Ravens Military Partnerships Build Strong Support Ties…

The ability to have to aggressively build brand amongst major professional teams is needed the least by the teams of the National Football League. Revenue sharing, national television, superior ticket sales on a season basis and a tremendous in-game atmosphere give most teams a base to be discriminative in their brand building exposure, as opposed to being aggressive in outbound programs. However even the best of teams in this challenged economy are looking to new revenue and brand building streams to generate interest and eventually dollars, with even some of the most storied franchises like the New York Giants facing a limited number of ticket holders at top dollar. One of the teams that has always found ways, even in the best days, to attach themselves to their community and build fan base is the Baltimore Ravens. Like the Colts before they moved to Indianapolis, the Ravens and their blue collar style have been emotionally tied to the city they call home. In short, the Ravens “get” their audience. The latest example of that sense of devotion to community was chronicled in this wee.s Baltimore Sun, with the Ravens hosting a special session for enlisted men and women, a project that drew 50 last year and 500 this year. The Capitol District, from Washington through Baltimore, has always had a military base, and the teams in the area have been able over time to partner with that core group for support. Ironically, as the team just to the south, the Redskins, constantly fight for message control, the Ravens always seem to find ways to expand their reach to the grassroots. Now will that style bring in more dollar. Unsure. Will courting the military help in selling luxury suite. Probably not. But in moving merchandise, building goodwill in the community and driving brand support it is a very smart move. It is true that the Ravens, like any other NFL team, still abide by the strict limits of access imposed by the league. However finding ways to go above and beyond to drive goodwill and find new story lines when they do.t necessarily have to, is the sign of solid leadership and partnership, both keys to success regardless of on the field success.

Some other good reads…the LA Times has a good profile of race driver Dario Franchitti...Sarah Talalay in the Sun Sentinel had a good piece on Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves doing a charity bed race in South Florida…and, courtesy of Terry Lyons blog, is a great piece on how Warriors head of PR used some unconventional ways to get his first job with the LA Lakers