• Loading stock data...
Friday, July 12, 2024

The Art of Branding: Pearson Cunningham, Centerfold Agency

Image via Pearson Cunningham.

(Photo via Pearson Cunningham)

Over the years, branding and sports marketing have changed drastically. One brand agency, Centerfold, of Charlotte, North Carolina, is continuing to rewrite the script on what it means to familiarize and identify with a brand.

For company Principal and branding expert, Pearson Cunningham, remaining genuine to their brand and image is paramount to establishing fan connection and positivity.

At its core, a brand is others’ perception of an entity; something that has the power to sway business or hurt a company. Centerfold acts on that by looking into the heart of what they believe in.

“We keep brand at the core of every decision we make,” said Cunningham. “Whether it’s stadium concessions or a player’s skills camp, we always strive for brand consistency in even the smallest details across all channels.”

Cunningham, a professional of seven years and former design co-founder of Cosmic; an e-commerce startup connecting retailers and publishers, knows the drive a brand needs to succeed.

Through personal experience and nature of the industry, Cunningham, over the years, has learned relevance and vision tandem best for positive results.

“[You should] always be cognizant of the space your brand will occupy,” said Cunningham. “Ensure its verbal and visual identity resonate with your targeted audience in that space.”

One of the newly revolutionized ways to cultivate a brand is through social media. Whether a professional sports team or a snacking company, social media gives the brand a friendly face, often resulting in conversation.

He notes that the best social media accounts often engage with their followers and fans in unique ways — extending to their everyday lives.

“I always enjoy reading Twitter conversations between professional sports teams,” said Cunningham. “The personification of organizations and interaction they have with each other is a great example of how to deepen ties to your fanbase.”

None rings truer than in 2016, when several NFL teams of the cat family interacted on Twitter and produced thousands of engagements, and connected with fans alike.

The Panthers, Jaguars, Lions, and Bengals all collaborated in unique conversation provoking mass fan involvement and furthered their own brands.

The tweet thread represents the personification of professional social media accounts tying into the everyday likeness of fans and followers. Although simple and witty, it has the ability to drive conversation.

As an expert in branding and marketing campaigns alike, Cunningham knows the two should work together to further one another. Once the brand is established, it enables the direction in which the marketing campaign tells its story.

“When creating a campaign, an agency must keep in mind where a brand has been, and where it’s heading,” said Cunningham.

Marketing has the power to extend the audience, create conversation through advertising and influence possible consumers. Without the initial image of the brand, Cunningham knows the latter is not possible.

“A successful marketing campaign builds brand equity by furthering the story of that brand in a direction that is meaningful to its followers.”

In sports, physical representation of the brand still trumps digital marketing efforts via tangible connection. Cunningham knows the digital sphere of the marketing and branding efforts look through the window of the real world.

“Your digital brand supports your physical brand by bringing you closer to the physical product when it’s not top of mind,” said Cunningham. “But nothing in the digital space comes close to being at an event as a fan, and interacting with that brand in a raucous environment with 80,000 of your closest friends.”

Through collaborations with universities and sports teams, Cunningham and the rest of his Centerfold team continue to further the conversations and help establish a wide variety of personable brands.

Each campaign and success can be traced back to one thing: relationships.

“I think our comfort level of working together shines through in our work and relationships we build with our clients,” said Cunningham. “We [co-workers] have been friends for a long time, and that chemistry is extremely hard to fabricate.”

*Centerfold Agency is a Proud Partner of Front Office Sports

This piece has been presented to you by SMU’s Master of Science in Sport Management.

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

NFLPA Report Cards Have Become the ‘Talk of the Locker Room’ Across..

NFLPA report cards have become the ‘talk of the locker room.’

The New College Sports Insiders Are Graphic Designers

Joe Tipton and Hayes Fawcett have become premier news-breakers on social media.
Oct 27, 2023; Sacramento, California, USA; A general of the Sacramento Kings logo on the court before the game against the Golden State Warriors at Golden 1 Center.

How Sports Went From Private Equity Punchline to Coveted Asset Class

Once an industry punchline, sports are now a coveted asset class.

Willie Mays’s Humility Was Key to His Genius

Mays took heat from all sides, and handled it his own way.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Warner Bros. Discovery Faces Final Decision on NBA Rights

0:00

Featured Today

As Realignment Becomes Official, the Power 5 Era Is Over

It’s yet another indicator that college sports have become more commercialized.
Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo speaks to the media at a press conference announcing his new ownership of the Coyotes at Gila River Arena in Glendale on July 31, 2019. Alex Meruelo
June 29, 2024

The Dysfunctional Family Affair That Poisoned Arizona Coyotes

An absent Alex Meruelo left a power vacuum for his inexperienced son.
June 26, 2024

‘Inside Out 2’ Could Be a ‘Mighty Ducks’ Moment for Women’s Hockey

The movie could spark a new era of growth in the sport.
Jan 3, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; General view of the NFL shield logo signage before the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.
June 11, 2024

Odds Stacked Against NFL in Multibillion-Dollar Sunday Ticket Trial

Why the class action trial does not look promising for the league.
Sponsored

Temple Takes Your Sports Career to the Next Level

If you want to break through to the C-Suite , Temple University’s Executive Master of Science in Sport Business can help you up your game and accelerate your career. 
Sponsored

Networking With Purpose

Investing in the Ohio University PMSA unlocks access to one of the largest sports business alumni networks in the world.
Sponsored

University of San Francisco Is Your Ticket to the Game

Rated the No. 1 Sports Management program in California, USF has been a leader in educating industry professionals for more than 30 years.
Sponsored

TopSpin 2K25 Brings the Legends of Tennis to Your Living Room

2K sports is reviving a classic with TopSpin 2K25.
Sponsored

UMass, McCormack Department of Sport Management Introduce Groundbreaking Women in Business Course

UMass’s Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management has announced the addition of a Women in Business course launching Spring 2021.
Sponsored

Sacred Heart University Gives Athletes and Students Hands-On Learning Opportunities

Professor Matthew F. Moran is training the industry’s next generation of exercise scientists at Sacred Heart University.
Sponsored

Ohio University PMSA Prepares Sports Professionals For New Normal

Two alumni of the Ohio University Professional Master of Sports Administration explain how they feel prepared for the future of sports.
Sponsored

Temple’s Sports Business Master’s Program Gives a Sports Media Pro Unique Perspective

Temple’s School of Sport, Tourism & Hospitality Management gave Sean Hanrahan the tools to elevate his career even after 30 years in the business.