Connect with us

Marketing

A Celebration One Hundred Years in the Making

The Green Bay Packers understand you only turn 100 once.

Scot Chartrand

Published

on

1919 Green Bay Packers team photo–via Green Bay Packers

Five years ago, a committee was formed and slowly began work on a unique project for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.

The Packers are different from other organizations across the NFL and in American sports in that they are community-owned. They are driven from the ground up.

That same approach was applied to this committee as they attempted to brainstorm and gather ideas for a very important effort.

The committee reached out to Facilities. They reached out to Human Resources. They reached out to staff at the 1919 Kitchen & Tap—the team’s restaurant on-site at Lambeau Field. They reached out to employees at the team’s Hall of Fame…and ultimately every department in the organization to determine what they could do for the fans.

When it was all said and done, they collected over 300 ideas across the entire club.

The committee took a familiar bottom-up approach and, in doing so, formed the foundation for the celebration of 100 Seasons of Green Bay Packers football that officially launched this past April.

Behind the Planning and Strategy

So, how do you pare down 300-plus ideas into something executable for a landmark celebration?

It’s all about having the right set of strategic goals.  The Packers had these in mind as they refined and categorized which ideas would pass through an internal tollgate to become reality.

The Packers’ 100 Seasons celebration is designed to be 80% “big events” and 20% “little things.”

“Large events and small tactics,” were the driver according to Joan Malcheski, the Green Bay Packers’ Director of Brand and Marketing.

The team also considered how efforts would be implemented in terms of impact and reach to respective groups of fans at a local, state, national, and even international level while emphasizing the team’s place in history.

So, ideas were validated against potential audiences such as season ticket holders, waitlist members, team sponsors, media groups, adults, children, etc…

Weighing what the celebration would look like, the goal was to implement as much as they could to benefit the most diverse cross-section of fans.

Not everyone would be able to travel to Lambeau Field after all…

So, when do you celebrate and how do you recognize such a momentous achievement?

The answer became an extensive, 16-month celebration starting this year that would last through the 100th season, culminating in the 100th anniversary of the franchise in August 2019.  The elongated timing would allow for the events to extend well beyond Green Bay.

In a league where many team rebrands take two to three years to plan, a team that has had little reason to change anything about their identity, invested more time in a celebration a century in the making.

“YOTOHO—You Only Turn One Hundred Once!”

That was the motto at Lambeau Field for those planning the 100 Seasons celebration, as they brought their many ideas together to make the most of the historic anniversary.

100 Seasons patch on a Green Bay Packers jersey–photo via Green Bay Packers

At the centerpiece of the festivities is the team’s custom-designed 100 Seasons logo.

Malcheski shared that the 100 Seasons logo was actually developed years ago as part of the long planning process.

“The layout of the logo, how it looks on the field, how the patch fits on a jersey–there was a lot of time and input on this.”

Lambeau Field Live artist’s rendering–photo via Green Bay Packers

Celebrating with Large Events

“We’re taking Lambeau Field on a road trip!”

According to Malcheski, Lambeau Field Live presented by Associated Bank “takes what’s great about Lambeau Field, scales it down, and brings it to the people.”

The team is bringing the Lambeau Field experience around the state, bringing along part of their Hall of Fame (including artifacts) and even tour guides and a team historian to ramp up the experience that targets key milestones in the Wisconsin summer.

Five venues were chosen to host the roadshow:

  • Summerfest (Milwaukee)
  • Northern Wisconsin State Fair (Chippewa Falls)
  • EAA AirVenture (Oshkosh)
  • Wisconsin State Fair (West Allis in suburban Milwaukee)
  • Taste of Madison

Lambeau Field Live aerial view artist’s rendering–photo via Green Bay Packers

The free exhibit will add to the excitement not just this summer for Packers fans—but also next year’s in 2019 as it will travel to each event in successive years.

Interactive opportunities will include fans being able to run through the players’ tunnel and perform the Lambeau Leap through virtual reality experiences presented by Patrick Cudahy.

The NFL venture of Play 60 Kids will feature additional opportunities for kids at Lambeau Field Live, and fans of all ages will have the chance to run drills as part of the roadshow.

Fans also can sign up for a Packers Pass with chances to scan to win prizes on site and take photos with alumni in an idea that was actually piloted at Packers training camp last summer.

