Time Warner Cable Sports
Have you heard about Time Warner Cable’s new regional sports nets? Of course you have. And that’s because of this stellar marketing team led by Scott Pruitt, vp, TWC sports, news and local programming. It all began with a lavish launch party in L.A. last year featuring David Beckham, Kobe Bryant and other sports mega-stars, and the buzz has only grown since then—with the stakes getting even higher earlier this year when TWC paid an estimated $7bln-$8bln for exclusive rights to SportsNet LA, the new LA Dodgers net from American Media Productions. Nonetheless, TWC’s regional sports nets remain a key focus, and this team has spearheaded the look and feel of TWC SportsNet and TWC Deportes as they continue to grow distribution. Most exciting is that TWC’s sports marketing team started from scratch, building the nets’ positioning from the ground up and truly “owning” their rollout to the public. Team campaigns included an integrated marketing, communications and social media launch initiative that featured promotional videos and tweets by the Lakers, along with more traditional tactics such as billboards and print ads. Pruitt also encourages his team to present new ideas without fear, fostering an environment of openness to new and creative approaches. It helps that this diverse team brings a variety of perspectives, with execs touting extensive experience in TV, entertainment, professional and collegiate sports and creative design. Put it all together, and this is one powerful marketing machine.
This network has been around so long that it’s easy to overlook. Not anymore. The A&E marketing team has completely revitalized the A&E brand with smart campaigns around scripted shows like “Bates Motel” and “Longmire,” as well as pseudo-scripted reality like “Duck Dynasty,” which is now one of the top rated shows on all of television.
The creative success of FX’s critically acclaimed scripted shows is matched only by the consistent power of its marketing apparatus, which assures that buzz constantly surrounds the net’s growing slate of originals. Smart integration between marketing and the PR dept under John Solberg makes this machine even more effective.
Whether it’s dressing up NYC subway cars to match the milieu of “Boardwalk Empire” or holding events letting us sit in a replica of the Iron Throne from “Game of Thrones,” HBO’s basic marketing philosophy is to go big or to go home. And that’s really the only way to roll when you’re potentially the biggest brand on TV.