Elizabethton native part of team recognized with Clio award

Published 5:02 pm Monday, November 8, 2021

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An Elizabethton native’s efforts to promote small business and the Philadelphia 76ers have made him part of a nationally recognized team.

Andrew Bowers, a 2012 graduate of Elizabethton High, was part of the team that won a 2021 Clio Award, which recognizes innovation and creative excellence in advertising, design, and communication.

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Bowers was social media manager for the NBA team during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and helped create an idea for a social media campaign that focused on local business throughout the city of Philadelphia known as the “Spirit of Small Business.”

“It started out with the day of the NBA schedule release,” Bowers said “That day is one that many fans have marked on their calendars to see who their favorite team will be playing during the season. The schedule release allows for many creative opportunities on social media, but because of the pandemic we were unsure of the route we would be taking.

“At the time we didn’t really have the means or budget to do anything extravagant, especially with all of the restrictions that were in place due to the pandemic. However, our team sat down and created a vision of using small businesses throughout the city as a focus point.”

Bowers said the creative team decided to target local restaurants. “Once we had the idea in place, we had to start thinking about how we are going to help impact these businesses, especially since they would be helping with the schedule release.

“Philadelphia is such a blue collar area, and just like Elizabethton small businesses are what keeps the city moving forward,” Bowers said.

The campaign used videos and pictures from local restaurants and other businesses and creatively tuned them to show time, date, and opponent of the 76ers for a specific game. “It was awesome because the schedule release stemmed into a much larger, season-long campaign where businesses would announce the games and details such as the jersey that would be worn, the time, where people could tune in. Furthermore, if the business had a promotion going on that day, that would be highlighted as a way to support them,” Bowers said.

The campaign was well-received in the community, he said. “They appreciated the organization in the fact that we took a direction that would directly impact the city in a tough time.”

Bowers said when the campaign was submitted for a Clio Award, he was no longer working for the organization. “When it was announced that our campaign had won, I thought that it was very cool that I was able to be a part of it. However, when I looked at the website and saw my name listed with everyone else, I was both shocked and excited to see that the effort had paid off.”

Despite the national award, Bowers remains true to his roots. “I don’t forget where I come from, because Elizabethton is a place that made me who I am. I was able to go to school in Knoxville, then work for the Atlanta Hawks, then moved on to the 76ers, and now I am in New York working for a large advertising and marketing agency, so it is crazy to see the transitions in my life.

“I know there have been many people from Elizabethton that have become successful, but to see that my name is a part of a long list of successful people from the area it means a lot,” Bowers said.