Purpose, Planning, Programming, Packaging

There’s a monster in this industry. One that makes us feel exhausted, frantic and like we can’t keep up. It’s a serious threat to our sanity and work. This monster is content. And not only did we create this monster, but we continue to feed it.

Content has become a buzzword. A buzzword so vague someone will say “we need content!” and you can interpret it a million different ways. We measure total engagements over meaningful interactions. We push, publish, spray and pray for a glimmer of hope that someone will see this “content” we created.

The idea that content is king has to go away (gasp).

It’s easy to understand why the industry invented the phrase “content is king”. Early on, social media needed little resources except for someone who could write good copy. Almost overnight though, the platforms turned visual. Suddenly, brands, teams and leagues needed dedicated creators to digital. “Content is king” was a cry for leadership to understand how important an investment in creative is.

Fast forward to now and organizations, for the most part, understand that digital is an investment in creative too. Yes, we still have work to do when it comes to structuring teams and getting proper resources, but very few would argue that content isn’t important. We have come a long way. 

And in this quest to build up content to others outside of digital, it seems that we also built up content in our own heads. It’s become the “everything”. We overproduce, over-publish, oversaturate the feeds. And, we’ve prioritized content at the expense of other things. 

We’ve forgotten to breathe, pause and think. 

It’s time to stop the content madness. We have to shake off the internal pressure to be everywhere, all the time. We have to rid the pressure of publishing and publishing often. We have to ignore the voices that say volume matters. It’s time to stop doing just for the sake of doing.

Why does this matter so much? First of all, social media has evolved. Long gone are the days where you can spray and pray. Thanks to algorithms, every decision made can impact impressions and reach. Additionally, consumers are smart, in control and inundated with a ton of “content”. They’ve become immune to anything that doesn’t entertain and engage them.

Everything is nuanced now.  And because of that, when we “do for the sake of doing” we hurt our own reach. We dilute the quality of work. And, we make fans tune out.

With all the nuances today, the solution to success is a lot more than just “content is king”. Along with great creative and ideas, it takes purpose, planning, programming and packaging.

Purpose.

Social media has become cluttered thanks to the content revolution. And in sports, it’s often the sea of sameness. Very few teams actually own their brand narrative beyond the scores and pop culture memes.

It’s so important for teams to take the time to define their purpose. What is your brand strategy and how does that translate to social? If you can define this purpose, it will set your team apart from the rest.

A brand strategy becomes your North Star for how your brand should come to life through voice, tone, aesthetics and the stories you tell. When you have defined what your brand is and isn’t, long gone will be the days of posting just to post. You’ll have a clear vision for what needs to be produced.

Planning.

Too often in social, we throw things at the wall. We test and we try, without understanding the why. But this fly-by approach makes it hard to map the work back to meaningful goals.

The best work comes with planning. Yes, we work in sports and have to react and be nimble, but there’s actually a lot we can plan and anticipate.

Once teams have a solid understanding of their brand strategy, it’s important to dive deeper into the content strategy. This is all about leveraging content for a purpose. Map back to the goals of the brand and find a way to bring to life the brand in a way that matters. It’s about setting parameters for what is worth the team’s time and what is not.

With purpose and planning, comes focus. And with focus, come quality work that matters. Take the time to pause and plan.

Programming.

It seems like teams sometimes suffer from the fear of missing out. There’s a sense that we have to cover everything, all the time.

Batting practice and pregame warmups are a good example of this. Before every game, across every league, you are guaranteed to see the same exact pregame pictures and video over and over and over again. It becomes a tired story very quickly.

When we get in the mindset of covering, we start doing and dumping without understanding why. Think about Instagram on game days. So many times I see teams post upwards of 20 times and garner less than a 2% engagement rate. To me, that’s a serious flag that we need to give thought to content volume and distribution. A less than 2 percent engagement rate should show a serious need to pivot (and no, don’t blame it on the algorithm).

Instead of “covering” everything, think about how to “program” everything. Look at the totality of the season and curate a plan that shows every moment, every angle, every storyline over time. The *over time* is key here.

