Award: CAMPAIGN AWARDS \ C17. Environmental

With the world’s wild lion population declining rapidly, professional baseball team the Seibu Lions marked their 70th anniversary by launching a player- and staff-driven conservation project. The initiative began by cleverly restyling the team as the “Save Lions” (playing on the identical pronunciation of “save” and “Seibu” in Japanese) and partnering with Oxford University’s prestigious WildCRU research unit. Money was donated to WildCRU for every home run, while outreach efforts secured over 10 project partner organizations worldwide. The campaign generated 20 million impressions (earned media coverage value: 2.1 million USD), and donations to WildCRU quadrupled year-on-year, providing funding to implement new conservation measures that could save up to an estimated 65 lions annually. Game turnout surpassed the previous season’s total by 60,000, with 83 percent of post-campaign survey respondents reporting greater interest in the team. The Save Lions project will continue in coming seasons to support long-term conservation goals.