NFL newsletter gives Huddle play

NFL Players Association's newsletter, November

NFL Players Association's newsletter, November

Who is your client, and what are its media goals?

Crystalyn Thienpont: Our client is Downtown Locker Room, a 59-store urban fashion retailer. It has always been a very community-minded company. For this campaign, it wanted us to generate attention for the Homeroom Huddle, a program it runs with Baltimore Ravens tight end Daniel Wilcox that pairs the 11th grade class of a local inner-city school with an NFL player.

What made the NFL Players Association's newsletter a good hit, and how did you pitch the editors?

Thienpont: We wanted to reach within the tight-knit NFL community to find other players to partner with, and the newsletter directly reaches the athletes, so it was a great target. We had worked regularly with the Baltimore Ravens community relations department, and their manager helped put us in touch with the newsletter's editors.

Both individual NFL players and the Players Association are besieged with requests to participate in community programs. Was it hard to cut through that clutter?

Thienpont: The newsletter devotes plenty of coverage to players' community work, so it wasn't a challenge getting the editors interested. But we did have to work with them to make sure Downtown Locker Room's involvement was up-front and center in the piece.

Did Wilcox do an interview for the story? What kind of art or support materials did you provide?

Thienpont: Wilcox didn't do an interview, but he did supply some quotes we included in our pitch. While those quotes weren't used, the editors did use a photo we supplied of him with the students.

What was the impact of the hit?

Thienpont: The story ran in the newsletter's November issue and really gave the Homeroom Huddle some great third-party credibility. Downtown Locker Room's community outreach director has used the placement in her pitch to other athletes, which has already helped expand the program to Atlanta.

Name: Crystalyn Thienpont, account director, MGH (Owings Mills, MD)

Placement: NFL Players Association's newsletter, November

Pitch Timeline: Three weeks

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