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Last week, Weber Shandwick attended a networking event hosted by the Seattle Sounders FC leadership staff. The event drew over 100 attendees from diverse sports backgrounds which included students, producers, social media pros, PR peeps and event experts. The purpose of the event was to give attendees access to senior leadership in the Sounders and Seahawks organizations.

The impressive lineup included:

  • Gary Wright, Senior VP of Business Operations, Sounders FC
  • Chuck Arnold, VP of Sales & Marketing, Sounders FC and Seattle Seahawks
  • Jeff Richards, Director of Marketing, Sounders FC and Seattle Seahawks
  • Bart Wiley, Director of Business Operations, Sounders FC
  • Chris Lawrence, Director of Ticket Operations, Sounders FC and Seattle Seahawks
  • Christy Grady, Director of Corporate Partnership Development, Sounders FC

Weber Shandwick was fortunate enough to connect with almost all of the attending leadership and even reconnect with some old pals. In addition to talking soccer and football, we got to speak about us as a company and our sports work with small and large companies and explore future partnership opportunities.

As we made our rounds, we were able to learn about challenges the Sounders and Seahawks face when working with companies of all sizes. A reoccurring theme that surfaced was how important it was for companies working with the Sounders and Seahawks to tie their partnerships to “community” – making the community stronger, growing the community and elevating awareness about community involvement. An example shared was involving local non-profits, like Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, in some capacity when executing promotional campaigns. This helps to gain exposure for a cause while still supporting the company’s  goals – a win, win situation. It’s easy to overlook the community aspect when many brands we work with are large and span across the world, but bringing a local angle to some of our national or global executions can really add additional value to a promotional program and give it that extra spark that it needs to stand out.

What do you think? Is community or the local angle an important aspect when planning for partnerships or sponsorships?

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