What’s Hot in Sports Marketing


I had the privilege of leading a terrific panel on sports marketing last week at the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit. We had four of the five Professional teams in Washington represented; The Washington Nationals, DC United, Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals.

Part of the discussion involved how the teams are trying to break through the clutter. Each are launching campaigns to differentiate their brands and grab share of discretionary entertainment dollars.

Our client from the Washington Nationals Kristine Friend, Vice President of Brand Marketing kicked off the discussion with a review of her new brand campaign “One Pursuit.” The new campaign which features nods to the history of the organization including tying the energy of baseball to the history of Washington D.C. by placing powerful imagery throughout the metro area.

As exciting of a start that the Nats have jumped off to this year the advertising is even better.


Mike Schoenbrun the Chief Revenue officer from DC United shared their new brand and logo. He also presented details on their new stadium which is scheduled to open for the Spring 2018 season. Insightfully DC United is the only professional team to use DC rather than Washington, which positions them well to go after the millennial target.

DC United


Patrick Duffy Senior VP of Corporate Partnerships for Monumental Sports covered the Wizards, Caps, Mystics and the new arena football team. Beyond team and campaign news the most exciting thing coming out of Ted Leonsis’s Monumental Sports is the expansion of their network. Since there is one ownership group working with four teams, it allows them to leverage their audience across multiple platforms. Plus, with a leader from the tech space as their CEO, MSE encourages innovation and new tools to market their teams like locality-based push notifications and virtual reality.



My net take away after the panel is that changing media consumption habits have created tremendous opportunities for advertisers and sports still sells. 86% of Americans are sports fans, for Americans 30 and under only 20% of their TV viewing is live and the bulk of that live TV, is sports.

Non DVRable programming is harder and harder to find which is why live sports is so well positioned for advertisers who want to reach consumers.

There is a powerful association between teams and fans, savvy advertisers leverage those opportunities and look for meaningful shareable moments to put their brands in front of receptive consumers.

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