Since 2017, NFL players have used a radio helmet to communicate directly with their coach in real-time. This puts one community of athletes with hopes and dreams of making it to the league at a severe disadvantage: the Deaf and hard of hearing. 

In 2021, an idea was born to solve this problem. Using the speed and reliability of AT&T’s 5G technology, coach could connect to quarterback in real-time through a visual system inside the helmet.

Working closely with the football program at Gallaudet University — the oldest and largest University for the Deaf and hard of hearing — the innovation came to life. And in October 2023, a project that was two years in the making, was approved by the NCAA and made its big on-field debut.

To launch the innovation in a national TV spot, we told the emotional story of the entire two-year journey, from identifying the problem to seeing it used successfully in a game.

We licensed Sound Of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel (at the same time Paul Simon was coming to terms with his own partial Deafness︎︎), and we covered the track with the incredibly talented — and also partially Deaf — Amira Unplugged︎︎.

The TV spot was incredibly well received, garnering a ton of chatter and praise across social media from users who applauded, cried, and even dropped some commentary on the future possibilities.

To showcase how the AT&T 5G helmet actually works, we created a 40-second animated film that explains all of the tech that’s built into it.

And finally, we ran a print ad with a powerful manifesto and ode to the team at Gallaudet University introducing the AT&T 5G helmet that will change the game for them forever.