The Philadelphia Eagles SVP of Marketing, Jen Kavanagh, shared her approach to expanding the club’s brand and engaging with a now international fan base. Get insights on how Jen’s marketing team is turning the Xs and Os of this pro NFL team into dollars and cents and fan xoxos!
Grab a seat. Jen Kavanagh tells Insider Interviews host E.B. Moss how marketing the Eagles has changed since their appearance in the #SuperBowl, and the imperative of balancing the star power of individual players with promoting the brand overall. It always comes back, Jen says, to connecting with fans and building relationships that are not just “transactional”. Hear how she strives to build relationships with the club’s 10 million global fans — from watch parties to cause marketing in their home town of Philly.
- Jen’s journey is a testament to the idea that not all careers are linear and staying open is key in this marketing game. She began in digital, working on multi-platform strategies and translating that into a television environment when she worked for NBCU’s Oxygen. She then worked as a consultant, helping C-suite executives better understand how the coming digital disruption would impact their businesses.
- Given her lack of specific experience in sports, Jen was initially hesitant to tackle the role, but she leveraged that deep experience in digital marketing and what was zero experience in sports marketing, has gone to overseeing strategic development, original content, digital platforms, community relations, media, data, and insights for the NFL club. And, in five years the passion she developed for the game has turned in to “an obsession.”
- Jen explains how her marketing team supports the football team — from events at their beloved stadium, “The Linc”, to tackling appropriate messaging and promotions from the US to the newly added countries of the franchise: Ghana, Australia, and New Zealand.
- For example, they’ve brought in well-known music artists popular in those areas to entertain fans during games and make cultural connections. The team has organized watch parties and flag football pursuits; for New Zealand, E.B. suggested they may need to train U.S. players in the haka!
- What goes into the decision to feature certain players – like super star Jalen Hurts (and hear about his new graduate degree OFF the field!) vs team initiatives.
- Hint: they’re driven by the marketing message that the Eagles want to share. For example, if the team wants to highlight leadership, they will focus on the team’s captains. If they want to showcase the experience of being a rookie in the NFL, they will focus on newly drafted players. And if they want to highlight a particular cause, they will find players who authentically align with that cause.
- She’s buoyed by how both the NFL and the club value the contribution of women and believe in diversity of thought and POVs.
- Jen and E.B. also discuss the Eagles’ pro-social efforts, such as:
Finally, social media marketers will appreciate how they’ve tapped into @YouTube and TikTok to grow new audiences and fans.
And of course E.B. asks Jen if she was involved in getting #TaylorSwift to proclaim her fandom for the Eagles and reveal that her lyric was about the team!
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[00:01:32] Taylor Swift’s Eagles fandom!
[00:04:05] Non-linear career paths can lead to great new opportunities
[00:08:30] Overview of marketing the Philadelphia Eagles pre- and post-SuperBowl™ !
[00:11:47] Creating cultural connections with new football fans in Ghana, New Zealand and
[00:18:05] Eagles’ brand purpose — including Eagles Autism Foundation fundraising and sustainability (Go Green!)
[00:20:15] Home town help to curtail gun violence in the Philadelphia area
[00:25:22] YouTube and TikTok strategies and content development.
[00:28:36] Girls’ access to sports bras to support their pursuit of the sport and the power of women in sports, like star agent, #NicoleLynn
[00:32:12] Leadership success and team support (and memorializing Jen’s invite to E.B.!)
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