Involvement of long-time, local sponsors like Associated Bank (the bank of the Packers since 1919) is no accident either as the team wanted to work alongside many of their partners to spread the word about 100 Seasons and engage as many fans as possible.

Want more content like this? Subscribe to our daily newsletter!

Following these mid-summer events, training camp will coincide with the Packers Experience, a free, four-day, interactive festival at Lambeau Field and areas adjacent to the stadium.

Included are activities for all ages, such as USA Football kids clinics, live music, alumni appearances, and additional opportunities to win prizes and take photos through the Packers Pass. This experience also involves sponsors such as American Family Insurance, Old El Paso, and Mills Fleet Farm.

The final marquee event of 2018 will be Celebration Weekend when the season kicks off in September on Sunday Night Football against the rival Chicago Bears. There visiting alumni across the decades will headline the festivities alongside a free concert provided for fans.

Engaging with Small Tactics

Fans in and around Green Bay can experience some of these small tactics already as they may notice parking lot banners heralding 100 Seasons, signage at Green Bay-Austin Straubel International Airport, and even bus wrap graphics in town.

Speaking of small, the team went as far as considering a postage stamp, but Joan Malcheski shared that the team was surprised to find out that their advance timing was still too late!

One small-sized tactic that the team had a little more control over became new business cards for Packers employees.  In addition to the 100 Seasons logo, they all feature unique historical facts on the back!

For those not in Northeast Wisconsin, the multi-faceted strategy already has an opportunity underway for you.

With 100 Days of Giveaways presented by Tombstone, fans all over the globe have a chance to enter daily online and win prizes through mid-July including tickets, team shop gift cards, 100 Seasons gear, and even $500 travel vouchers for more distant fans to make their way to Wisconsin for the celebration.

As these giveaways are in full swing, the Packers will then release the 100 Seasons micro-site on June 1st including tease videos for upcoming festivities.

Events will come and go, but the team wanted to explore legacy items to cement the impact of the milestone.

Decade by decade, exploring lore vs. fact, the team is releasing “Legacy,” a documentary film series and publication to mark the anniversary.

Legacy: 100 Seasons of the Green Bay Packers, is a 10-part documentary series featuring one- or two-hour films with each one dedicated to a decade of the team’s history. It features never before seen footage and also interviews with past and current players, coaches and commissioners of the NFL.

The documentary is currently in production in a partnership with a local agency, KHROME, and a full release of the 10-part series scheduled for fall of 2019.

The series will be previewed later in the year at Lambeau Field Live and the Packers Experience with portions to be shown on the team website and in-stadium during the season. Malcheski shared that the team is also considering the release of a DVD set of the documentary down the road as well.

The other Legacy item slated for 2019 is the publication of a 100 Seasons book that will present a comprehensive written history of the franchise.

 

100 Seasons logo–via Green Bay Packers

“…and Counting”

The motto of 100 Seasons carries the extended tagline of “100 Seasons…and Counting” for the Packers Organization.

From a founding on August 11, 1919 in the old Green Bay Press-Gazette building on Cherry Street to today, the Packers’ history has inspired generations of fans, and the team wants to preserve and grow this legacy going forward.

After all, how many teams pre-date the league they’re in?  The NFL was founded in an auto showroom in Canton, Ohio on August 20, 1920—about a year later than the Packers.

Part of the look forward was a focus on future supporters of the team–making sure many of the events held would be beneficial for kids as the next generation of Packers fans.

You can see that evidenced in many of the activities at Lambeau Field Live as travels around the state to so many staples of Packer fans’ childhoods.  The aforementioned Play 60 Kids and USA Football clinics assure that the experience is hands-on.

Finally, with another nod to the future, one idea tossed around internally that Malcheski shared was a possible budget to capture and preserve history in-house going forward (such as interviewing staff to capture their perspective in the years ahead).

After all, this is just the first century.

You don’t turn one hundred overnight, and for the Green Bay Packers, celebrating the milestone is no small achievement, either!

Through a unique approach of involving the entire organization, attempting to impact fans and stakeholders at every level, and using tactics both big and small, the team hopes to create memories as a legacy that will last long beyond the 100-year milestone into the next century of Packers football.

Scot Chartrand is a contributor with Front Office Sports and has worked in program management driving strategic initiatives at a corporate level. He has a passion for helping clients and corporate stakeholders achieve strategic goals while providing change management and optimizing process that drives repeatable results.

