CHICAGO (Sept. 1, 2021) – Chicago Fire FC has been named a finalist for two Hashtag Sports Awards. The Club was recognized for Best Branded Content or Series and Best Use of Graphics or Animation.

The winners in the third annual Hashtag Sports Awards will be announced in September 2021.

“Over the last two years, we’ve made it a priority to build a team of best-in-class creatives to tell the story of the Club and our players,” said Kyle Sheldon, SVP of Marketing for the Fire. “And we’re incredibly proud of our team for being named as finalists for these two awards. We’d like to congratulate Tyler Emerick, Justin Hubler, Alex Mueller, Ted Bryant, Erika Mariscal, Connor Nichols and the rest of the marketing and communications team who brought these initiatives to life. We’re honored to be amongst some of the best storytellers in all of pro sports.”

The Fire’s "Road to Soldier Field pres. by Motorola” (video) was named a finalist for Best Branded Content or Series. The 10-episode series, once designed to be limited in its scope to chronicle preseason and the first game at Soldier Field, evolved into this club's telling of the entire 2020 season and the pandemic that gripped the world. The series totaled more than 1.2 million views and 3.2 million impressions, the Club’s most-viewed series of the year. Other finalists include vineyard vines/PLL, Major League Baseball/Gatorade, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment/Bell Media, Overtime/BODYARMOR and The Players' Tribune/Barbie.

The Club’s "It Started With a Spark" (video) was named a finalist for Best Use of Graphics or Animation. Voiced by Club legend and current Assistant Coach Frank Klopas, the video gave viewers a 20+ year rundown on Chicago Fire history in under 60 seconds while providing an undeniable “Chicago style” flare through animation and motion graphics. The video saw more than 700,000 views and 1.2 million impressions across Club channels. Other finalists in the category include San Francisco 49ers/Fresh Tape Media and HEARTLENT Group.

This recognition comes a week after the Fire announced the creation of its new in-house marketing agency, Second Star Creative. The integrated marketing agency will provide a breadth of consultation and services in the areas of social media, graphic design, motion graphics, paid media, events, media relations as well as brand strategy and positioning. The in-house agency is believed to be the first of its kind in Major League Soccer.

Chicago will continue its longest road trip of the 2021 season on Saturday, Sept. 11 against Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park. The match will begin at 7:30 p.m. CT on WGN-TV, CFFC Live and Latino Mix 93.5 FM.