Pregaming the College Football Championship on Social

If you’ve ever visited Oregon, you know we’re a state with a lot of confidence– in our natural wonders, microbrews, food carts and facial hair. Likewise, we were confident that our Rose Bowl-winning, Heisman Trophy-holding, University of Oregon football program would win the College Football Championship game on Monday night against Ohio State University. So confident were we that we worked with our client, Travel Oregon, to take that pride to the Twittersphere. Our plan? Encourage brands from around the state to pledge their support for the Oregon Ducks by promising items to make up Tourism Ohio's consolation basket.

The Playbook

Just days before the big game, we worked with Travel Oregon to craft an outreach strategy to share with Tourism Ohio, as well as with Oregon partners and brands.

The game plan:

Travel Oregon was so confident that the Oregon Ducks would win that we were already putting together Tourism Ohio’s consolation basket, filled with delicious and iconic Oregon products from around the state.

The trophy:

The losing team’s tourism board would be forced to tweet a photo of them enjoying the other state’s treats. Shameful!

The Kickoff

Less than 12 hours before the Championship game began, the first tweet was sent:

It wasn’t long before @DiscoverOhio countered the offer:

Then the fun began as partners and brands from both states quickly chimed in by offering up items to donate…

… along with some friendly tips on how their contributions would come in handy for the losing team.

Of course, there was plenty of friendly banter:

As the social points began to rise, Travel Oregon’s gift basket was coming together nicely and grabbing the attention of some Portland news outlets:

Then the real game happened and we ate our tweets...


Alas, hopefully Oregon's pain will be somewhat alleviated by the tasty treats packed in Tourism Ohio's consolation basket.

The Final Score

While it would be nice to say that Oregon dominated the game on the Twitter field, this project was really a team effort by two states’ tourism boards, their social media teams and proud brands and partners who wanted to be a part of a larger, real-time conversation in a relevant way.

Over a 24-hour period, once the first tweet was sent, there were 162 #consolationbasket tweets sent from 105 users, garnering 113 retweets and generating 924,581 impressions on Twitter.

What these numbers don’t show is the relevancy and strength of the conversation. Expanding the conversation from the game itself to the people and brands that make up the states provided an outlet for spirited Oregonians and Ohioans to celebrate where they live while their state’s teams fought for the biggest accolade in college football.

While Oregon’s consolation basket was intended to ease the pain of Ohio’s loss, it was still shipped– although as a celebration basket. Because if Mariota has taught us anything, it’s to keep it classy on and off the field.