We don’t have to dump everything on fans all at once. We should consider what has already been covered, and offer up something different. If we plan, and curate smartly, we can unfold the story in a natural and organic fashion over time– without being intrusive to fans’ feeds.

Packaging.

How teams package their content has become as critical as the content itself. And, the approach to how content is packaged can play into the volume you produce and publish.

For example, let’s talk highlights on IG. So many times I see teams sharing more than five highlights from one single game. At some point, all the highlights look the same as I scroll through my feed. And forget the fact they’re often showing up days later thanks to the algorithm.

Instead of publishing five individual highlight posts, what if it could be packaged differently? What if after every game a team leveraged the Instagram carousel? By creative a “five plays of the game” carousel, teams can include design elements to make it unique to the brand. Sure, packaging content means that publishing might have to wait until after the game, but the product would be stronger, unique to your brand and less intrusive to your fans.

These are the things we have to think about.

If you want some inspiration, here are a few examples of how teams have packaged content:

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Finishing strong. 💪 #TrueToTheBlue

A post shared by Seattle Mariners (@mariners) on

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Game 4 Recap presented by @honda

A post shared by Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) on


I am by no means saying content doesn’t matter. It matters. And it matters a lot. There’s no such thing as a strong social presence without a strong creative arm today. But, we can no longer just post and pray. We have to be thoughtful, deliberate and strategic about our work. We have to define our purpose then plan, program and package.

Yes, content is still king in a lot of ways. The problem is your content won’t be seen if you don’t focus on the big picture and all the ins and outs. It’s about the totality of all the work — the strategy, the planning, the ideas, the execution. 


Leadership Huddle With Harry Arnett, Callaway Golf

It’s time for the fourth installment of Leadership Huddle, a series on the blog where leaders in sport and beyond offer perspective on digital today. Some of the guests work directly in digital while others are leaders outside of the space (but get the work and advocate for it).

This installment of the Leadership Huddle features Harry Arnett, the CMO at Callaway Golf. Arnett has been at Callaway for more than six years. In his role his serves as the SVP of Marketing for Callaway Golf and the President of Ogio. Before arriving at Callaway, Arnett worked at TaylorMade – adidas Golf and Russell Athletic.

Arnett is a true advocate for the digital space. He has built a culture where digital and content is priority, ideas flow freely and brand fandom is encouraged. If you follow Callaway Golf on social, that probably comes as no surprise. They’re innovative, engaging and one of the best follows in sports. Below is the Q&A. I hope you enjoy the perspective and insights.

It’s evident that Callaway has invested heavily in digital, content & innovation as core to its business. What was the catalyst for going “all in”?

Ultimately, we want to be wherever the consumer is and obviously with so much technology being available for connectivity, we felt that being dedicated to feeding peoples’ needs to curate their brand experiences was the right way to go. That meant behaving more like a media entity with daily engagement and round the clock content than it did functioning like a traditional OEM or consumer products brand.

I’ve seen social be attributed as part of the formula for success of Callaway’s Growth. Clearly, you all have a mature approach to digital. What are the keys to building a strong strategy that maps back to business?

The key is to not treat social in a silo or separate from the brand, but instead, as an integral and vital part of consumer engagement. We put social engagement as a starting point for all of our brand activities, even leading with it.

We view availability and accessibility to our brand as a way to directly interact with our fans rather than relying solely on traditional media. We let what was happening in real time via social media inform the rest of our brand and marketing activities. It gave us a freshness and currency that has created a noticeable and needed energy for our brand.

A lot of organizations struggle with the fact that organic social/content does not always have a direct tie to revenue. What role do you think organic social and content play in the business? And, how can teams think more strategically about its value?

We want to be top of mind for consumers at all times, not just when they are further down the purchase funnel. So constantly engaging via social media is a major part of that strategy so that people look at us more than just a transactional or only think of us occasionally.

In our context, that means getting golfers specifically to be thinking of Callaway as a valuable partner in their entire golf experience, Monday through Sunday, not just on the weekends when they are playing or on an even more infrequent basis. From that standpoint, strategically, thinking broadly about how your brand might fit into a larger frame of reference for a current user or a potential user can carve out interesting opportunities that maybe don’t have as much competition. In our case, that was definitely a white space in our competitive landscape.

