2019 Shortlist 

The Metro by T-Mobile Purple Couch

Entrant: Lagardère Plus

Winner 🏆
  • Outstanding Use of Twitter

How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

We believe the most remarkable result, beyond the obvious brand lifts, is seeing how Metro has changed the fan’s pre-fight behavior and positioned a sponsor as a trusted and entertaining media outlet for fans to get content and news. This has also generated organic media coverage of the broadcast by creating content around newsworthy topics, delivered in large part by the fighters themselves.

To build on this in 2019, we successfully executed our very first integration of the Purple Couch into the UFC's PPV broadcast. This was the first non-gaming or movie brand integration allowed into the UFC’s PPV broadcast. The goal was to promote the program on the UFC's biggest stage to further reach fans.

This has demonstrated the ability for a brand owned show to make it all the way to a property controlled broadcast. The integration was seen by approximately 4.8M people based on estimated PPV buys.


Metro has partnered with the UFC for over seven years, and as the sport and sponsorship have evolved we must continue to find ways to engage and add value to the fan. The sponsorship’s primary objectives have been to drive awareness and then familiarity with the brand, but recently that has shifted to focus lower in the funnel to consideration.

To accomplish this, we needed a platform to engage the fan with longer-form content and tell the Metro story while also making their UFC experience better. The UFC platform is largely supported by a PPV model, and social media allows brands to own more of the content and distribution to complement traditional advertising. UFC fans are highly engaged on social, so naturally, it became a big focus for the brand. We set out to fill a void around marquee fights through a live 90-minute brand owned broadcast.

UFC fans are rampant on Twitter before, during and after fights—it’s where the conversation happens. So while our program is focused on the big platforms driving live video consumption, including Facebook and YouTube, we leaned into Twitter Live this year as they have enhanced their live product.


Strategy & Execution:

Some of the biggest stars in the UFC sat back, and put their feet up on the couch in Metro’s signature Purple Socks for this one-of-a-kind, interactive program for fans. This format with five branded segments symbolizes a game-changing mindset led by our team, who created a secure environment for athletes to connect with our audience.

Metro by T-Mobile focused on Twitter Live to take the program to new heights and expand distribution for the modern fan. This allowed the brand to take advantage of Twitter’s most advanced ad units, such as reminder cards that notified fans when the broadcast is about to go live.

Our tactics drove awareness and tune-ins for the broadcasts through Twitter, including hype posts utilizing fighter talent, and clips edited in real-time from the broadcast to drive views of the stream.

We’ve worked with key personalities in the MMA space, such as HOF'er Forrest Griffin, popular animated influencer Tommy Toe Hold, and UFC Correspondent Megan Olivi, to bring familiar faces to our broadcast. Our hosts have taken over Reddit’s MMA thread to answer questions and hype the show. And of course, we give away PPV codes and Purple Socks to reward fans that engage live.


We have broken the mold, dominated the social conversation, and fans now turn to Metro by T-Mobile for UFC pre-fight content. Below are some highlights and metrics from 2018 as well as overall:

  • In 2018, 7 live Purple Couch social broadcasts garnered over 143M (+10% YoY) impressions and 60M views (+57% YoY) across brand-owned channels
  • Overall, averaged over 60% ownership of brand social conversation on Twitter around fights activated
  • Thirteen-point increase in brand consideration with Avid UFC fans since the program’s inception
  • Live engagement tactics resulted in a 200% increase in fan engagement across social platforms since the program’s inception
  • In total, the brand has activated 17 Purple Couch broadcasts garnering over 100 million video views and 300 million impressions

Ahead of UFC 229 Khabib vs McGregor, the Purple Couch was used as a platform to introduce the new Metro by T-Mobile to the public for the first time. The broadcast garnered over 34M impressions and 14M video views, making it the most watched broadcast to date and allowed the brand to control the social conversation around the biggest UFC event in history.

In 2019, we are slated to activate at 8 marquee PPV events throughout the year.


  • Lagardère Plus
  • Rooftop2 Productions
  • Metro by T-Mobile
  • UFC


Josh Wollock
SVP, Consulting
Lagardère Plus

Adam Gotts
Director, Consulting
Lagardère Plus

Scott Lasky
SVP, Creative
Rooftop2 Productions

Join the Engagement + Creative Elite

The Open Call for Entries to the 6th Annual Hashtag Sports Awards closes on March 4, 2024. Submit content and campaigns across more than 70 categories.


Enter Now