2019 Shortlist 

2 Chainz X LeBron James "Rap Or Go To The League"

Entrant: Def Jam Recordings

Winner 🏆
  • Best Use of Culture, Music, or Entertainment


How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

The collaboration of Chainz and LeBron should inspire not only other artists to make these type of alignments happen for the sake of their music, but also encourage athletes in other sports (maybe not at LeBron's level of fame) to take advantage of their social followings and work on projects with other influencers. This allows both brands to simultaneously grow and make an impact.


The objective of the 2 Chainz X LeBron James "Rap Or Go To The League" alignment was to showcase LeBron's ability as an A&R, create original content put together by Apple Music, and package the album in a unique way so that fans of both Chainz and LeBron could enjoy.

Our timeline for this project was unique and strategized, as well. We wanted to capitalize on each moment as a major tent pole for the album, given LeBron's massive social reach. We first announced that LeBron was going to be officially A&R'ing the album. This came with widespread press reaction and excitement.

The second announcement was our first trailer for the Apple Music interview; to film it, they spent hours in the studio with both Chainz and LeBron as they put final touches on the project, critiqued songs, and figured out which should release as potential singles / deluxe tracks. 5 more trailers continued after that until the full interview release on Apple Music and helped tell our unique story of how both Chainz and LeBron collaborated on an album.

Together the partnership is designed to inspire a new generation of millennial men to express their personal style in a way that is relevant to their lives. Through this collaboration, the Brand also wanted to demonstrate innovation in its product and in its marketing, with a digitally disruptive approach to engaging consumers.

Strategy & Execution:

The 2 Chainz & LeBron alignment was all about the modern sports fan. Using LeBron's audience, arguably the biggest in sports internationally, we were able to show his fans a different skill set of his and line up that with our new music from 2 Chainz.

The content we shot with Apple Music also lent itself to the modern sports fan. In today's social media world (LeBron having the biggest Instagram following in American sports) fans are always eager to see their favorite athletes outside of the sport; with friends, family, or on vacation. This content explored that lane and shed light on LeBron's outside life as an A&R.


As mentioned earlier, our biggest splash throughout the entire roll-out, was the official announcement that LeBron was involved in a 2 Chainz album. From a social standpoint, in total, we saw posts go up on 20+ pages (across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) totaling nearly 112 million in reach. This amounted to over 3.8M views across all posts, 10,000 comments, 8,200 Twitter Retweets, 27,500 likes in just 1 week. Posts went up on LeBron's Instagram (47M followers), the Apple Music social accounts (over 17M combined followers), and nearly every major press outlet, such as Bleacher Report, Rolling Stone, & Billboard.

This gave the campaign significant heat heading into the first episode of the content with Apple Music and, most importantly, improved album streaming and sales numbers because of the excitement.


  • Def Jam Recordings
  • Apple Music

Featured Talent

  • 2 Chainz
  • LeBron James


JD Tuminski
VP Digital
Def Jam Recordings

Zach Shefrin
Digital Marketing Manager
Def Jam Recordings

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