You seem to be an extremely engaged CMO, even actively participating in live shows, podcasts, etc. Why is it important for you to be so engaged at this level?

We think it’s important for consumers to appreciate that these are real people working on our brands, making our products, teaching them the game, and working around the clock to deliver a unique experience for them. I love that interaction with people who like our brand and our company. It’s really important for me personally to know that my job is truly to be of service to them.

Many social and digital teams report into leadership who is not as engaged (and have never done the work). For teams whose leadership is not as engaged, what advice do you have on educating and getting buy-in?

Find a way to let the leadership be a part of it. That can be as simple as reviewing all the activities within the function on a regular basis or even allowing them to be integrated with the content. Understand that a lot of what happens in social media is an abstraction to people who traditionally work in very concrete terms. So,  making abstractions concrete is really important.

An example of that would be to not necessarily talk about brand impressions, but more about the audience you’re reaching and the engagement that audience has with your ad messaging. In this sense, ad messaging is your social media executions.

What have you learned about setting digital/content teams up for success?

First thing, be fanatical about the type of environment you want to create. Ultimately, for social to be effective, you have to have an organization that welcomes the freewheeling and ever-changing dynamics within the social sphere. And not only to embrace it but to actually thrive creatively within it.

You have to let people have the freedom to experiment with the brand executions. And of course, to do that, everyone who touches the platforms and the end consumer has to know and love the brand more than anyone.

What do you see as the biggest challenges for digital in organizations today? And, how can teams work to offset these challenges?

It’s dealing with the relationships the brand has with consumers in an environment where the rate of change in digital is entirely too fast to try to predict. And, it all unfolds transparently because of the interconnectivity of all the stakeholders.

Finally, what excites you most about the future of digital and business?

It’s a playing field where creativity is rewarded much more than getting it perfect. So personally, it’s awesome to wake up every day and be around the most creative people doing work they love. That’s a nice place for a brand to be.

A big thank you to Harry Arnett for you his time and perspective. Connect with him: LinkedIn and Twitter. And, be sure to follow the Callaway Golf across digital for some great inspiration.

If you enjoyed this conversation, be sure to read the others from this series: Eric SanInocencio, Graham Neff and Brendan Hannan.

Let’s Talk Humor, GIFS and Memes

There’s a philosophical debate among those who work in social. And, it’s a debate that’s fiercely divided. To pop culture GIF or not?

GIFS, humor and memes have taken over the internet. Everywhere you look there’s a cat meme or GIF from The Office that’s already been used a million times. People use them. Brands use them. Teams use them. You get the point … everyone uses them.  And, it’s time to pause and ask a serious question. Should we be leaning so much into content and moments that are not our own?

I understand the case for teams or brands to use pop culture GIFS and memes. They are funny, relatable and often engaging. But every time I put on my brand hat I go back this: They aren’t ownable or related to most brands in any way.
 
And because I firmly believe in “wearing the brand hat” (yes, sometimes too much), I’m not a huge fan of leaning heavily into pop culture GIFS and memes. Here’s why: 

Brand > winning the internet.
If you work in social, your job isn’t just to “win the internet”. Your job is to bring the brand to life AND capture the attention of the internet. Literally, any brand can share a pop culture GIF and generate engagement.  It’s our jobs to figure out how we can engage fans in a way that’s relevant AND right for our brand. 

It’s unoriginal.
In a similar vein, a brand isn’t built by joining a sea of sameness. Great brands are built through a unique value proposition, a sharp point and original thinking.  The brands that win are original, authentic and true to their core. They deliver content that is fresh, new & something only they can own.

Pop culture memes and GIFS aren’t unique; they’re accessible for all to use. As @CodySharrett eloquently put it, “they are the antithesis of creativity”. Teams and brands, be original. 

Opportunity lost.
If you’re promoting Michael Scott GIFS then you are most likely losing an opportunity to promote a player or the brand. 

