Cleveland Cavaliers rebrand for 2014-15 season

By: Allison Zullo @allisonzullo


If you follow sports at all, or are from Cleveland, you may have heard about a certain NBA superstar deciding to bring his talents back to Northeast Ohio. Yes LeBron James, four-time NBA MVP and the Cavs’ all-time leading scorer, is back in Cleveland, and brought a new branding strategy for the Cavaliers with him,.. among other things (hi, Kevin Love).

LeBron Returns

Immediately after James announced his return via a letter published on on July 11, the Cavs began the process of rebranding with owner Dan Gilbert’s business mantra in mind, “numbers and money follow, but they don’t lead.”

Hours after the announcement went public, the Cavs capped their season ticket sales at 12,000 – and instead of raising prices to ridiculously expensive amounts they opted to keep prices the same. However, the team created a lottery system to make single-game tickets available to all fans, and the prices of these tickets did increase.

The Cavs also added staff members in the sponsorship and PR departments to focus on creating new partnerships with outside companies and to help increase national media coverage. In addition, they also hired more staff to focus on digital content, particularly for restructuring their website (which has been visited nearly 20 times more than this time last year) and to create a mobile app for the arena – which they recently released before the team’s first home game on Oct. 30.

With the influx of revenue from ticket sales and sponsorship deals, in addition to Cleveland hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention, the Cavs were able to invest in Quicken Loans Arena. The “Q” is scheduled to receive nearly $23 million in upgrades over the next 10 months with the most noticeable new addition being the 5,550 square foot scoreboard that sits on the middle of the ceiling in the arena, and is the largest of its kind in the NBA.

Though the Cavs’ rebranding strategies are not noticeable by the average fan (besides the gigantic scoreboard), they have been extremely successful. With their new strategy for ticket sales, and adding staff to their PR and digital content teams, the Cavs are armed and ready for whatever this season holds – which could be some major opportunities ahead thanks to the return of James. Be on the lookout not only for the big things that the Cavs do on the court, but also what their publicity teams are doing off the court.

*Great article to learn more HERE. And Nike Also released a new commercial with LeBron and it gave us chills!

Summer Spotlight: Kathleen Marincic

By: Kathleen Marincic @KathMarincic

photo 1As all summers seem to go, this summer flew by. It feels like just weeks ago, my parents were down in Athens helping me pack up my old house to move it all into my new apartment and I had close to 4 months of freedom in front of me.

With the exception of it going too fast, this summer was by far one of the best! After being bedridden for almost a week straight after a slow and painful wisdom teeth removal process, I was on the go with family, friends, work and other summer fun activities.

Most of my time was dedicated to my internship with Cleveland’s iconic West Side Market through the Cleveland Foundation. There were 16 interns in the Cleveland Foundation’s program that were all placed at difference nonprofits throughout the City of Cleveland. We would get together once a week and visit a different organization to learn what our fellow interns were up to and to experience the world of Great Cleveland nonprofits.

I worked directly with the manager of the West Side Market and created content for their bi-monthly newsletter, updated their brand new website, oversaw their social media efforts and developed a social media packet for vendors to implement in their own social networks.

I got the chance to sell merchandise from one of the stands inside the Market and even climbed the metal-mesh staircase to the top of the 137-foot-tall clock tower (in wedges I might add).

photo 2Another highlight of my summer was a family vacation to the glorious beaches of Oak Island, North Carolina. 16 of my relatives plus a two-year-old and a 4-month-old baby shared a five bedroom house with the ocean as its back yard for a week straight. We even made t-shirts and tank tops with our family crest proudly displayed front and center (yes, we are THAT family)!

Besides spending the majority of our time on the beach, we traveled to Wilmington, North Carolina to visit some of the popular filming locations of One Tree Hill and rode a ferry over to Bald Head Island, where there are relatively few cars on the island as every resident drives a golf cart.

After a summer full of wonderful memories and new work experiences through my internship, I feel fully prepared to return to Athens and conquer my senior year of college.


An Entertaining Entertainment Internship

Receiving the opportunity to work at an entertainment agency this summer has opened my eyes to the entertainment industry and photo (1)I am now a dedicated fan of the Kardashians (I still don’t know if I am proud of this or not). I am interning in Cleveland with the Talent Group and their office is located right outside the city, and by right outside I mean I could walk four blocks and be in the heart of Cleveland.

It’s odd that I decided to take this internship because I have never had an interest in the entertainment industry. I’m not the typical girl that watches E! Network all the time, nor have I seen all of the must-see chick flicks (although, I do love a Nicholas Sparks movie).

In late spring, I landed this internship as a junior agent intern. My duties consist of answering phones, getting lunch and calling our talent. Some days are slow and some days I have to come in early and leave late.

After working here this summer, I think experience in the entertainment industry is crucial to any field of PR you may want to enter. Knowledge in the entertainment world is something I never would have imagined being important to a professional that didn’t want to go in to entertainment.

So far, I have learned the ins and outs of working with real talent including actors, models and voice over talent. People will come in to audition and we must keep their confidence level up with motivational talks and compliments. We also assemble their wardrobe for them.

The entertainment world is different from the typical PR world mainly because you are working with individuals instead of clients. Although our office manager handles our clients (clients book our talent), most of the employees here work directly with the talent. This can be stressful because the talent can be very hard on themselves while auditioning or modeling. Our job is to make sure they know they are doing great.

As a junior agent intern, I call most of the talent and let them know about upcoming auditions we have booked them. I tell them what to wear, schedule them and let them know their scripts. The entire office must work together if we want to stay organized.

Experience in the entertainment world can give you a lot of insight into what the real world is like.

Some talent come in and expect special treatment and others want to be treated like a normal person, even though they are booking thousand-dollar jobs on a weekly basis. The stereotype is true for some; actors and models can be a little stuck-up. For the most part, I work with some really talented and sweet people. After all, these people are entertainers. Most of them are very personable. Watching some be so friendly and others so rude has showed me how important it is to be extra nice so you give a great first impression.

In the PR world, having a grasp on the current trends in entertainment is crucial, even if you plan on doing political PR. Having a background in an entertainment agency not only provides you great connections, but it teaches you the ins and outs of scheduling, producing and managing your time.

My advice? Intern for an entertainment agency, paid or unpaid. You won’t regret it and you will come out of it with valuable experience.

-Meagan Dixon is a senior graduating a year early and studying strategic communications with a minor in business and a sociology specialization. Follow Meagan at @MeagDixon.