Bleacher Report’s ‘HighlightHer’ Teams With Zelle To Champion WNBA Voices Around Playoffs

HichlighterHer Her Home Court 1

As the ‘2021 WNBA Playoffs Presented by Google’ got under way on 23 September, House of Highlights (HoH) – the multi-platform sports media business acquired by Bleacher Report in 2016 – launched a new campaign under its ‘HighlightHer’ brand focused on female athletes and teams with three major partners Zelle, Nike and Gatorade.

 

Born out of HoH, which focuses on the creation, aggregation and distribution of sports viral clips and original video series primarily for a Gen-Z audience, ‘HighlightHer’ is the fastest growing women’s sports platform on Instagram. Founded by Ari Chambers in 2019, it is led by an all-female team of Black content creators, producers and programmers and its mission is to promote, support and elevate the entire women’s sports space.

 

HighlightHer and online payments brand Zelle teamed up for the three-part series called ‘Her Home Court’ which showcases athletes who have had a significant impact on the sport and on their local communities.

 

Featuring WNBA and basketball stars from past and present, the spots run across HighlightHer’s and Bleacher Report’s social channels on Instagram and YouTube, and will also have a linear extension with promos for the episodes on TNT, NBA TV and DirecTV during NBA preseason games.

 

The first spot stars Washington Mystics star and WNBA champion Natasha Cloud and debuted on 12 October during the WNBA finals.

 

 

Episode two features Hall of Fame basketball player and coach of South Carolina and Team USA Dawn Staley and debuts on 27 October. Episode Three highlights the 2017 WNBA MVP Sylvia Fowles of the Minnesota Lynx and rolls out on 22 November in her hometown of Miami.

 

The campaign is also timed to leverage the WNBA’s 25th anniversary and includes a large-scale mural of each athlete.

 

 

 

 

Part of the initiative also sees Zelle make a financial contribution to each of the communities spotlighted by Her Home Court.

 

According to HighlightHer director Felicia Kelly, Zelle was a natural fit as a launch partner.

 

“They were super excited about investing,” said Kelley. “When we met with Zelle they were always excited to amplify ideas that we already had, and also making it bigger.

 

“Three episodes, three athletes, we’re painting a mural of them so the community can see, and we have a philanthropic cash gift that we give back to them through Zelle,” said Founder Ari Chambers. “It’s empowering sisterhood and spotlighting bold stories between moments and actual storytelling, making sure that it’s globally diverse, and it’s women in sports and culture, all ages, activities, abilities, the whole spectrum. We’ve chosen three people that we feel are really impactful to their communities. Natasha Cloud, we’ve seen her on the frontlines protesting. And not just Black Lives Matter, but exploring what it means to be biracial and bisexual, so that’s representation that we haven’t seen as vocally before. We strategically picked people like that who have had such an impact on their community, and hired a local artist from each one to paint and memorialize their legacy,” Chambers added.

 

This WNBA Playoffs campaign included content related to the tournament and Finals and also dovetails with a HighlightHer league 25 anniversary capsule collection.

 

 

 

 

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Linked to the Zelle tie-up work, a five episode series in partnership with Gatorade’s ‘Greatness’ campaign called ‘ChattHer’ will follow highlighting women athletes and run on Instagram and YouTube.

 

Plus Nike has also signed on as a launch partner in the Autumn which will result in a further campaign.

 

Recent years have seen significant growth in women’s sports and an increasing number of major brands are supporting and leveraging the action

 

This campaign reflects the ongoing growth of HoH: a brand which currently boasts more than 24m followers across Instagram, YouTube and TikTok and accounts for around 10% of Bleacher Report’s total revenue.

 

 

 

 

 

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