NFLPA Smocks & Jocks

How the NFLPA achieved 22% over industry standards in the online attendance of their Smocks and Jocks virtual event with Saint Rock Media.

Smocks and Jocks is an event hosted annually by the NFL Players Association and the Professional Athletes Foundation. The event celebrates the artistic talents and interests of both active and former NFL players in the attempts to raise money for former NFL Athletes that are in need of financial or any other transitional relief. Before 2021, this event was hosted as a live, jazz brunch and auction, but since the pandemic has forced events online, the NFLPA turned to Saint Rock Media for their assistance in transitioning their annual live fundraising event to a live virtual fundraising event.


The Smocks and Jocks event has been running for 16 years, including this year (2021). This event carries a lot of weight in both its standards and its attendance. When shifting to a virtual event, these elements needed to be carefully considered. One of the most important factors that needed to be considered was that the event needed to be engaging for a virtual audience as well as be able to successfully host the live-silent auction online. In addition, there were graphic elements that needed to be designed for use both during the event and on the NFLPA’s various platforms. There needed to be an incorporation of a photo booth, an integration of a pre-recorded performance, and a live satellite-recorded performance, as well as the addition of a cooking demo. All of these were to be incorporated into the live virtual event. All of these elements were creatively constructed to entertain and engage viewers, and it was important that all of these elements were produced to a high standard.


Saint Rock Media was able to offer solutions to these challenges through their media, engagement and technical focus throughout the event. In terms of media delivery, Saint Rock Media collaborated with the NFLPA’s in-house design team to expand upon their existing design of their overall Hopin platform – on which the event was to be hosted. In addition, an enticing and interactive graphics package was created for the Smocks and Jocks event that could also be used on various other NFLPA platforms.

In terms of engagement, the live-silent auction was done through the integration of Handbid, which allowed for a live tallying of bids to be displayed on a progress bar that would automatically update throughout the live auction. A live stream of the auction as well the art installation was incorporated into the Hopin platform to allow viewers the opportunity to engage with the installation online and receive live updates from the auction.  The technical execution of this event included the coordination of multiple elements within one online, live streaming platform. In the process of incorporating a live-satellite performance, the Saint Rock Media production team based in Denver needed to work closely with the remote production team based in Chicago throughout the broadcast of the performance. This, along with the photo booth, a pre-recorded performance, and a cooking demo, were all seamlessly incorporated into the Smocks and Jocks Virtual Event.


As a result of the creative elements and high standards held throughout the virtual event, the NFLPA met their fundraising goal and saw an impressive 99% attendance from those who registered to those who attended. Furthermore, they received an incredibly high Net Promoters Score (NPS) of 9.8. Their virtual event attendance surpassed the industry standards for virtual event attendance by 22%. In the NFLPA’s transition from live to virtual, both the event standards and the viewer engagement needed to be prioritized. Saint Rock Media focused on infusing the multiple creative engagement elements into one, smooth-running, high-quality virtual event that would see the success of its mission to raise funds and engage viewers throughout the event.