Archive for the ‘nfl’ tag

MKTG INC Q&A with Tracy Perlman at the NFL

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Y-PERLMAN-master675Photo Credit: Richard Perry/The New York Times

MKTG INC was fortunate enough to sit down with Tracy Perlman, the Vice President of Entertainment Marketing and Promotions with the National Football League. She gave us some great insight into her years at the NFL, how the Halftime Show was born, and what it’s like to be a woman working in sports.  MKTG INC produced the NFL’s Legends Lounge, a VIP hospitality area, during this year’s Super Bowl.  Enjoy!


Tracy Perlman (Vice President of Entertainment Marketing and Promotions, NFL)

Q: You’ve been at the NFL for close to 20 years. How’d you get started?

A: I interviewed during my senior year of college and started the day after college graduation, on my 22nd birthday! I was in the HR department as a floater, so I got to “float” to every department at the League and fill in when someone was out. Talk about learning on the fly! I worked for the Commissioner, in PR, in Football Ops, Events, you name it. After 10 months something that appealed to me was open: a programming coordinator for NFL Films. From there I took the opportunity to grow and develop in different positions. I have worked for the League, NFL Films, NFL Enterprises, NFL Properties and NFL Business Ventures on everything from NFL Sunday Ticket to producing events and TV programming to marketing and promotions to entertainment and players.

Q: What’s the cocktail-party description of your day-to-day job?

A: Working every day to develop content and opportunities to extend our game and our brand beyond the field. A great fan promotion like Together We Make Football; a general audience movie that drives fans to embrace our game; an amazing TV integration that shows moms interacting with our Player Health and Safety platforms. Working with the Legends of the game to create content for NFL Network and to show their love for football and put the game in perspective for the fans. It is different every day and it allows me to take the game I love and highlight the passion through entertainment and the player/fan connection.

Q: The NFL has a reputation for seamlessly executing high-profile events, but in the marketing business, we know that sometimes things can go awry. Can you share an example that really tested your ability to stay cool?

A: There are so many I’m not sure where to start! Early in my career, we did a Super Bowl in Atlanta. We were hosting a party for 5,000 people at a place called Dean Estates, 30 minutes outside of the city. All of sudden it started to ice-storm. Atlanta was NOT ready for the weather. We were told to cancel the event because they had no salt for the roads so the busses couldn’t get there. So the day of the event, we moved the entire party into a hotel ballroom. We actually had the National Guard move all the décor. It was pretty crazy! But in the end, it looked like the event was supposed to be there the entire time.

Q: The NFL is as much an entertainment business as it is athletic. How do you strike a balance that keeps both casual and hardcore fans engaged?

A: We are storytellers, and there’s no better storyteller than NFL Films. We appeal to the casual fan who wants to know the personal story and the avid fan who wants to know about the competitiveness. We have offerings that cover everything and we are very careful not to be intrusive when it comes to the competition.  We offer avid fans access to things like the Draft and Combine, and we offer casual fans music, entertainment and unique opportunities.

Q: From Halftime Shows to the spread in Marie Claire, a lot is being done to attract and engage female fans. Why is it so important to have so many female fans taking an interest?

A: Female fans make up 45% of our fan base. They are as knowledgeable and as engaged as their male counterparts. Our ratings are up with female fans and we want to keep them interested. We also want them to use football as a connector for their families and friends. We want them be confident in their children playing the game and we want them to engage with our product. Going to them where they are is part of the strategy. Homegating products, women’s apparel, and nailgating with COVERGIRL are all hitting that demo.

Q: Warren Sapp, Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith: all NFL legends who went on to compete on Dancing with the Stars. How has the evolution of football players into mainstream celebrities affected the NFL’s visibility?

A: It has helped elevate the profile with different demos and expose our players to a new fanbase. A few years ago Emmitt Smith and I were on the NFL Thanksgiving Day parade float and about 100 13-year-old cheerleaders were chanting his name. He had just won Dancing with the Stars. He leaned over and said, “Who would ever have thought that would be part of my fan base?!”

Q: The Super Bowl is coming to the New York area this year. What does it mean to have the world’s most high-profile game played on the country’s biggest stage?

A: It means the most media and entertainment programming coverage we’ve ever had. It means more events, more high-profile media placements, more sponsor activation. It means the standard is elevated and we will strive to deliver!

Q: MKTG INC is producing the Legends Lounge this year. ­What’s your take on that experience?

A: We want to reconnect our Legends to each other and the game of football. We want to celebrate their accomplishments and have them truly embrace the history.  It will be an amazing opportunity to see guys reconnect for the first time in years. It will create the standard for all Legends events moving forward.

Q: The NFL is a strong supporter of many charitable causes, from support of the military to cancer awareness. Is there one that rings particularly true to you?

A: Play60 and fighting childhood obesity is a cause that we can all stand behind. We want to make sure we communicate to our fans that you can have a truly balanced lifestyle. We want kids to go outside and play, and it doesn’t have to be football!

Q: You’ve worked for two different commissioners over an era that’s seen drastic changes to the game and the NFL experience. Can you think of one thing in particular that made the biggest impact?

