In 2012, The Big Sky Conference reformed their logo and brought in several changes both on and off the college field. Associate Commissioner Ron Loghry discusses the challenges that were presented and met by the Conference’s leadership, as well as how the conference expansion led to some unique opportunities with new school membership. And Loghry also confirms one of the stories about University of Montana fans calling the conference office, outraged by a certain young ticket manager’s policies back in 2010.
Some of the biggest names of the NFL use Jamie Fritz as a branding agent. As Fritz explains, he doesn’t deal with the contractual obligations on the field, instead focusing on the athlete’s brand for corporate America. This is a new trend in the world of sports, as more athletes are focusing on their brand and how to best affiliate themselves with the right type of products. Fritz talks about the “suited and booted” mentality that he has for his clients during any type of public appearance and some of the pitfalls of athletes not taking their brands seriously, especially in the social media sphere.
One of the most exciting pieces of sports branding properties was announced in September 2013, as an Arena Football League team in Anaheim, California cemented plans to become LAKISS. This married the brand of Arena Football with the rock band KISS, showcased by co-owners Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. LAKISS President Schuyler Hoversten breaks down the ways that the AFL team will reflect the tradition KISS brand, but also extend beyond it to create its own brand identity. Hoversten talks about the culture of LA in terms of entertainment options, competing fans, and how the LAKISS franchise will meet those challenges. Twitter: @LAKISS_AFL
Recognized by The Sporting News as one of the Top 100 most powerful people in sports, Mike Goff has created some of the most dynamic and far-reaching brand development in the sports industry. Goff talks about Premier Sports Management’s role in recalibrating the current Bowl Championship Series of college football after being hired by the NCAA Division I conferences to help define the identity, branding, marketing and operational structure of its new 2015 playoff system. Goff talks his 22-year-career as VP of Corporate Marketing for Sprint Nextel, about his expertise in helping strategic and implementation planning of Sprint and Nextel in 2005, creating a sponsorship marketing effort with the NFL, NASCAR, PGA Tour, NCAA and World Cup Soccer. Goff discusses the elusive millennial fan, efforts to sell to that new fanbase, and the emerging role of technology in live sports entertainment venues. Twitter: @RMGoff
The world of sports communication and branding is where Jim Delaney focuses his attention on most. Delaney discusses some of the issues surrounding the roles of traditional and social media, as well as how new platforms can cause issues when messaging isn’t correct across the board. Delaney talks about a team or individual knowing their brand enough, especially when it comes to things which appear controversial, but really aren’t to the brand’s main constituents. Twitter: @Activate
Edward O’Hara is a founding partner of SME, overseeing the company’s branding process from strategic development to creative direction and execution. O’Hara is a brand building expert who has appeared on ESPN’s Outside the Lines, CNN, CNNfn, MSG Network, and TimesCast, as well as has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and BrandWeek. O’Hara knows brand, especially in the world of sports and talks about rebranding the Miami Marlins entire apparel & logo line, as well as what happens when LeBron James happens to tout the new look of an SME branded product. Twitter: @EdOHara
The world of marketing, branding and whether or not we’re telling too many stories instead of actually activating products is discussed with Tom Hansen. Explored in this episode are how the relationships between brands and consumers matter, whether traditional media still holds relevance in consumer’s hearts as it had in the past (i.e. Mad Men era), and if the GEICO Caveman advertisements were harmed by the brand extending to an actual television sitcom. Hansen talks about starting the Kane County Cougars Baseball team in the heart of Chicago within the territory of the Cubs & White Sox, yet making it successful despite critical skepticism whether the venture would work. This episode goes far beyond sports, examining how sponsorship, marketing, branding and activation tie into each other to build a greater consumer product. Twitter: @THansen30
Taking foreign sports brands into new markets is a specialty of Fred Popp, who oversees Teamup’s operations in London. Popp discusses how Teamup helped improve the European branding of Under Armor, build a recognizable Al Jazeria football club brand from a gameday crowd of 2,000 to 30,000 fans in the United Arab Emirates, and helped “localize” Arsenal FC during the club’s Asian tour. Popp examines how the perception of sold-out English Football matches isn’t always an accurate depiction and how some of the US sports sales approaches to branding are starting to make their way into the United Kingdom sports landscapes. Twitter: @FredPopp
The Ironman Triathalon isn’t merely a sport, it’s a way of life for most of its athletes. Meg Nolte talks about the relationship between the athletes, Ironman and its corporate sponsors, each who develop a cohesive partnership in order present great events. Nolte also talks about her experience working for ISP, selling college sponsorship as well as her time overseas as a student, which broadened her global perspective on how partnership activation works within different cultures.
Naming Rights for venues is the largest part of what Jeff Ferguson focuses on with Live Nation. Ferguson talks about how to achieve activation, exclusivity, whether the naming right partners need fuller explanation of their business to consumers, and breaks down some of the ways that naming rights can and can’t work for a client. Ferguson also spent a great deal of time with ISP and discusses how the collegiate market works for signage, corporate sponsorship opportunities, and partnerships. LinkedIn: Jeff Ferguson - Twitter: @FergySports