Baltimore Ravens Score With Branded Emojis

Few things go together quite as well as professional sports and social media, and that’s even more true with the advent of branded emojis that allow fans to show their pride in text messages and the like. The latest team to tap into the emoji craze is the Baltimore Ravens, which partnered with Swyft to create a keyboard of appropriately purple-hued emotional avatars.

According to the partners the Ravens branded emoji keyboard attracted 40,000 downloads in the first 36 hours after launch, and generated 1.12 million impressions through 211,000 total sends. The most popular emojis were the Maryland state flag (admittedly not an emoji per se), followed by the Ravens logo, “Go Ravens!” and the “purple crab,” a reference to the Chesapeake Bay’s most delicious denizen.

In addition to the whole range of usual smiley (and frowny, and positively satanic) faces, the Ravens emoji keyboard includes the numbers for popular players past and present -- most notably #52, Ray Lewis, plus some other amusing icons including a digital foam finger, a stoned-looking football player, and a couple of fans falling in love in their purple jerseys. The only thing missing is an emoji for Edgar Allen Poe, the man behind the team’s namesake: maybe with an empty whiskey bottle in a ditch?

Swyft has already worked with a range of other clients, producing emoji keyboards for MillerCoors, 1800Flowers and Fox, among others.

Of course Swyft isn’t the only player in the branded emoji space. Previously I wrote about Snaps, which raised $6.5 million in a new round of funding in April. Simultaneously Snaps also launched its  “Branded Messages” service, which enables advertisers to create and distribute native advertising in the form of custom branded emoji keyboards and sticker campaigns for mobile. Snaps clients include Burger King, Time Inc.’s Food & Wine, Comedy Central, The Houston Rockets, Nickelodeon, Victoria’s Secret, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and VH1.

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