SOURCE: hawkeye

July 12, 2011 18:19 ET

hawkeye Agency Expands Sports and Experiential Marketing Capabilities With Addition of Sports Marketing Veteran Brandi Connolly

DALLAS, TX--(Marketwire - Jul 12, 2011) - hawkeye, a multichannel customer development marketing agency with offices in the United States and overseas, continues to expand its expertise and emphasis on sports and experiential marketing with the hiring of Brandi Connolly in its Dallas office as Director of Sports and Experiential Marketing. Connolly will head-up the Sports and Experiential group's business development effort and lead the agency's work for The North Face and Gatorade.

Prior to joining hawkeye, Connolly served as Director of Marketing and Sponsorships for the Super Bowl XLII host committee in Scottsdale, Ariz., and as Director of Marketing and Sales for the United States Bowling Congress in Dallas. Connolly has also served as a consultant to the Oakland Raiders to enhance the team's fan experience and helped Yellow Transportation restructure its NASCAR sponsorship. An Oklahoma native, Connolly earned her undergraduate degree in Communications from SMU and an MBA in Sports Business from Arizona State University.

"Sports marketing creates unique connections between consumers and brands by leveraging that strong passion most of us have for sports and sporting events," says Connolly. "By engaging our emotions and lifestyles, sports and experiential marketing creates unique and stronger bonds with consumers. We're seeing more companies from more industries recognize this amazing ability and tapping into it."

Connolly notes that spending on sports marketing is showing greater growth -- a projected $12.4 billion in 2011 -- than other event-related marketing avenues. hawkeye reports that financial institutions alone spent $265 million on sports-related advertising in 2010, a 146 percent increase over 2009. hawkeye's sports and experiential marketing business has grown at a double-digit rate over the last three years as the agency has accelerated its investment in sports marketing talent and experience.

"Sports marketing is about creating a deeper, more authentic engagement. More than that, it's about creating daily engagement," says Amanda Forgason, Managing Director of hawkeye's Sports and Experiential team in Dallas. "The companies and brands that are winning at sports marketing have figured out how to create daily engagement by expanding the experience into social media channels."

Forgason points out that the most effective sports marketing programs go well beyond events by developing deep, ongoing engagement with the brand. hawkeye worked with The North Face to take the company from being a "race sponsor" in 2006 to a position as a leading authority in trail and endurance running by creating owned events with dedicated engagement campaigns that helped drive traffic to the brand's retail stores and website throughout the year.

"Effective sports marketing strategies help companies establish themselves as trusted experts and leaders. Gatorade isn't just a sports drink maker. It's now positioned as a leading expert on hydration and maintaining energy to perform at the highest levels. Sports and experiential marketing makes that possible," said Forgason.

"Our goal is to maintain a leading-edge capability in sports and experiential marketing," said Steve Dapper, Founder and Chairman of hawkeye. "More of our clients who are not in sports-related industries are rethinking their sports marketing strategies and creating platforms that are smarter and more sustainable. They want to learn how to leverage the deep, emotional connections that are created between their brand and their customers through the on-going engagements that effective sports and experiential marketing produces. We have a wonderfully talented team in place, and we plan to continue to grow our ability to use sports and experiential marketing to build long-term brand equity for all of our clients."

About hawkeye
hawkeye is a multichannel customer development marketing agency that helps its clients to acquire the right customers, grow them, retain them and turn them into loyal advocates. With more than 300 associates in the United States and around the world, hawkeye believes that marketing is most effective when customers and prospects are engaged in upfront, direct and relevant dialogue and experiences. Using fully integrated digital and direct capabilities and creative we produce measurable results that create the greatest value for our clients.

Contact Information

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    Lynn Gentry for hawkeye
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