A: They are very different leaders. Commissioner Tagliabue changed the game when he cut the original deal with the Union. He built a strong game that was very stable. I believe that Commissioner Goodell has strengthened the NFL brand and allowed us to stretch our goals and thinking. Innovation and challenging the status quo is the mantra. The focus on the fans and the players is extraordinary and has helped us continue to grow.

Q: Women like you, Val Ackerman, Marla Miller and Kim Ng are seen as trailblazers for women in this business. What’s the future for women in sports?

A: The sky is the limit. As the fan bases grow and the games grow beyond the field, women will help mold the messaging and the strategy to keep up with the technology and the fans.

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Want Fries with That App?

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Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 4.52.06 PMSource:

In an effort to boost sales amongst millennial diners, McDonald’s has begun testing a mobile app in 1,000 locations. Beneath the golden arches, customers in pilot markets open up their “McD” app featuring mobile-exclusive offers such as buy-one-get-one breakfast sandwiches or a $1 McChicken sandwich.

With the global proliferation of smartphone usage and app downloads, brands like McDonald’s are taking advantage of these trends to drive both revenue and customer loyalty. Some have likened McDonald’s to a glorified Groupon; others may dub it a branded, localized, social-commerce tool. Whichever way you lean, the hope is that millennials will eat it up.

The deal-based mobile app is part of the recognition that McDonald’s and other brands share: digital and mobile accessibility are “increasingly critical in the U.S,” Sara Senatore, a New York-based analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Consumers are downloading and using apps at quite a clip, and we believe that brands will continue to build and launch mobile apps to boost sales, drive advocacy around rewards and enhance engagement through social sharing.

Aligning with these trends, at Bonfyre we’ve created a platform that focuses on “narrowcasting.” Brands create invite-only, ad hoc social networks called “bonfyres” focused around events, groups of people or influencers where participants can chat and share photos, captions and more. Instead of shouting to millions of Facebook likes or sifting through #mentions to reach a mass audience, Bonfyre fosters relevant two-way communication and sharing between specific audiences and a brand to cater the message and the consumer experience. Over the past year, we’ve helped brands like Budweiser, Express Scripts, an NFL team and MKTG INC leverage mobile technology around their unique events and communities. Through the narrow lens, our clients can better understand and measure how their audience interacts, to what messages they respond, the content they love and more.

As McDonald’s deploys McD to lure millennials, the company’s marketers will gain tremendous intelligence on how their consumers behave and how they leverage digital/mobile tech: what items they redeem most frequently, at what times, and hopefully drive additional sales via the app and market- or store-specific insights. Marketers might call that ROI. Millennials would call it the entire value menu.

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Are You Ready for Some Football?

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6974190Photo Credit:

The day is finally here. It has been more than 200 days since we last watched a professional football game (American football that is). TONIGHT the Denver Broncos host the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens in the inaugural game of the National Football League’s season (known to some as Kickoff). But lets be honest, do football fans really care who wins this game tonight? No. They care how many touchdowns Peyton Manning throws and how many yards Ray Rice runs for. It’s all about Fantasy Football. No matter what league you play in, you’ll be glued to the TV to watch your Fantasy wide receiver, not wonder how the Ravens will play without their pre-game speech from Ray Lewis.

Today kicks off one of the best weekends of the year. This is where Fantasy managers find out if their 1st round draft pick was really the right pick and  if their “sleeper” really turns out to be the best pick of the draft.

Whether your team name is “Give em Flacco” or “Natural Born Spillers” good luck this weekend….you’ll need it.

Written by: Liz McKeon

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No Friendlies. Just Football (and Guinness Black Lager!).

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Guinness Black Lager Photo Credit: Marc Serota

If you felt there was more football on TV this summer than normal (the European kind, not the ‘Merica kind) and that some of your favorite sports stadiums were housing teams with names that didn’t sound like they were in the NFC or AFC, you certainly were onto something. This summer kicked off the first ever Guinness International Champions Cup; an 8-team tournament pitting some of the world’s best and most prestigious football clubs against each other in a series of elimination matches. The tournament began July 31st at AT&T Park in San Francisco and traversed the U.S. for over a week, ending with the finals at Sun Life Stadium in Miami on August 7th.

As the title sponsor, Guinness had the opportunity to sample Guinness Black Lager at all the tournament locations. MKTG INC set up stations in each stadium’s highest traffic areas, sampling Guinness Black Lager and giving away ICC commemorative cups to hordes of fans (21 and over). With sampling teams that topped 30 in some cities, Guinness Black Lager made quite the splash, leaving consumers pleasantly surprised by the rich and satisfying taste from the lager’s roasted barley. Fans were also surrounded by concession stands selling Guinness Black Lager, most of which reported record sales on game day.

The tournament concluded with Real Madrid topping Chelsea 3-1 in a thrilling final featuring two goals by none other than Cristiano Ronaldo, earning him Man of the Tournament honors. Over 20,000 consumers sampled Guinness Black Lager across seven days, marking an immense step for Guinness Black Lager and for football fans throughout the U.S. Some might even say it was a GOOOOOOAAALLL!

