The Sport & Social Industry Association (SSIA), the premier organization connecting companies that run adult sports leagues, tournaments, and social events, has just announced the winners of its 2015 Social Star Awards. Administered this year by Chris Hastings, Vice President of the SSIA, and voted on by approximately 70 SSIA board members, the Social Star Awards are designed to recognize and honor outstanding and innovative groups in the social sports industry.

New York-based co-ed sports league coordinator NYC Social swept the categories in which it was nominated. A trailblazer in the social sports industry, NYC Social was nominated and voted the winner in three categories: Marketing Innovation Award, Product/Program Innovation Award, and Best Social Media Campaign.

NYC Social won Best Social Media Campaign for #LoveDrop, a cross-channel activation that delighted singles all over Manhattan. Conceived by boutique digital branding firm Firebrand Group, the campaign involved Firebrand locating recipients via their tweets and surprising them with special deliveries of goodies, including Pandora pops, free season passes to NYC Social, Valentine’s Day candy, and more.

“#LoveDrop stemmed from the idea that NYC Social is all about meeting people in real life: putting down that cell phone, closing that dating app, and hanging out with people who enjoy similar activities,” said Gabrielle Zigi, Firebrand Group’s Director of Digital Marketing. “We want to practice what we preach by showing up at our followers’ front doors, interacting in person, and dropping off some love.”

The campaign boosted interest in NYC Social and ensured everyone who participated felt the love. #LoveDrop received 1.9 million impressions across various social platforms and saw NYC Social increase its social following, including a 9% increase on Instagram alone.

And for anyone who missed out on the fun, NYC Social’s Founder Amy Short teased, “We had such a blast on Valentine’s Day that we think NYC could use another #LoveDrop to welcome all those recent transplants—it’s hard to meet new people out there!” You never know when NYC Social and Firebrand will drop some love, so make sure to check out #LoveDrop on Twitter this week.

The Marketing Innovation Award, which recognizes ingenuity in promotional campaigns, was awarded to NYC Social for its “Fall in Love Spectacular.” The event connected singles as well as committed partners hoping to strengthen their bond. The campaign featured beautiful retro artwork, and had significant social media buy-in, including key tweets to (and retweets by) Mandy Len Catron, the author of the NY Times article which inspired the event. As a result of the campaign, Time Out New York’s annual singles issue named NYC Social one of the top 5 places in NYC to meet other singles.

The Product/Program Innovation Award, which recognizes the most original product offering, was awarded to NYC Social for its scheduling creativity and optimization of fields and venues. Its creative scheduling resulted in a revenue boost for NYC Social in both the summer and fall seasons.


Firebrand Group is an energetic, interdisciplinary team of digital marketing experts, social media savants, and creative specialists based in the quaint farming village of New York, NY. Established in 2012, Firebrand partners with Fortune 500-level brands and high-growth startups to tell their stories through digital channels. For a full list of services offered and a list of brand partners, please visit:


Since 2004, NYC Social has made its mission to connect adults (ages 21+) via athletic activities like volleyball, football, soccer, dodgeball, and many more. These co-ed sports, open to all experience levels, easily encourage networking while taking the awkwardness out of meeting new people. For more information on NYC Social, please visit: