The Kansas City Chiefs are one of the original American Football League teams. Founded by Lamar Hunt, an American sports icon, the Chiefs began playing in Kansas City in 1963. The Chiefs won 3 AFL championships, and in 1970 became Super Bowl IV Champions.
Throughout the next 3 decades the Chiefs became a strong franchise in the NFL. However, during the last decade the team has struggled on the field and, in turn, fans have lessened their commitment to the brand. Following major renovation of Arrowhead Stadium, Chiefs’ leadership realized the need to fuel the team’s growth by expanding and deepening the Chiefs brand relationship with fans, corporate sponsors and the broader Kansas City region. In 2012, the Chiefs 50th Season in Kansas City, we were engaged to guide a cross-functional team, including outside agencies, in developing a Brand Strategy that would revitalize the Chiefs brand across America’s Heartland to emerge as one of the few small market brands with national prominence (i.e. Packers, Steelers).
We began by understanding existing Chiefs and NFL research, and the history of the Chiefs and Kansas City. Next, we fielded significant qualitative and quantitative research in order to understand sports fans in the Kansas City region. This included understanding how fans currently related to the Chiefs and competitor brands, and then identifying insights into fan’s underlying needs and motivations. Following this, we determined how we wanted the Chiefs brand to evolve in the future, and created an emotional Brand Promise that was compelling, believable and distinct in order to drive growth with fans, corporate sponsors and the broader Kansas City region that was consistent with the Business Strategy.
We were then retained to guide implementation of the Brand Strategy across all employee and fan touch points, including Mission Statement, Sales, Marketing, PR, Stadium Operations, In-game Entertainment, Community Relations, etc.
In 2013 we led qualitative research with Season Ticket Holders to understand their current perceptions of the Chiefs organization and their desires from the organization in the future, including; direction of the team, sense of being valued, overall entertainment experience, feeling of safety, connection with brand expressions and advertising, etc.
- Clark Hunt, Chairman and CEO
- Mark Donovan, President
- Dan Crumb, Chief Financial Officer
- Bill Chapin, Senior Vice President of Business Operations
- Kirsten Krug, Vice President of Human Resources and Administration
- Rob Alberino, Vice President of Media and Marketing
- David Young, Vice President of Stadium Operations
- Ted Crews, Vice President of Communications
- Jayne Martin, Customer Relations and Premium Services Manager
- Ann Scharf, Manger of Business Operations
- Jeremy Slavens, Director of Marketing and Event Acquisition
- Pam Kramer, Communications Consultant
- Ryan Petkoff, Vice President of Communications, Hunt Sports Group
- Roshann Parris, President, Parris Communications
- John January, Creative Director, Sullivan Higdon and Sink