Social media is the front door to brands today. We should do everything we can to leverage moments to elevate it (the brand or our players). Why waste an opportunity to promote your team and brand with something that literally anyone has access to, like a pop culture meme?

Alienates your audience.
Pop culture GIFS/memes can alienate your audience. They also lend themselves to personal biases (as we are more likely to share what we think is funny and clever). If you didn’t grow up in the 90s or aren’t a Stars Wars fan, then you won’t care about that content even if it’s from your favorite team. It’s all relative.

You don’t know for sure if your fans relate to Seinfeld, but you DO know that they relate to your team. Why push out content that is unoriginal and has nothing to do with your team when you can invest energy in building your own content and unique voice?

So, what’s the solution? How can teams be relatable on the internet while still putting their brand first?

Always remember the big picture.
Humor, GIFS and memes that are relevant to the brand can be a great way to build a relationship with fans. There’s a place for it, but just remember, it’s part of a much larger picture. Our success is not defined by one or two tweets; it’s the totality of everything. At the end of the day, it’s our job to drive back to business goals. 

Put the brand strategy to paper.
To figure out where humor, GIFS and memes fit into the overall picture, but your brand strategy to paper. Too often social media is a wild, wild west and the brand voice does not actually reflect the organization. If your brand voice on social doesn’t match what you would put on a billboard, it might be time to rethink your strategy.

A strong brand strategy will set your team apart from the rest.  And, it helps combat the wild, wild, west. It becomes your North Star for how your brand should come to life through voice, tone, aesthetics and the stories you tell. When you have defined what your brand is and isn’t. Stick to what was defined. Make sure you focus on your own, unique thing. Humor, GIFS and memes can be a part of our presence but it’s not the only thing.

Every team and league should put their brand strategy to paper. Define your values. Stat the goals. Understand what makes the brand unique. Know your consumer. Create a personae. Once the brand architecture is in place, that’s your guiding light. All the work, whether it’s social or a more traditional marketing channel, should ladder back up to it.

Think about the sweet spot.
Putting the brand strategy to paper helps teams understand what the right tone of voice is on social channels. And, once you know what your brand stands for, it’s time for the fun work.

Social media is supposed to be fun. It does not need to be serious all the time. I’m not saying brands and teams shouldn’t activate pop culture GIFS because they can’t let loose a little bit. The problem is they are completely unoriginal and unrelated to most brands/teams.

It’s our jobs to figure out how accounts can be relatable, funny, engaging (or whatever the tone is) while making sure the content is still relevant to the brand.  Great creative work is able to stay in a box while getting the tone and message across. It’s the sweet spot.

The best work connects all the dots between your brand, your fans and what’s relatable. It’s also about the right content, right context and right delivery.  Take the time to understand what this means for your brand/team.

Plan, plan, plan.
Teams and brands can be relatable, funny, quirky, intense and evoke all sorts of emotion while still being original. It simply takes planning. And, lots of it.

Let’s take reaction GIFS. A lot of teams leverage pop culture GIFS in moments when they want to evoke a certain emotion. Well, you can still do that in a way that’s ownable. When you’re planning your content before each season, write down a list of all the emotions you might tap into. Think about your favorite pop culture/reaction GIFS. Storyboard out how you can bring those emotions to life in your own unique way.  Then, recruit players or content creators (if you are doing something like illustrations) to make them happen.

With planning and focus, you can create original content that reflects the brand and still very much resonates with fans. Put in the extra effort. It’s worth it.

Let creators work their magic.  
Creating content that evokes an emotion or plays into a pop culture moment, while staying in the brand box, is hard. That’s okay. It should be.

Put in the effort to plan ahead. Hire creative people and let them work their magic. You won’t always hit a home run and you won’t always be able to activate during every moment. But, the more the team flexes its creative muscles the easier it will be to find the sweet spot.

If you need some inspiration, here are some GIFS, pop culture moments and unique ideas that evoke emotion from teams and leagues:

Funny, relatable and ownable. 
View this post on Instagram

Which LUUUUKE describes your mood today?

