2019 Shortlist 

Purple Reign

Entrant: Minnesota Timberwolves

Winner 🏆
  • Best Multi-Platform Campaign

How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

Every year, every NBA franchise releases at least one uniform. In nearly all releases, fans are served detail photos, hype videos, and infographics breaking down all the minutiae of the jersey. In the Timberwolves’ release of the 2018-19 Prince-Inspired Nike City Edition threads, the mold was broken to bring to life Prince’s style and artistry in the form of an NBA jersey with video, social media, web design, and mobile app activation -- setting a new standard for a team’s uniform unveil. The reveal set new social media and web traffic records for the franchise, as well as led the entire NBA in engagement at a time when every team unveiled its City Edition uniform.


Nike and the NBA’s yearly release of team-specific City Edition uniforms, unique to each NBA market, is meant to capture the culture of each franchise’s home city. In Minneapolis, no icon is more representative of the city’s culture than Prince. Throughout his career as one of music’s most magnetic performers, Prince’s love of basketball was well documented whether it be his regular attendance at NBA games, his impromptu party to celebrate the Minnesota Lynx’s 2015 WNBA Championship or in the now-infamous ‘Chappelle’s Show’ skit of ‘Charlie Murphy’s Real Hollywood Stories.’

In celebration of “The Purple One’s” life and legacy with a Prince-inspired City Edition uniform, the Minnesota Timberwolves unveiled the purple jerseys in collaboration with Nike and the late musician’s estate with a multi-platform digital and social media campaign that brought the essence of Prince’s 1984 film and album ‘Purple Rain’ to the NBA hardwood.

Strategy & Execution:

The creative challenge to authentically represent one of the greatest artists of all time fueled Timberwolves Digital to take their game to new heights. The opportunity to put the Timberwolves brand on the biggest and brightest stage to a wider audience than ever before required a great deal of preparation. The team laid out their creative plan and presented it to Basketball Ops executives with the goal of setting up a full team production session dedicated entirely to City Edition content creation. Permission was granted, and the process took off from there. The entire output of Timberwolves City Edition platforms and content was conceptualized and created one hundred percent in-house. The goal from the start was to create platforms and content that would excite, engage, and captivate fans throughout the entirety of the six month season


  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • The Prince Estate
  • Paisley Park
  • Nike


Mike Grahl
Chief Marketing Officer
Minnesota Timberwolves

Erik Nelson
Executive Producer, Digital Content
Minnesota Timberwolves

Lindsay Milne
Vice President, Marketing
Minnesota Timberwolves

Noah Ferche
Producer and Production Manager
Minnesota Timberwolves

Sam Flood
Manager of Digital Innovation
Minnesota Timberwolves

Cody Sharrett
Social Media Manager
Minnesota Timberwolves

Shahbaz Khan
Senior Manager of Digital Content
Minnesota Timberwolves

Kyle Ratke
Digital Content Manager
Minnesota Timberwolves

Taylor Nardinger
Social Media Coordinator
Minnesota Timberwolves

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