Rooted | 6th Hashtag Sports Awards



The 6th Annual Awards

Nominee ✨
  • Best Documentary: Long-Form


A new initiative at the NCAA to further enhance the spotlight on women’s basketball. This project was created to elevate how we tell stories of the women’s game.


How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

This show spotlights a program’s hustle and hype. Social media get fans excited, but the 15–20-minute episodes allow fans to really lock in and gain better insight into the player’s emotions, fears, excitements, and goals. How programs are built from their leaders (head coaches) and how these programs withstand long seasons (through their players) is all outlined.

The docuseries was built to crescendo as the season came to an end. The startup locks in a fan with curiosity. It keeps the fan engaged by outlining key players and pivotal moments of the women’s game. This level of content is educational and entertaining. Social media content is often too short in time and has a short shelf life with a fan. Our goal is to create a long-lasting fan.

This type of content will be a reference point for people to come learn more about players and the way the sport operates outside of championship moments. Long form content built like Rooted is long enough to engage your fans but short enough to not lose them. We feel the life of short, long form is where content is headed second to social media quick hits.


After going on campus and understanding thoroughly the amount of time, dedication and passion put in by these teams, we felt we needed to show that level of depth to our audience. We set out to create a docu series that would highlight the greatness of our sport while also educating the fan. This docuseries dives deep into the process of team making, team building and team triumph. It is a reminder that champions are created in the offseason and those great trophy glory moments are made in the gym where no one’s watching.

This is a passion project created by our strategy lead who found a dedicated group of individuals who share a strong admiration and appreciation for women’s sports. Together, a beautiful product was created to elevate and further increased awareness of women’s basketball and the greatness that the sport brings to life.


  1. Increase Awareness and Build Brand Loyalty in Women’s Basketball.
  2. Humanize the Sport through telling the personal stories of the coaches and players. Spotlight team’s processes, failures, and triumphs.
  3. Showcase Diversity and Inclusion by highlighting the unique backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives of multiple programs.


Strategy & Execution

Rooted shows various programs that have extremely different personalities, unique program processes/makeup as well as demographic locations that play a vital role in everyday life of these players. How many of these schools’ work toward winning a championship differ greatly, but the end goal is all the same. It was our goal to showcase different types of programs in hopes of our fans finding one program they could buy-into and follow throughout the year.

From hometown heroes to NIL superstars, we have it all in our docuseries and fans will find benefit in following along throughout the season. We selected approximately 8 programs to spotlight mainly throughout the docuseries sprinkling in different stars from other programs. Our goal was to show that although these women are different, their goal is ultimately the same. For too long, we watched from a distance. In this docuseries, coaches opened their doors, shared their true viewpoints on college basketball’s makeup now versus then and where they see the game going with new changes like NIL.

It is a groundbreaking project that will only help elevate the excitement around women’s basketball.


  • NCAA


  • Autumn Johnson


Daress McClung
Assistant Director of Digital Media
National Collegiate Athletic Assocation

Forrest Roy
Digital Producer

Nick Piazza
Digital Media Editor

Alexis Pitchford
Digital Producer

Autumn Johnson
NCAA Talent

Chris Dion
Director of Digital Communications
National Collegiate Athletic Association

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.