A post shared by Carolina Panthers (@panthers) on

Unique, original and something only the Panthers can own. 
Original comedy, brought to you by B/R.
This is pop culture that heroes players. So, even if fans don’t like the Office it at least puts their players in a more personal & humorous light.
Sports provides plenty of opportunities to create your own memes. 
Oregon owning a pop culture moment in a way that only they can.
PGA Tour asked artists and fans to help them create a meme. 
Yes, this piece of content includes footage that the Browns don’t own. For teams really looking to push the envelope though, this is a good example of how you can pair pop culture footage with your own footage to make it more original. I would use this tactic sparingly, but for certain cases like this example, it can be golden (depending on the brand voice of course).



When you work in sports, you have more access to content than most brands. There’s no need to rely on others for content, even in humorous moments. Tap into existing content, leverage your designers and create epic GIFS, memes and content that not only resonate with your entire audience but also help build your own, unique team voice.

At the end of the day, creating relatable GIFS and moments that seep into pop culture is a creative exercise. It’s a challenge that will be hard but also rewarding. The key is to connect the pulse of the internet with your brand. Remember, original content wins.


To Note: I understand that strategies are not a one-size-fits all. What works for one brand might not work for another. Expectations, leadership, brand voice and  vision are all extremely different.  This is especially true with humor and pop culture. There are no hard-fast rules. This is merely food for thought.


Let’s Talk Taglines In Sports

The start of every season is full of newness in the marketing world. Teams have new communication priorities. Hype videos are rolled out. Hashtag emojis are unveiled. And in general, there’s a slew of amazing new creative and concepts.

One thing that always comes up at the start of every new season is the idea of  taglines for teams. To slogan or not to slogan, that is the question?


It’s an interesting debate. And while many seem to like the idea of taglines for teams (as the poll above shows), it can be hard to execute on them. All too often taglines are used, abused and aimless. When so many taglines serve little purpose or change every year, the message becomes muddled.

I believe though, that taglines for teams can be extremely impactful. We’re lucky to work in an industry where people have a deep emotional connection with our brands. Teams have the ability to tell a story, evoke emotion and have people take action. If a message is done right, it matters a lot to the consumer (yes, meaning fans will actually use them).

Taglines have the ability to provide more purpose and focus to a team’s content and creative. They help tie a bow around the story. They can rally a community. But, they need more depth than “just a tagline”.  Taglines must be rooted in insight, strategy and a concept. And, that concept needs to be brought to life across multiple channels and executions. 

The key for taglines to work is to nix the idea that a slogan is just a slogan. If your slogan is only used for your hashtag emoji and nothing else, it serves no purpose. In order for a tagline/slogan to be successful, it needs to have several key ingredients:

A tagline must have a purpose.
The best taglines are deeply rooted in the team’s character, their values, their brand message. It should be ownable. Essentially, your tagline must be rooted in insight on your brand, your fans and what makes you unique.

It  should be simple (and catchy).
We all know attention spans today are short. A strong tagline is simple, easy to understand and something with potential to catch on. 

A tagline should be evergreen.
The best taglines are ones that can stand the test of time. And in order for taglines to stand the test of time, they must be multi-dimensional so the story can evolve. Just Do It is a perfect example of this; it’s broad-reaching enough to evolve with the narrative of Nike over the years.

And, connected to the larger work.
More than anything, a tagline is less about the actual tagline and more about the work that surrounds it. A great tagline is only as great as the work that is done to bring it to life. The execution matters, a lot. 

A tagline must be more than something fans see in one hype video at the start of a season. It must be part of brand messaging, creative and the design aesthetic. It’s about all channels, working together, on all cylinders. It’s about an integrated marketing plan.

Brand narrative > tagline. 
What we’re talking about is a larger campaign and brand narrative. A slogan is the simple external-facing message. The sharp point. What makes a tagline impactful for teams is when everything ladders back to that broader idea. Think more than a slogan, checking a box and walking away. Think holistically and give them a reason for being.

If your team is looking to rally around a tagline, a campaign, a big idea, it’s important to put the work to paper. Integrated marketing campaigns don’t magically come together. They take a lot of focus and disciplined work. 

