Oakland Raiders charge Corsi with its PR offensive

OAKLAND: The Corsi Agency, a San Francisco-based integrated shop whose PR group handles mainly financial services clients, has scored a plum role as the lead PR player in the1999 season marketing blitz of the Oakland Raiders.

OAKLAND: The Corsi Agency, a San Francisco-based integrated shop whose PR group handles mainly financial services clients, has scored a plum role as the lead PR player in the1999 season marketing blitz of the Oakland Raiders.

Signed as the team's advertising AOR in April, Corsi recently saw its PR role with the Raiders expanded, according to Julie Lehman, head of the firm's PR department. Since the team's PR budget has not been specified, potential billings have not yet been determined.

On both the PR and advertising ends, Corsi's goal is the same: to increase Raiders game attendance and boost the sales of personal seat licenses among the team's season-ticket subscribers.

Prior to the Corsi group, the Raiders used San Francisco-based Zelinsky Public Relations, but only on a project basis. Other communications efforts, such as the team web site, are handled by specialized vendors or by the Raiders in-house, said Oakland Football Marketing Association president Richard Rogers.

So far, PR activities have been limited to media relations efforts to publicize a recently unveiled four-game mini-plan ticket package and to promote single-ticket sales. However, Lehman promised 'more exciting things to come' for the struggling silver and black underdogs.

Since their glory days under coach John Madden in the '70s, the Raiders have rarely been able to live up to their unofficial motto, 'Just win, baby.' Owner Al Davis has also had his share of legal scraps with the NFL over the fate of his team.

Before the 1999 season starts on September 12, Lehman's group will be working to coordinate, publicize, and build larger media stories around the Raiders' annual wine-tasting party for luxury suite holders and club-level ticket subscribers.

The PR team is also working with a local radio station to coordinate and publicize an event promoting the Oakland Coliseum's 'Stadium Dogs' through on-the-street tastings.

Founded in 1987, Corsi started its PR division two years ago. Today, the five-person department accounts for about one-third of the agency's total revenue.

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