Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 21 No. 1
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Plugged In: Jason Teitler, Burson-Marsteller

Jason Teitler, chairman of Burson-Marsteller’s sports marketing and fan experience practice, has played a key role in facilitating some of the biggest deals in the industry over the last several years. The firm advised T-Mobile on its activation at MLB FanFest last summer, worked with technology firm SAP on that company’s league partnerships with the NFL and NBA, and counseled MetLife on the activation of its stadium naming-rights deal for the New York Jets and Giants home worth more than $400 million. Teitler oversees a 40-person staff located primarily in New York and Chicago.

Sports are more than just moments in time.

On delivering sufficient wireless connectivity at stadiums: There are a lot of complex issues to navigate around, and each individual venue is different. But rather than think through the lens of the building owner, it’s critical to think through the eyes of the fan. There’s been a lot of progress made, and it’s inevitable there will continue to be improvement, but still a lot more progress needs to be made.

On the “in-stadium vs. at-home” debate: We’re resolved to building both sides and don’t necessarily see them as inherently in conflict with each other. Fans are so hungry for unique experiences, and you want to get butts in seats, but there’s a whole other side of the business, too. We think there’s merit in fully serving both sides.

On the role of brands in the fan experience: Brands can play a big role in forging connections for fans to their teams. The good ones can become organizers of the fan experiences and be a conduit to those experiences. Just slapping a name on a billboard or on a venue is simply missing the boat. Where I see big opportunity and big value is the totality of the fan experience, the storytelling that occurs between games. Brands can be a big part of that.

On building a marketing strategy through sports: Earned media needs to be a bigger part of the brand-building experience. That seems to get pushed aside sometimes, but we see big opportunity there.

On the demands in social media: The proliferation of the social media space has been intense. There are so many trails you can go down. Which ones are most valuable? The answers there will vary, and having a highly splintered strategy can actually do more harm than good. But I do love the momentum Instagram has right now. The visual elements of photos and video and what they’re doing is absolutely brilliant.

— Eric Fisher