The Soda Academy

NBC Sports’ Kentucky Derby Social Brooch

Viget worked with NBC Sports at the 2016 Kentucky Derby to create a digital accessory for Johnny Weir that was not only buzz-worthy, but actually buzz-driven, turning thousands of tweets into the engine that powered a magic social brooch.

At the Kentucky Derby, Johnny Weir has a style all his own, and his annual derby fashion has become its own talked-about event. But what if his ensemble, in addition to being a topic of social conversation, had functionality that could be directly controlled by social users — live and on-air? To find out, Viget worked with NBC Sports to create the first-ever Twitter-powered brooch for this year’s Run for the Roses.

With a number of factors to consider, including sound, camera visibility, style, and comfort, Viget had to iterate on the brooch’s design and components to create a robust yet stylish IoT solution. On race day, they unveiled a custom “Social Brooch” that featured a race horse that galloped and illuminated in response to Twitter activity surrounding the NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage. With millions of broadcast viewers generating thousands of tweets, social played a huge part in the power-packed four-hour network event.