award for Best Overall Promotion and Best Digital Campaign.
"We've done a number of unique and interesting promotions but none have gained as much attention from fans and other teams as #LVWantsLeBron," said Kurt Landes, IronPigs president and general manager. "After we saw the incredible reaction to our initial posts, we knew we were on to something and pulled out all the stops to try and land LeBron."
The effort started in early May when the team put up a billboard on American Parkway that read "Our Pitch … LeBron to the IronPigs." The team then posted it to its different social media channels.
After that, the promotion started getting national attention from ESPN, Sports Illustrated, USA Today and NBC Sports, among other media.
Overall the IronPigs generated more than 1.6 million organic impressions on LeBron-themed digital content.
Chris Dunham, director of digital media and communications for the IronPigs, said it was the team’s top tweet ever and the promotion also earned the team some of its most popular Instagram posts.
The two awards bring the Pigs to five total Bobblehead awards, making the team the winningest in the league when it comes to promotional honors.
Dunham said there have been 40 Golden Bobbleheads given out since the program started in 2011 so being one team with 12.5 percent of the awards is pretty impressive.
He noted that this is the first time the IronPigs have won the Best Overall Promotion and it was the first year an award was given out for the Best Digital Campaign, so the team was the first to win that award.