Creative Leaders Join Forces to Promote Voting at Sports Arenas

With in-person voting options reduced by COVID, non-partisan campaign informs public that nearly 70 stadiums and arenas across the country have opened their doors for safe, socially-distanced voting

This year, thanks to legendary basketball coach Doc Rivers, LeBron James, and organizations around the country, nearly 70 stadiums and arenas are opening their doors to voters as huge, safe, in-person polling sites.

Election Super Centers Project’s partnered with Julie Hermelin and Mary Ann Marino, founders of the Wake Up and Vote: Creative Consortium, a non-profit organization that mobilizes creators across advertising, entertainment, gaming, and design to create and produce social impact and civic engagement content and campaigns. In the tight window to launch a GOTV campaign, Hermelin and Marino (also partners at Gutsy Media) assembled a powerful creative team including Serge Patzak of 1stAveMachine, Cedric Gairard of Oatly, and Jordan Stone of Snapchat to execute the 360 national marketing strategy, Make History Here.

“GOTV messaging has been an important focus of our work and the Super Centers Project presented a perfect opportunity to further tap into the Wake Up & Vote: Creative Consortium talent pool to reach voters with a unique take: “Make History Here.” Vote with your home team, safely and early at your local arena. It’s a hyper-local GOTV campaign that creates an emotional connection to your actual polling place” says Hermelin. “This kind of fresh approach to voter mobilization could really make an impact.”

Serge Patzak, founder and partner at 1stAveMachine, assembled the core team. He says, “To get something this important done in such a short time required not only A-level players, but also a team that already had a shorthand. Having had the privilege to work with so many talented people over the years, I knew what this moment required and it felt like a family coming together for something that matters.”

On behalf of client Election Super Centers Project, Andrew Jarecki said “We were incredibly lucky to have the brilliant Julie Hermelin, Mary Ann, Serge, and Cedric and their creative teams lend their talents to this public service effort, not to mention the inimitable Jeffrey Wright who graciously provided the voice of the campaign.”

Launching October 21st, the campaign promotes not just messaging around turning out to vote and polling locations, but, with over 100 unique creative assets, it is designed to be hyper-local and draw on specific emotional loyalties fans have to their nearby arenas. It will appear on social, OOH, TV, and radio, with assets targeted at a national level, a state level, and, most comprehensively, at the county level.

“We’re speaking to communities by evoking the memories they’ve witnessed and bonded over in their local arenas,” says Gairard, the project’s creative lead. “Whether it’s the floor where LeBron made history in Cleveland or the spot where Jay-Z had an iconic moment at the Barclays Center, we’re empowering locals to make history of their own in those same spots by voting.”

This will be the first time that sports arenas are being widely used as voting centers and, in a lead-up to an election characterized by safety measures for COVID and uncertain bandwidth of polling centers, these arenas are more appropriate than ever.

“These spaces are built to manage large numbers of people, providing the logistics to respect the social distancing everyone should have when they vote,” Gairard explains. “We wanted to reduce the obstacles to voting — and no one should be prevented from voting out of health concerns.  We see these Super Centers removing that obstacle for many and our campaign is getting the message out clearly to the voting population.”

Gairard adds: “Being a voter is an identity, quite like being a sports fan or a fan of a performer, so our goal is to connect the impacts that fan identities have on local communities with the impacts that being as a voter can have on these same communities, for as many communities as possible.”


Julie Hermelin – EP & Project Lead, Managing Partner Gutsy Media and Wake Up & Vote
Mary Ann Marino – EP,  Managing Partner Gutsy Media and Wake Up & Vote
Serge Patzak – Executive Producer, Partner at 1stAveMachine
Cedric Gairard – Executive Producer
Jordan Stone, Creative Director – Campaign, Director – TVC
Jackie Fuhrman, Senior Producer
Aaron Duffy – Creative Consultant, SpecialGuest
Ron Brodie – Creative Consultant, 1stAveMachine
Daniel Hall – Creative Director / Copywriter
Emilio Cantón – Art Director
Sarah Sherman – Strategist
Ana Ponce de Leon-Dios – Project Manager
Melissa Burns – Post Producer
Sunshine Sachs – Public Relations
Nick O’Neil, White House Post – editorial
Carbon – Graphics
Beacon Street – VO Recording
Good Ear Music Supervision – Music
The Refinery Creative – DOOH, Print, and Social
Voice Over Talent – Jeffrey Wright

Campaign Produced by Gutsy Media, Wake Up & Vote & 1stAveMachine