Angel Reese Women's March Madness Embed | 6th Hashtag Sports Awards

Angel Reese Women's March Madness Embed

Bleacher Report

The 6th Annual Awards

Nominee ✨
  • Most Creative Partnership with an Athlete or Influencer



Bleacher Report partnered with LSU’s Angel Reese to provide its audience with a unique perspective of the women’s March Madness tournament. Rather than seeing the tournament through a traditional media lens, fans got to experience the tournament directly through the student athlete’s perspective.

How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

Beyond the numbers, this partnership was a resounding success in the ways in which it moved the industry forward. By meeting our athlete and our audience where they were, we were able to deliver a product that resonated. This type of access-dependent, athlete-driven content is now industry standard as audiences continue to crave those behind-the-scenes moments. For TNT Sports specifically, it has informed current and future content partnerships we’ve established with athletes across a variety of sports.

But what makes this partnership truly industry-shaping lies in the impact it has had on women’s sports coverage. By giving Angel the power and platform to control her narrative and showcase her personality on the biggest of stages, we showed that top female athletes don’t have to fit into a singular box. Over the past year alone, we’ve seen more and more media outlets and athletes embracing this truth. The result has been more excitement than ever surrounding women’s college basketball and female athletes as a whole.


What’s yours? 🤔 @angelreese10 #marchmadness #wbb

♬ original sound - bleacherreport


For the past several years, women’s college basketball had been steadily growing thanks to increased parity, electrifying NCAA tournaments and otherworldly talents — and the 2022-23 season felt like an inflection point. For the first time, NIL provided an opportunity for players to utilize their power to become celebrities in their own rights. Still, something felt lacking from traditional media coverage, and we were in a unique position to take advantage. So, ahead of the 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, we seized the opportunity to pair our production capabilities with a top-name player personality for a first-of-its-kind content partnership.

The goal of this partnership was simple—work alongside one of the game’s top players and provide them with the production tools necessary to document their entire NCAA Tournament journey. While we provided specific production capabilities and distribution, Angel Reese was paramount to the planning, ideation and execution. This meant self-shot content that showcased behind-the-scenes moments and teammate camaraderie.

Rather than turn something overly produced, we simply wanted to provide Angel an opportunity to showcase her unique, unfiltered personality to a broader group and give our audience a peek into everything that they don’t see when watching the NCAA Tournament.

Strategy & Execution

For this partnership to work, we needed to ensure that we were meeting our athlete and our audience where they already were—on TikTok and Instagram. While we were there to provide production tools and distribution methods, we knew that the key to this content would be active creative collaboration with the athlete we partnered with. We needed someone dominant on the court with a personality to deliver the unfettered access that our audience craves. Enter, Angel Reese.

Throughout her debut season at LSU, Angel had established herself as a force to be reckoned with and one of the game’s most engaging social media follows. With hundreds of thousands of followers on TikTok specifically, she’d already shown an ability to cut through the clutter and create content that resonated with a digitally native audience. Her team was also in the midst of an unprecedented regular season run and looked prime for a long tournament stay, making her perfect for this execution.

In formulating a content plan, we worked with Angel to come up with concepts that she could film on her own, felt native to her personality and delivered unique access points for our audience.


  • HighlightHER
  • TNT Sports


  • Angel Reese


Louise Chouinard
Senior Producer
Bleacher Report

Jacklyn Bamberger
Creative Strategist, Content Development
Bleacher Report

Hafsa Kamara
Manager, HighlightHER Brand Strategy

Leah Ball
Manager, Talent Relations
TNT Sports

Celebrate in NYC

Join us for the 6th Annual Hashtag Sports Awards™ on the evening of June 6, 2024 as we celebrate finalists and reveal the winners of this year's awards live during the show.