On November 8, Grand Valley PRSSA members had the opportunity to travel to Detroit for a series of agency tours with the Detroit Lions, Fox Theater and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. From sports PR to entertainment PR and health communication, our chapter was able to experience a number of real-life examples of how public relations is effectively being executed on a daily basis. The Detroit Lions, our first stop on the agency tours, gave us a unique look into how public relations campaigns have helped to not only communicate a message and build brand awareness, but to also help revitalize the city of Detroit during a time when they needed it most.

Elizabeth Parkinson, Senior Vice President of marketing and partnerships for the Detroit Lions, shared how these four simple words have helped engage their fans on a whole new level and align with their commitment to the city at the same time.

“This campaign is genuine, simple and Detroit-centric with creative executions that allow for seamless integration across all communication platforms.” –Elizabeth Parkinson

The One Detroit One Pride Message:

Paid Media

  • This very intentional message was featured in the Detroit Free Press after the city declared bankruptcy, helping to communicate that the NFL team was committed to partnering with the city during this tough time
  • Billboards also featured the message in the city throughout the campaign


  • The campaign integrated the message into every game ensuring that fans come to the game and leave without any question of what the theme for that night is – ex. Hispanic Heritage and Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • The stadium tunnel features the message, providing a unique view for fans to help tie the message together

In Stadium Giveaways

  • The Lions worked with Nike, a national retailer, to extend the campaign farther than they could alone through the sale of One Detroit One Pride merchandise
Fan Engagement

  • Through social media, fans are able to submit photos using the #OnePride hashtag. Photos are then featured on the Lions’ website and rotate on the messaging boards in the stadium on game day
  • This has resulted in over 14,000 submissions from fans and caused the #OnePride hashtag to trend nationally
Player Support

  • A video of Lions players reciting a pledge, which is the foundation of the campaign, plays before every game helping to unite and rally fans, players and coaches behind the overall movement: The Pledge

Overall, the campaign has been a huge success and has helped to connect the Lions team as an integral part of the revitalization of the city of Detroit. This was a great example of how a genuine message can be integrated across a number of channels to create tangible results and become more than just words.

“Anytime you have a message, you need to follow it up with action. People know when it starts feeling fabricated.” –Elizabeth Parkinson

The Lions have also launched Living For The City, a philanthropic program with a goal to support transformational efforts that improve the well-being of metro Detroit’s underserved communities. This campaign partners with organizations to create a more proactive presence for the Lions in the community during a time of resurgence in Detroit.

– Jessica Hines
Vice President of Public Relations