University of Kentucky Takes the Crown for Content Outcomes
What do you do when your university has an amazing basketball player, but she doesn’t get the credit she deserves? That was the dilemma that faced the University of Kentucky Wildcats during the 2018-2019 women’s basketball season. While Rhyne Howard received some public praise for her hard work, she was also overlooked by the women’s basketball fan base.
To build awareness of Rhyne’s prowess, the UK Athletics Creative Services Office began its epic three-year #CrownHer creative campaign. And they wanted to carry it out during Rhyne’s sophomore year.
The campaign takes inspiration from a popular Billie Eilish song. “You Should See Me in a Crown,” according to Lakia Bailey, Assistant Creative Director. “We looked for a theme that highlights her game but also hints at a bigger goal of getting her the appreciation we felt she deserves”. The campaign, managed within Lytho, included:
- Limited edition posters
- Social media
- A 5-story graphic that featured on the campus main street
- And crowns
And her growing fan base wore all that to show their support. The effort included the creative team and stakeholders from marketing, the ticket office, and compliance.
“Lytho played a huge role in that, especially with the approval process. They ensured everybody approved it from all the different departments,” Lakia said. “We use Lytho all day, every day.”
The campaign generated a lot of excitement and led to 3-million social media impressions. Fans lined up around the block for Rhyne”s last home game during her senior year. And, she played in front of a full house of them cheering wildly and wearing their paper crowns at the 8,500-seat Memorial Coliseum. As a side note, the team went on to win the Southeastern Conference Championship that year (for the first time in 40 years). And Rhyne was the No. 1 overall WNBA 2022 Draft pick (a UK history first), drafted to the Atlanta Dream.
The #CrownedHer Campaign
After the massive success of the three-year social media campaign, the hashtag associated with Rhyne was then tweaked from #CrownHer to #CrownedHer. “In my 15 years in collegiate athletics, I have never seen something as simple as a hashtag and some visual elements create such a lasting impact on a human and her legacy,” Lakia said.
The UK Athletics Creative Services Office built a lot of Big Blue Nation excitement and enthusiasm from watching Rhyne play. Also, the campaign received Lytho’s 2022 Best Content Outcomes Winner award.