Marketing

REP Worldwide Changes The Licensing Conversation For Female Athletes

The NFL Players Inc. extension has executed licensing agreements with more than 25 companies across categories in support of women’s pro sports.

Avatar

Published

on

rep-worldwide-apparel

REP Worldwide launched in 2017 as a unique take on a brand management and representation business. An extension of NFL Players Inc. (the marketing and licensing arm of the NFL Players Association), REP Worldwide aims to have players supporting players through sustainable group licensing and player-marketing programs. In particular, REP Worldwide has focused on bridging the gap in underrepresented women’s sports licensing.

With interest in professional women’s sports among fans and companies alike continuing to grow, so has the desire for player-driven merchandise. To date, REP Worldwide has executed licensing agreements with more than 25 companies across categories that promote players of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, the WNBA and USA Rugby including licensed t-shirts, socks, scarves, novelties, customized jerseys, promotional products and digital collectibles.

With the Women’s National Basketball Players Association and the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association on board as founding equity partners, REP Worldwide has been hard at work the last year or so establishing agreements with companies like Breaking T, Fanatics, Fansided, Panini America, CultureFly and more. Fans can now purchase a variety of gear from these companies featuring the licensed likenesses of some of their favorite players.

“With a robust marketing and licensing program finally in place, we had to be really intentional about pursuing these agreements,” says Terri Jackson, executive director of the Women’s National Basketball Players Association, who opted out of their collective bargaining agreement at the end of 2018. “So we had an initial shortlist of companies that we wanted to work with, and REP got it all done very quickly.

“The timing of this could not be better. It really made sense for us and the leadership saw it as a great opportunity.”

The U.S. Women’s National Team will defend their world championship at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France this summer. In the 2015 World Cup, the Americans defeated Japan in the most-watched soccer game in U.S. history to win their third championship. Despite this, U.S. Soccer failed to see value in properly licensing and merchandising products related to the team and players, only featuring with a limited selection of items.

For this reason, Becca Roux, executive director of the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, is thankful that the players’ association gained those rights in 2017 as part of a new collective bargaining agreement. This allows them to market the team to different partners where U.S. Soccer does not have an exclusive agreement.

“This coming to fruition will be validating for the players to see the fruits of their labor,” Roux remarks. “U.S. Soccer didn’t see much value in these rights, so finding a partner like the NFLPA to create a company like REP Worldwide to act as our agency was great for the players and for the game. The NFLPA did believe in the rights and it’s been great to see the market’s response.”

As 2019 moves forward and fans purchase more gear to rep their favorite players, current athletes will reap the deserved rewards. However, the meaning of this coming together is slightly deeper. The collaboration between athletes from several different sports represents a larger collective unity that exists between professional athletes that will likely have a lasting impact on sports licensing as a whole.

“As fellow athletes, we see the WNBPA and the USWNTPA as our colleagues and we want them to succeed,” states Steve Scebelo, President of REP Worldwide and VP of Licensing & Business Development with NFL Players Inc. “The idea behind REP Worldwide was helping other athletes stand up for what they deserve. There’s definitely a bond that exists between all these athletes and what we’re doing here represents that.”

Continue Reading

Marketing

Marketing on Wheels: SLAM Magazine Makes a Splash at NBA All-Star Weekend

By covering a Sprinter with iconic magazine covers and driving around Charlotte, SLAM made sure that the brand could not be missed at NBA All-Star Weekend.

Bailey Knecht

Published

on

Photo credit: SLAM Magazine

Like many basketball brands, the SLAM Magazine team pulled up to NBA All-Star Weekend intent on leaving an imprint on the city of Charlotte. For SLAM, that meant taking advantage of nearly 25 years of iconic magazine covers, using them to wrap an entire Sprinter van, and cruising through the streets of Charlotte over the course of the weekend.

“We were trying to figure out how we could make our mark on All-Star Weekend, and we came up with the SLAM Sprinter, which was a pretty simple idea,” said Adam Figman, editor-in-chief of SLAM. “The idea was kind of twofold, because it benefited us in a few ways. It served as a moving billboard for SLAM as a brand, so people saw it and took it in. They would see it on the street, and they could engage with it… It also served for content, so we met up with a bunch of NBA players and rappers and did interviews at the Sprinter.”

With covers adorning every inch of the Sprinter, SLAM was able to pay homage to its rich history while shining a light on its modern-day product.

