Public Relations Case Study


Devon Energy is known as a major supporter of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education throughout its operating areas. In August 2022, Devon expanded its efforts to support STEM education by conceiving Devon SportsLabs, a five-year series of sports clinics to help students understand the science behind their favorite sports. One of the most exciting aspects of Devon SportsLabs is that student-athletes from the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Oklahoma State University (OSU) help run the learning exercises and drills.  

Devon engaged Candor to execute the Super Bowl of press events to launch the program with earned media and public awareness.


The strategy for the press event was to create a game-day environment inside the Devon Rotunda and run a Devon SportsLab outside on the lawn. Tactics included (1) coordinating with both universities to bring their bands, mascots, pep squad, horses and all the fanfare of game day to Devon’s campus, (2) leveraging Devon’s innovative Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) partnership with both schools to have players on site for media interviews and (3) creating a run of show and talking points to ensure the event was executed without a hitch. 

The strategy for gaining earned media and public awareness of Devon SportsLab was to recruit the press to attend the kick-off event and/or write stories about it. In addition to the college athletes, the mock Devon SportsLab provided great visuals for TV. Tactics included writing and distributing a media advisory and multimedia post-press release, as well as making follow-up calls to reporters. 

Media had their own SportsLab-branded media passes, access to a multi-box and a riser so they could easily see the stage. Immediately following the formal presentation, media interviews were conducted in front of a SportsLab branded step-and-repeat.


Candor successfully launched Devon SportsLabs, featuring rival administrators, a pep-rally atmosphere and enough media to fill a press box.   

The event exceeded measurable goals by generating nearly 20 unique media stories, ranging from student media to Oklahoma’s largest media outlets. The strong announcement and continued promotion led to Devon SportsLabs reaching almost 3,000 students in its first year of operation.