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The Passing of the Torch: Marketing Joe Flacco as the New Face of the Ravens

url-1Super Bowl MVP and $120 Million Dollar Man!

When the final lights shut down (for the second time that evening) at the Superdome in New Orleans the Baltimore Ravens were crowned the Super Bowl Champions.

And a curtain was closed on their team.  Their franchise player for over the past 15 years Ray Lewis had gone out as a winner and will go down in history as perhaps the greatest linebacker to ever play the game.  But with Ray retiring that also brings up the dilemma of a need for the new face of a franchise.  Ray Lewis was that face, and he did it brilliantly.  Baltimore Ravens fans LOVE their football team.  I mean they LOVE them.  I’m a Cincinnati Bengals fan.  Now I understand they’ve had a tad more to celebrate lately but we’ve held our own to be respectable over the Marvin Lewis era, but I only LIKE and will probably forever only LIKE my Bengals.

Ray Lewis tapped into those Ravens fans’ hearts and took them along for the ride every single year.  And the Ravens organization as a whole did an outstanding job in their marketing of it.

The torch has passed.  Joe Flacco is Super Bowl MVP, the recently paid $120 Million Dollar Man (Aaron Rodgers is licking his lips with his upcoming contract thinking to himself “No way they aren’t paying me 20% above that!”) and he is now officially the face of the Baltimore Ravens franchise. No pressure here, Joe Flacco.

Indianapolis Colts v Baltimore Ravens

How do they market Joe Flacco??

Hmmm well are you probably aren’t going to start with his boyish good looks, wavy hair, or awesome tattoo’s!  No sorry Joe. The Baltimore Ravens I believe need to start with two things and market it that way:

  1. Give the city of Baltimore what they want.  Sometimes we focus our marketing efforts on what we want, rather than what the consumer wants.
  2. Let Joe be Joe.  And market the hell out of that!

Let’s start with the city of Baltimore because you need to start with the client and dig out from there.  Baltimore is an East Coast city that has tons of pride, believes in a good and honest day’s work, and is passionate about their sports.  It’s the 24th largest city but it’s way bigger when you factor in the outlying areas.  It has decreased in population by about 33% since 1950 but it is and always will be one of the true great American cities, especially on the East Coast.

I would recommend they follow the Ray Lewis path.  Ray did an exceptional job of always speaking to and putting Baltimore first.  More so than almost any player I have noticed, and it seemed like the Ravens fans loved it.  I mean those Ravens fans were loud in the AFC Championship game in New England as the clock ticked down.

Ray was always screaming “BALTIMORE!!!!”  And they loved it.  Baltimore fans want somebody who cares about their city, who believes in their community, and is going to go out there and work his hardest every single day.

Ray Lewis did that.  Joe Flacco has been doing it, now it’s time to put Joe Flacco at the forefront of that message.  Yes the black face paint may be gone but they can still market Joe has a member of the city of Baltimore, as someone who puts in the time both on and off the field with the fans, and believes that Baltimore is the best city in the WORLD!

urlJoe Flacco himself

Joe Flacco is actually a pretty funny guy in his interviews and has had some good one liners in media quotes.  He has accidentally cussed from excitement on national TV a few times, he compared his wheels to Michael Vick in a joking manner, and said that whoever thought it would be fun to put the Super Bowl in bitter cold New York City in the coming years was stupid.  Just stupid.

Let Joe be Joe.  He has already earned the respect of the entire NFL and the Ravens fanbase over his Superbowl victory.  The Ravens have now committed to him as their franchise QB for the next six years, all they need to do is continue to win football games, have workman like attitude that they have always possessed, and let Joe win over the fans hearts by showing his continued dedication and quirkiness to the city of Baltimore.

Joe is a competitor, so don’t think I’m saying he’s not an intense dude.  I’m just saying he has a very funny, engaging, and smart personality off the field.  He will not come out in the pre game entrance like Ray has done in the past.  But he will probably dress up like Ray and do a funny Youtube spin off with the real Ray if they so asked him.  (Actually that would be a hilarious and marketable idea right there, I say Ozzie Newsome and their marketing team steal my idea right now.  It will go viral!)

The good news is the torch has been passed, in many NFL organizations you won’t get two stars like Ray and Joe overlapping each other and coinciding with one another.  Both on and off the field.  The city of Baltimore and the Ravens organization are very fortunate for what they have.

The message now is that Joe Flacco is their franchise.  Their city’s future.  And he will lead them to the promised land again.

Their new marketing message should be we are still the same mean, brash Baltimore Ravens…only we have calm, collected, and funny Joe Flacco leading our offense.  We’ll hit you in the face during the game and make a funny comment about how big our biceps are after the game.  And do it while fist pumping to the City of Baltimore.

Best Wishes Joe, no pressure buddy!

Thanks for reading everyone!  Thoughts or other ideas for them to use??  Leave your comments below, email me at, or tweet us @SportsNetworker.

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