Campaign Teardown

Crucial Catch Campaign Teardown

By Editorial Staff

With the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL and the American Cancer Society needed to find a way to promote their Crucial Catch campaign to avoid a fundraising shortage. Projecting a 50% decrease in funding, the two organizations decided to cut the risk of marketing through traditional means and invested in online and virtual strategies.

This year, to raise awareness about Crucial Catch, their joint campaign to promote “catching” cancer early through cancer screenings, both organizations specifically decided to hop onto TikTok to market their mission to Millennials and Generation Z. With TikTok’s 800M active users worldwide, the Crucial Catch campaign instantly achieved virality and high engagement.

Download the complete NeoReach Crucial Catch Campaign Teardown NeoReach Crucial Catch Campaign Teardown

Crucial Catch

The NFL, or the National Football League, has had a relationship with plenty of organizations over the years to provide financial assistance and awareness for important causes. Not only does the NFL take part in Crucial Catch, but they also participate in charitable missions such as “Huddle at Home” and “My Cause My Cleats”.  For the campaign, the NFL partners with the American Cancer Society, which is a global grassroots organization made up of 1.5M volunteers dedicated to saving lives through educational resources about cancer screenings.

The NFL’s Crucial Catch mission, in particular, is to “fight cancer through early detection and risk education”. Together, the NFL, its clubs, players, the NFL Player Association, and the American Cancer Society have committed to providing resources and tools to the community as a way to reduce their risk of cancer.

Through Crucial Catch, the NFL also raises money to support the American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates that are “implementing the Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity program”. This program promotes health equity and addresses resource disparities to help shine a light on the importance of cancer screenings. Every year, the NFL raises awareness during their Crucial Catch game – but this year the team also decided to raise awareness about Crucial Catch on TikTok to reach a new audience.  

Promoting Crucial Catch on Social Media

Crucial Catch is annually promoted by every NFL team and both organizations on social platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Over the past few years, the cause has also inspired the hashtag #CruicialCatch on every platform so users can post about the game and raise awareness about cancer detection online. Other than social media, marketers have also spread the word about the cause through an app called Defender and other methods such as:

  1. Giveaways
  2. Auctions
  3. Sweepstakes

crucial catch campaign 

Crucial Catch on TikTok

The marketers behind the campaign expanded their social media strategy this year to reach users on TikTok and spread the message of Crucial Catch to Generation Z and Millennials, the core audience of the app. To promote the campaign on TikTok, the NFL and the American Cancer Society launched a “Friday Night lights” livestream kick-off virtual events on the app featuring NFL legends, current players, fans, players’ families, and cancer survivors. After the event, fans were then encouraged to participate in the TikTok challenge by posting a video showing their “Crucial Catch” dance.

On TikTok, the NFL also posted multiple videos with the hashtag and an in-app donation button so users can instantly donate to the cause. Quickly, the hashtag went viral and videos using the hashtag gained hundreds of thousands of views. With a large number of creators making videos with the hashtag, it inspired more user-generated content (UGC) to be reposted by the NFL and the American Cancer Society, and ultimately Crucial Catch gained 2.6B hashtag views. The official organization’s content also performed well, gaining hundreds of thousands of views and thousands of likes on their videos by reposting UGC.

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Standout Content and Influencers


Thank you Mandell Ray for showing us your CrucialCatch. 🏈 #ItTakesAllOfUs @nfl

♬ original sound – American Cancer Soc.


For influencers, they were encouraged to put their own spin on their content, with some posting dance videos and others making football-related content. The influencers activated for the campaign were diversified in the way that they made content in different categories, had different audience sizes, and reached different demographics of viewers. This way, the NFL and the American Cancer Society could ensure that the Crucial Catch campaign achieved its goal of reaching a new and vast audience.

Throughout the campaign, there were standout influencers that produced either the most content or produced content with the highest amount of views and reach. Their videos were mainly geared towards young audiences on TikTok in the comedy and health categories since the NFL and the American Cancer Society wanted to spread awareness to Generation Z.

One of the influencers partaking in the campaign was Chance Moore, a father who posts his hilarious shenanigans with his toddler-aged daughter Eliza on TikTok. On the app, Moore gets hundreds of thousands to millions of views on each video, quickly making his account a viral phenomenon. Their hilarious videos have earned the Moore family:

  • 75.3K followers on Instagram
  • 28K subscribers on YouTube
  • 3.8M followers on TikTok
  • 191.1M total likes on TikTok

Jason Campbell, also known as “The TikTok Doc”, was another influencer who participated in the TikTok campaign. He’s a young Anesthesia Resident and blogger turned social media personality due to the popularity of his dancing and comedic videos on TikTok. He currently has:

  • 121K followers on Instagram
  • 2M likes on his TikTok account

Check out the influencers partaking in Crucial Catch and the metrics on their sponsored content:


Final Results

 The NFL’s commitment to Crucial Catch has brought in $22M worth of funding, impacted millions of lives, and has supported over 370,000 cancer screenings over the years. Despite the rate of cancer screenings dropping 84% this year because of the pandemic, the campaign was still able to raise the money needed to allocate funds and resources to safely resume cancer screenings in communities with the most need. With more than 2B engagements on TikTok, the Crucial Catch campaign reached mass success and achieved its goal of reaching a wider audience to raise awareness, raise money, and provide educational resources through digital strategies.

Download the complete NeoReach Crucial Catch Campaign Teardown NeoReach Crucial Catch Campaign Teardown

This article was written by Selena Ponton

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