“We really just decided to go with covers all over because that was the most eye-catching, and it leaned into the history of SLAM,” Figman said. “It also showcased a lot of the guys taking part in the weekend.”

READ MORE: Nike and Jordan Partner With Snapchat for Custom AR Lens

“If you looked, we had Larry Johnson, who was on the cover of the first-ever SLAM magazine in 1994, which was special, considering he was on the Charlotte Hornets,” he added. “We also had players all the way from Allen Iverson, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and then a lot of the Sprinter’s space was devoted to the newer guys, like Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, plus Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and LeBron James.”

One cover, in particular, was a special area of emphasis for SLAM, according to Figman.

“The newest cover, not coincidentally, featured Kemba Walker, who’s the best player on the Hornets now,” he said. “It was cool. We brought the idea to his people a couple weeks before, and we made sure to have that cover really big and noticeable, and they loved it.”

The team posted up at various All-Star events, selling gear and offering photo opportunities.

“We were selling exclusive merchandise out of the back of it when we got the chance to park or post up somewhere, in heavily crowded areas,” Figman explained. “We made an All-Star-exclusive SLAM box logo hoodie, and had our usual selection of SLAM cover tees, plus a brand-new one that featured Larry Johnson. It will be in store this week, but it debuted on the Sprinter, so our first batch went to local people in Charlotte who happened to walk by.”

Finding just the right spots to take the Sprinter was important for maximizing SLAM’s visibility.

“We were at the NBA’s official events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night,” Figman said. “We were at the Nike and Jordan Brand space at a few points, as well. If we knew where we’d be, we’d announce it on our Instagram story and Twitter and give people a heads up. Secondly, there was also a fluid element to the whole thing. We knew about the heavily populated areas, like the Epicentre in uptown Charlotte, so we spent time on the outskirts of the Epicentre as close as we could get.”

“There was a lot of traffic, for sure, but that’s a good thing,” he added. “If this unique, eye-catching Sprinter is sitting in the middle of standstill traffic and it’s unable to move, all of the passersby are looking at it, so it is literally marketing itself.”

As a media brand that is known for being beloved and trusted by players, SLAM was able to lean into those relationships during All-Star Weekend. The team used the Sprinter to meet up with NBA players like Sterling Brown, Jeremy Lamb, Kyle Kuzma and Joe Harris, and create content for social media.

“The best part is that it’s literally mobile, so we could ask players, ‘Where do you want to meet up? How can we make this happen? Tell us where to go,’ and then we could pull up to events to meet them,” Figman said.

One of the most well-known players that made an appearance at the Sprinter was Walker.

“He was a pleasure to work with in making [the cover], and he hit us up after it went live, saying how it was amazing and that his family and friends loved it,” Figman said. “He wanted to show love back… To see the Sprinter working on that stage, where our magazine cover star thinks it’s cool and goes out of his way to be a part of it, was great.”

The Sprinter wasn’t SLAM’s only activation during All-Star Weekend, either.

“We had an event with Puma, a Baby Dunk contest, for 15-and-under kids on lower hoops,” Figman said. “It was a ton of fun and got a lot of circulation on social. We had the Sprinter parked outside, and everyone was taking photos.”

READ MORE: Bojangles’ Channels Its Inner LeBron James for All-Star Weekend

Utilizing social media was a key aspect of the SLAM’s All-Star activations, according to Figman. The team capitalized on a unique combination of traditional and modern branding, between the Sprinter’s vintage vibes and social media’s widespread reach.

“I think it’s, in concept, an old-school idea — wrapping a vehicle is very ’90s hip-hop, rap, like how in the ’90s, if you were leaving a concert venue, you’d see eight of these wrapped vans outside,” Figman said. “So, it has an unquestionable old-school feel to it, but the difference is now with social as a prevailing way people see things and consume content. If you do something cool in person, something like a Sprinter wrapped in eye-catching SLAM covers, people take photos and videos, and post on them on social, on their Instagram story or their feed on Twitter or on Snapchat — everywhere, basically. You get your digital, social piece out of it if you do a good enough job, so there’s an old-school feel with a new-school effect.”

Between the striking appearance of the SLAM Sprinter and its circulation on social media, SLAM’s All-Star activations brought invaluable visibility to the brand throughout the entire the weekend.

“It was a fun activation, and we got our brand out there,” Figman said. “Obviously, we were able to bring in revenue using merchandise sales, but there was also the content play, the brand play and the marketing play… I had never seen anything like this.”

