Lafayette American Takes Home Gold Effie for Detroit City Football Club’s “Bragging Rights”

Share Article

The Detroit-based creative agency earns the marketing industry’s most coveted award for helping to save the celebrated soccer team

DCFC is one of the greatest sports stories in the country. It would have been a tragedy to let COVID take it down. Luckily, their fans are true champions and, when the team needed them, they rose to the moment.

Lafayette American received a Gold Effie for their Detroit City Football Club (DCFC) campaign, “Bragging Rights,” which saved the newly minted pro team from unexpected revenue loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just before the kick-off of DCFC’s first professional season, the pandemic hit, matches were canceled, and the club was facing financial collapse. The celebrated soccer team needed a plan to survive — so the campaign brought the prestige and swagger of being a real owner of a pro sports team to life for diehard fans. Lafayette American launched and promoted a WeFunder campaign that raised over $1 million and saved the DCFC franchise in less than five days.

DCFC went from a collection of neighborhood soccer squads to the hottest ticket in Detroit sports over eight hard-fought years. The team also became a sign of hope, acceptance, and unity between the City and the suburbs, making an impact far beyond the field. “Bragging Rights” targeted fans, including “Urban Pioneers” (20-30 year olds living in Detroit) and residents of surrounding suburbs, because they already “owned” the DCFC brand. Lafayette American knew that with this campaign, they would be ready to step up.

“Right now, DCFC is one of the greatest sports stories in the country. It would have been a tragedy to let COVID take it down. Luckily, their fans are true champions and, when the team needed them, they rose to the moment. We’re so fortunate to be a part of this story.” said Toby Barlow, CCO of Lafayette American.

To avoid putting further pressure on the client's limited funds, Lafayette American launched the campaign with a fourth-month goal and generated 125% of the goal in less than 5 days. Funds for the campaign were nearly non-existent, so everything was distributed through owned channels — organic social — in addition to out of home. “Bragging Rights” features Iggy Pop with a chilling call to arms in the ‘Be an Owner’ video: “We’ve been saying ‘we’ for years...We are the pride of this city. We don’t march to anyone’s drum but our own. We are City ‘til we die. Now it’s time to OWN UP.” A recap of the campaign is available to watch here.

The Grand Effie was selected from eight Gold Effie winners, including Burger King and INGO Stockholm’s “Moldy Whopper”; Crayola, dentsumcgarrybowen and Golin’s “Color Yourself Into the World”; Detroit City Football Club and Lafayette American’s “Bragging Rights”; Michelob ULTRA and FCB New York’s “Michelob ULTRA Courtside: Game-Changing Innovation Changes the Game”; Sandy Hook Promise & BBDO New York’s “Back to School”; The Wild Detectives and Dieste’s “Traveling in the Times of Corona”; and Tinder and 72andSunny Los Angeles’ “Swipe Night.”

Lafayette American
Chief Creative Officer - Toby Barlow
Executive Creative Director - Doug Patterson
Executive Producer - Amy Abbott
Art Director/ACD - Sarah Bills
Copywriter/ACD: Aidan McKiernan
Production Design - Brent Mosser
Manager - Don Peasley

:45 spot
Editorial: Push Media
Executive Producer - Deb Agolli
Editor - Nathan Hardecki

VO/Talent - Iggy Pop

"Bragging Right" social videos:
Production Company: Former Co
Tony Wolski - Director
Aaron Jones - DP
Dylan Reminder - Producer

About Lafayette American
Lafayette American is a strategic and creative shop of brand accelerators that taps into the wealth of independent talent available in the world today. The company is designed to be innovation agnostic, allowing them to plug into whatever is next with insight driven strategy, high value production, elegant design and whip-smart creative. Because no matter what that next "thing" is, it will need human insights and inspiring creativity to make it relatable, empathetic, emotional, and empowering. For more information, visit

About The Effie’s
The Effie Awards are known by advertisers and agencies globally as the pre-eminent award in the industry, and recognize any and all forms of marketing that contribute to a brand's success. For over 50 years, winning an Effie has become a global symbol of achievement. Today, Effie celebrates effectiveness worldwide with over 50 programs, including the Global Effies, regional programs in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East / North Africa and Latin America, and national Effie programs. The awards now honor all forms of effective marketing and the companies and individuals creating effective work across the globe.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Julia Jennings
Visit website