• Served as Creative Director for Hyundai's partnership with the NFL (official vehicle of the NFL).
• Led vision, pitched, and sold through to Hyundai’s CMO our campaign for the 2016 NFL Draft.
• Helped shape overall strategic and creative vision for partnership.
Just before the 2015 NFL season, Hyundai struck a 4-year partnership with the league to become the official vehicle of the NFL. As an ascending import brand with growing visibility in America, an alignment with the top sport in the United States (and its fans – the largest and most passionate tribe in sports) carried immense potential.
Often, when brands partner with the NFL, the manifestation isn’t much more than being able to display the NFL logo, and make claims of being the “Official ____ of the NFL”. That alone is a highly visible (read: expensive) proposition. But for Hyundai, we set our sights much higher. We wanted to create experiences and content that showed our shared passion for football. The work had to provide exclusivity to avoid being another “me too” outlet for generic content. And it always needed to be authentic for it to have credibility with the fanbase.
Cut to fall 2015. As a lifelong, diehard football fan, I was fortunate to be able to step in as Creative Director on some of the NFL Partnership work You hear about certain occupations or projects being labors of love – this was certainly one of those moments for me.
When we got rolling, the season was well underway. So we had to deploy our version of a hurry-up offense for our first project, Hyundai’s Road To The Super Bowl Sweepstakes. For most fans, attending a Super Bowl is a seemingly unattainable bucket list event. But as part of this test drive program in December 2015, we gave away and incredible 25 pairs of tickets to Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, CA. And in doing so, we saw a massive spike in test drives during what is typically a relatively slow time for test drives. The program was a big success (and my beloved Broncos won the Super Bowl!!).
Our next major campaign was to promote the partnership in advance of the biggest NFL event of the offseason: the 2016 NFL Draft. We exclusivity and authenticity in mind, we got access to the NFL Network’s lead Draft analyst, Mike Mayock, as well as a few current NFL players for a program called Draft Day 2031. This idea featured Mr. Mayock taking a fun look at the future by analyzing 6- and 7-year old kids as draft prospects just as he would for a 300lb graduating senior from USC or Alabama. This lighthearted (but still authentic-feeling with NFL talent, graphics, etc.) program aligned perfectly with Hyundai’s position as a brand on the rise.
As my engagement with Innocean wrapped up, the Hyundai+NFL was off and running, and poised for great things to come in the next few years of the partnership.
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