PHOENIX: The Harlem Globetrotters have selected Coyne PR as its AOR after a competitive review. Brett Meister, VP of communications and operations for the Globetrotters, said hiring an agency was one of a number of steps the company was taking in an attempt to expand the 82-year-old brand beyond the live- event business it's best known for.
"Since May, exciting changes have been going on," he said. "The vision is to take the Globetrotter heritage and its vibrant image to a new revenue stream."
Coyne will be responsible for managing outreach to consumer, sports, and entertainment media; events; and the development the star power of the Harlem Globetrotter players, who consist of former college basketball players.
Coyne was selected after a search conducted this past fall involving both New York- and Los Angeles-based firms.
The company will extend the brand by airing its first broadcast TV special in 14 years, slated to debut on January 30 on MyNetworkTV. In October, the team also launched an interactive Web site, including blogs and games.
Meister credits CEO Kurt Schneider with much of the new effort. Appointed in May, Schneider came from World Wrestling Entertainment, where he was EVP.
"[Schneider's] vision is to take that live-event business and allow fans to interact on different platforms - TV, Web site, and licensing," explained Meister.
However, the team will retain its family-friendly image, hoping to see its popularity grow as it makes deeper inroads into different media.
"While the players of yesterday were incredible, the players of today are even more exciting," said Meister. "The Globetrotters are an entertainment experience that every member of the family can connect to. We are breathing new life into the product."