The Atlanta Falcons took a unique and irreverent approach to announce their 2021 schedule release this year. Now one of the most anticipated moments on the NFL calendar, the schedule release has become not only a moment to energize the fan base, but also a cultural moment that transcends beyond the simple announcement.
This year, the Falcons' goal was to set the bar when it comes to creating content that will engage young and avid audiences as well as next-gen fans. The Falcons used Bleacher Report's Gridiron Heights, a wildly successful short animated spoof series centered around the NFL and its 32 teams, for inspiration.
The Falcons called Bleacher Report and the teams worked to produce a special episode of Gridiron Heights. As any sports fan knows, healthy rivalries can motivate players and fans alike and the NFL landscape is ripe for healthy competition between teams, individual players and fanbases. In typical fashion, the Falcons have woven "easter eggs" throughout the episode, so fans will enjoy catching additional playful "pokes" across all opponents.
"Content has the power to strengthen the relationship we have between the team, our fans and the city of Atlanta" says Morgan Shaw Parker, chief marketing officer, Atlanta Falcons. The NFL schedule release has become a key moment on the NFL calendar for our fans and they now expect our content to be fun, engaging and irreverent. Knowing that healthy rivalries tend to bring a bit of fire to our Atlanta fanbase."
Additionally, playing off Atlanta's rich music culture and the relevancy of the #VERSUZ battles on social media, the Falcons have created a themed-schedule release graphic concept featuring popular music artists from opposing cities against Atlanta artists - with custom album covers. The Falcons social media schedule release launch will commence this evening with continued content throughout the rest of the week.