Continue Reading

Marketing

How Professional Bull Riders Successfully Introduces Its Culture to New Audiences

Professional Bull Riders spreads its events across the country — and world — as it asks potential fans to realize their inner cowboy.

Avatar

Published

on

pbr-world-growth

Photo Credit: PBR

For Professional Bull Riders, the organization would label the last 25 years as an extended period of steady growth.

In the same breath, it would label the last four years, in particular, as nothing short of explosive. 

Despite its roots in the Western lifestyle, PBR CEO Sean Gleason said the sport is making major inroads in America’s suburban and urban markets. PBR recently finished up its a big weekend at Madison Square Garden in New York City and will make its first Los Angeles appearance at the Staples Center Feb. 22-23.

“I wouldn’t say it’s growing the Western lifestyle as much as taking an exciting sport with Western roots and introducing it to a new fan base,” he said. “Bull riding is an extra exciting sport, eight seconds of adrenaline-packed action 40 to 50 times a night, wrapped in with world-class production, and it’s an extremely entertaining product.

“People who give us a trial are surprised by what they experience. We struggle with the reality that a lot of people in suburban and urban areas in America have lost touch with dirt sports and what a cowboy is.”

Gleason said a struggle is breaking down those barriers, but it’s beginning to happen.

PBR experienced an attendance increase of 12 percent from 2015 to 2018, following the acquisition of the company by entertainment and fashion agency, Endeavor, formerly WME|IMG. Now a wholly-owned subsidiary, Gleason said PBR’s solid growth trajectory of the past two decades received a major boost from the firm’s expertise.

READ MORE: Game Changer MVP’s ‘Filter Fan Cam’ Ramps Up PBR’s In-Arena Atmosphere

“The PBR fits perfectly into Endeavor,” Endeavor Properties President Sam Zussman said. “It is a very special league in a very special sport with incredibly passionate fans who want to experience all aspects of the sport and the Western lifestyle. Endeavor’s breadth of capabilities — from events, to content creation and publishing, media, licensing, talent representation and more — makes it a perfect environment to continue to strengthen the PBR.”

According to an ESPN Sports Poll, PBR has 82.5 million U.S. fans, with an established presence on CBS Sports — with an average of one million viewers per telecast. 2018 set more than 20 local attendance records, including 46,000 people at Dallas’ AT&T Stadium in Feb. 2018 for the Iron Cowboy.

Bull riding is generally an individual sport, but PBR recently finished its third PBR Global Cup — a five-nation team competition and the richest PBR purse outside the PBR finals.

The Global Cup is based on the success of PBR’s growth outside of the U.S., as it continues to tap into the rich traditions of bull riding in Brazil, Australia, Mexico and Canada with tours in each territory. Gleason said rodeos have faded from the mainstream with cowboy lore, but the PBR product has the necessary elements to attract audiences.

“Their rich history and tradition is allowing us to do the same thing there,” he said. “It’s allowing us to introduce the cowboy hat and Western athlete to a new fanbase with shared values.”

Brazil’s PBR tour will include six cities this year and up to 10 next year.

Beyond the bull-riding events in arenas and stadiums across the U.S., PBR is now a multimedia company as well. PBR launched its own OTT network, RidePass, last February to “bring Western sports” to the digital media landscape. RidePass has aired more than 500 hours of programming since launch, including live bull riding, news, and highlights. PBR has also utilized Endeavor’s IMG Original Content to help produce several original shows, like the Brazilian bull rider Netflix docuseries “Fearless.” On Facebook Watch, the five-episode “Belles of the Bull” follows rider girlfriends and wives, and “I Got Wrecked” is a free streaming series on go90, showing some of the sport’s most insane injuries.

READ MORE: Whistle Signals an Official Call to Action Within the Sports Landscape

“There’s a huge base of underserved fans out there,” Gleason said. “The digital platform is the right time, the right place and the perfect platform to bring it to the consumers. RidePass is having great success. We’re extremely excited and will continue to invest in the content and brands.”

Gleason is excited about the first quarter of 2019, which put PBR in several of the country’s largest markets including New York, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. Now, they’ll be investing heavily in the “Be Cowboy” campaign.

“It’s to invite more cowboys into the tent,” Gleason said. “We believe cowboy is how you live, not what you look like. It’s not about a boot and a hat. It’s the values you live by.”

Continue Reading

Trending