If your looking to embark on this journey, below is a high-level look at how an outline might come together. Please note this is a high-level outline that will vary based on the exact work, the team, etc. And, of course, it needs a lot more detail:


Chapter 1 – The Foundation

The foundation outlines what the campaign is set out to do, keeping the broader organization in mind. This is where you give a sense of purpose to the work. Below are a few things to think about including as you work through the foundation:

The Vision.
A simple, hard-hitting statement on what the vision is for the campaign.

The Goals
What are the goals of this campaign? Are you trying to tell a stronger brand story? Do you want to rally your community of fans? Typically, the goals outlined are more broad-based.

Objective(s).
This is the statement of what you want to accomplish — and it is measurable. So, for example, at the end of the day you want to increase engagement with your fan base. Make this statement to the point and measurable.

KPIS
A campaign without key performance indicators is an aimless plan. It’s imperative to put to paper what success looks like. Period.

Consumer
You can’t build a plan without understanding who you’re talking to. As part of the foundation, it’s important to put to paper your target consumer. And remember, this isn’t demographics alone. It’s also psychographic. Define their attitude, lifestyle and interests – beyond sport.

Chapter 2 – The Concept

Now that the foundation has been laid, the second chapter is all about the concept. This should set the tone for how you got to the concept (so, essentially pulling key information from your brief and insights) before laying out the actual concept.

The Stake
The stake is really owning what this campaign is set out to do. It’s essentially another reminder for the group on what you are setting out to accomplish. For example, are you setting out to reclaim the relationship with your fans? Or, are you ready to own the story around your team?

The Insights + Landscape
Every good campaign is rooted in insights around the brand, the mission, the competitive landscape, etc. And, it all starts with a brief. Before jumping into the actual campaign concept, take the time to lay out the insights leveraged to come up with the concept. Essentially, what inspired this campaign?

The Opportunity / White Space
Out of all the insights, what is the biggest opportunity to own? What can your team own that is unique? This should be a quick overview of the white space discovered throughout the process. 

The Big Idea
This is the campaign idea in 90 seconds or less. Simple and to the point (and yes, the tagline is often included in this).

The Concept Manifesto
The manifesto is the more in-depth idea around the campaign. It sets the mood and the tone for what the campaign is and gives a strong visual the concept.

Voice + Tone
Voice and tone are so important in a brand campaign. What emotions are you trying to convey? Set guidelines for what the campaign is and is not so the right message and emotions are evoked.

Communications Hierarchy
Less art, more instruction. The communications hierarchy should identify the external communications points of the campaign. Yes, this would include how the tagline fits into the overall picture. It’s a guide for how the campaign is articulated in real life.

Visual Identity
Your visual language is important. This is the place where swipes of inspiration set the mood for the look and feel. It’s an important piece that can impact the entire tone of the work. Make sure the visual identity is rooted in insights around the campaign.

Chapter 3 – The Ideas + Tactics

Now that the foundation is laid, it’s time to get into the fun stuff. The ideas! The final chapter lays out how you’ll actually bring the campaign to life. Here is an example of what might be included (and yes, you’ll need a lot of details):

Guiding Principles 
It’s always helpful to have a guide that level sets how the campaign should come to life. This isn’t a set of hard fast rules per say, but it does help reiterate the philosophies and ideas of the campaign. For example, a guiding principle could be to “lead with emotion”.

Hero Content Pieces
All good campaigns (or taglines) need hero pieces that set the foundation for what the campaign is all about. These are developed early on with the campaign concept.

Ancillary Creative
From there, it’s important to think about how the ethos of the campaign can come to life through other content. A strong concept with be multi-dimensional and should have the ability to be infused throughout messaging and creative concepts well beyond the hero pieces. Make sure creative is molded for the platform; this shouldn’t be a one-size-fits all.

Channel Tactics + Executions
In addition to creative and concepts, it’s important to think about other tactics that can help bring the campaign (and tagline) to life. Whether it’sa Snapchat filter, hashtag emoji or a fan-engagement play, these tactics play an important role in hammering the message home.

Distribution + Media Plan
You can’t have a content strategy without a distribution strategy. Make sure you think about your distribution plan, well beyond the organic piece.