Written by: Charlie DeCrescenzo

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Feeling Blue

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(Photo Credit:

(Photo Credit:

Say it ain’t so, Ahmad!

The New York Football Giants have officially released their starting running back and fan favorite, Ahmad Bradshaw. From Manhattan to Hoboken, I can already hear Giants’ fans sobbing with grief.

Alas, the runner who brought two Superbowl trophies back to the Meadowlands has been asked to clean out his locker and find a new job. That’s just cold, man!

Thankfully, Giants fans can rest assured as the team has a more than capable replacement in the young gun, David Wilson, who showed flashes of his big play potential during last year’s rookie campaign.

I love David Wilson’s potential, but (oh boy…here come the waterworks…) Ahmad Bradshaw was a warrior. Undersized, but never overwhelmed, Ahmad ran with a stubbornness that embodied the never say die attitude of the New York Giants. A central ingredient to the mix that brought two Superbowl championships home to New York, and the heart and soul of an offense that wove together improbable victories, Bradshaw has built a legacy for himself with the likes of Strahan, Simms and Gifford. He will undoubtedly be missed by Giants fans everywhere, but especially this fan, who at the moment is feeling rather blue himself…(sniff).

(Written By: Andrew Canlon)

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Written by Andrew Canlon
Andrew Canlon

February 7th, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Not Your Dad’s Fan Swag: NFL Back to Football Photo Day

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NFL Nike Back To Football Photo DayPhoto Credit:

What happens when MKTG INC takes 32 football-crazy fans, hooks them up with the sweetest new NIKE NFL products and brings in a professional team of stylists, make up artists and photographers to bring it all to life?  Fire flames, that’s what.

On Tuesday, September 4th, 32 lucky fans got just a taste of the celebrity life through the NFL’s first-ever Back to Football Photo Day.  America’s favorite League partnered with NIKE to select one super fan from each NFL team and whisked them away to NYC for an experience that blended all the glam of Fashion Week with the NFL’s manic following and unmistakable NIKE style.

The fans reported to the swanky Skylight West studio and right away were thrown into the whirlwind that was their day as an NFL VIP.  After full hair and makeup treatment, stylist to the stars Rachel Johnson engineered swag-tastic looks for each fan with a mix of hot new NIKE gear and their own personal style.  Once they were all gussied up a firing squad of professional photographers shot hundreds of images in search of the perfect look for each fan.  The images were then retouched on site in the same style as NIKE creative featuring Mark Sanchez, Victor Cruz, et. al.

Finally, after a short rest the fans were treated to a meet and greet with Commissioner Roger Goodell, followed by a VIP party complete with appearances by Kevin Frazier, Jason Sehorn and Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett.  As the party raged into the night the 32 lucky fans rocked their new looks and rubbed shoulders with NIKE & NFL executives, former players and celebrities.

Like I said.  Fire flames.

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Written by John Seiler
John Seiler

September 7th, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Happy New Year!

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NFL-nfl-4311909-1280-800Photo Credit:

The Olympics are great.  Every four years I get to become an expert in sports that are so far outside the mainstream I’m not sure they actually exist (looking at you, Trampoline).  Every moment of the Games, from the diver that fails to rip the entry on his inward reverse double pike somersault to the dressage rider that picks the perfect musical selection, I get the satisfaction of feeling like I am entering uncharted sports waters.  And that I know exactly what I am talking about.

But in a few days all of that will be over, and we will once again turn our attention on the great American wheelhouse of sports gluttony: football season.  What was once a weekend of relaxed Saturday and Sunday viewing has morphed into an uncontrollable beast of obsessive fantasy updates, game broadcasts every night of the week (yes, Montana vs. Idaho on Tuesday counts) and blatantly irrational screaming at television sets.

With all that action, here are 3 can’t miss opportunities this season:

1) NFL ’12 App: if you’re an out of town transplant like me there is nothing worse than being forced to watch the games Fox and CBS want you to watch every Sunday.  Enter the NFL ’12 app, a handy little program that will get you everything you could possibly need, from the radio broadcast of your choice to live Fantasy Football integration.

2) Don’t take this the wrong way, but it’s time to throw out the crew neck sweatshirt with the chili stain down the front.  Now that Nike has taken over as the official supplier of NFL uniforms and sideline gear, there’s no excuse for showing up to the bar/stadium/friend’s apartment in old threads.  With NFL themed jerseys, tees, polos, custom kicks, hats and more, there’s something for everyone.  Even you, Uncle Joe.

3) Friday Night Lights isn’t just a book, movie or (ugh) tv show-go watch your local high school team.  It’s the purest form of football there is and beats the heck out of another night wasted in that dingy bar you always go to.  Plus, you might be surprised by the local talent; check out for the latest list of the top recruits in your area.  Who knows, it might be the scoop that wins your 2019 Fantasy league.

So there you have it.  Once the good ole USA is finished winning the Olympics put away your synchronized swimming scoring rubric and break out the face paint.  Football is back.

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Written by John Seiler
John Seiler

August 13th, 2012 at 3:07 pm