Always, Map Back 
And, as a reminder, make sure the everything maps back to the larger picture: The campaign concept.


Long story short, I think taglines have their place in sports as long as there is a purpose. They aren’t necessary or mandatory. It’s up to every team to understand their objectives and priorities:

Christi makes a great point. Every team’s approach and strategy is different. It’s important to understand your why. 



If you do decide that a tagline is the right route for your team, make sure you do the foundational work. What are you trying to convey? How does the work map back to the larger picture?  A tagline is only as good as the concept and the work that surrounds it. But if done right, it can be extremely powerful.

What are your thoughts about taglines for teams? Yay or nay? I would love to hear your thoughts below!

The NFL Hype Is Real

It’s officially football season, which also means is officially hype season. And, it’s my favorite time of the year for inspiration. So many teams start the year through an emotional lens with their hype videos. This videos set the foundation of what this season and their team is all about. The emotional lens makes for powerful content. 

Here’s the thing: Marketing in sports is not about covering the team. It’s about bringing the brand to life. It’s about the highs, the lows, the hope, the energy and the connection between the team, the community, the fans. Teams need to tell these stories.

For inspiration, I’ve curated a collection of some of the strongest hype videos from the start of the NFL season. These pieces show the power in creating a narrative that goes well beyond the scores. Enjoy:

Carolina Panthers – Midfield Logo Unveil 

The Panthers could have easily produced a standard field prep video to unveil their midfield logo. But instead, the Panthers wove together the story of why this logo and their team is bigger than football. It’s about their brand, their fans and all that it stands for. The emotion in this one will bring you chills.


Atlanta Falcons – Welcome To Atlanta

In true Atlanta flavor, the Falcons enlisted Ludacris and Jermaine Dupri to put together a remake ‘Welcome to Atlanta’ that is sure to get fans hyped. I especially love the intersection of sport, music and culture. Plus this is creator-driven, unique, ownable and catchy as can be.


Philadelphia Eagles – Only the Beginning

The Eagles delivered hype like only the defending Super Bowl Champs can. This one needs no other commentary, just watch.


Cincinnati Bengals – Seize the Dey

Like the Falcons, the Bengals tapped an artist (Nappy Roots) to help celebrate football being back.  I absolutely love how they parallel fans and players prepping. Plus, this is a hype video that simply makes you feel good.


Dallas Cowboys – This Is Our Moment

The Dallas Cowboy’s hype video is a sort-of redemption video. It walks up to the tough year they had last year, but then moves forward to the moment now. And, I think acknowledging the struggle helps provide some tension and a strong narrative.


New England Patriots – Make Our Own Noise

This video, with its opening, is another great example of the power of tension. The Patriots know everyone loves to talk about Brady, his age, etc. For their team it just adds fuel to the fire; this video hints at that.


Baltimore Ravens – Greatness, Always More

The Ravens tap into the theme of Always More, which feels like a nod to Edgar Alan Poe’s Nevermore. I love the subtle nod to something so very Baltimore. The video is extremely well produced, so much that it feels like it could be a Nike or Under Armour video.


Pittsburgh Steelers – Men of Steel

The Steelers focus on four main points – history, family, tradition and steel. The focus on the pillars does a great job of bringing to life what the organization stands for. I also love the Pittsburgh flavor and the narration by Joe Manganiello.


Buffalo Bills – House of the Rising Sun

The Buffalo Bills made a Bills-inspired rendition of the classic song. It’s one of those music choices that it’s so different, it’s powerful.


Indianapolis Colts – Forged

The Colts video is well edited and has a nice blend of highlights and community/fan footage. The thematic plays into the Hoosier mentality of hard work and earning something.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Raise the Flag

This piece from the Buccaneers is another great example of going beyond a highlight reel to articulate what your organization stands for. It’s bigger than football. And when you watch this, you get a sense of that.


As these videos above show, an investment in emotional storytelling and content well beyond the scores is an investment in a team’s brand. And I really believe, it’s our job to champion the brand, the players and the organization.  More of this type of work, please.