Fenty Beauty Center Stage at the Super Bowl Halftime Show

The Super Bowl took us all by surprise this year when Rihanna made her appearance at the halftime show. There are a lot of people who had mixed feelings about the show itself, or just straight up didn’t like it. Despite whether you liked it or not, there is no denying that Rihanna was smart and took advantage of the opportunity that she was given. Not only did she choose that time to announce that she was pregnant, but she also chose to use that time to promote her company called Fenty Beauty.

Fenty Beauty is a make-up company that was founded by Rihanna. While Rihanna wasn’t offered cash for her performance, she certainly didn’t miss out on the chance to make some. During her performance, she took out her instant setting and blotting power to touch up her face. According to Nielson, there were over 113 million people watching the super bowl. Her strategy of promoting her product helped increase the net of Fenty Beauty to around 44 million dollars, according to tribedynamics. Rihanna knew the opportunity that she was given and she wasn’t afraid to use it to the best of her ability.

How an NBA Superstar Cleared his Name

Standing at six foot three, Ja Morant has been an absolute game changer for the Memphis Grizzlies and this isn’t the first time he’s been the leader of his team. Morant has been seen leading not only his college team Murray state to wins, but also his high school team. Ja’s always been the star and every star is in the spotlight, thus mistakes are not only seen but magnified and analyzed. Of course, with this analysis and magnification comes criticism, not just any criticism but media criticism, the worst kind. Ja Morant is not exempt from this rule of fame and had to face the noise the rough way.

In March of 2023 pictures leaked of Ja Morant in a “gentleman’s club”, this was bad enough, however what followed was more pictures of Morant surrounded by money and one with him brandishing what appeared to be a firearm. The media went into a frenzy, the premiere young superstar for not only the Grizzlies but the entire NBA is now being seen as a “young indecisive mess” and with this came a huge headache for Morant’s PR team.

The first thing they had to do was contact the Grizzlies and let them know to put out on all social media platforms and send to news outlets that they were investigating exactly what was going on with the situation and for people not to assume anything about Morant or what he did or did not do. However, the damage had been done, Morant’s photos were being shown on ESPN and people were making jokes of him “trying to make it into the hood”, it was bad. Shannon Sharpe gave Morant a direct message to stop messing around with his career as not only weeks before Morant was also reported of assaulting a 17-year old boy. Morant’s PR team was in a frenzy and had to react quickly to salvage Morant’s image especially for the Grizzlies key stakeholders.

Clarification was the first thing Morant’s PR team focused on, issuing multiple statements after the police investigation that the firearm Morant was brandishing was a “prop”. This helped to sway some people’s beliefs but most still had a stain in their mind when it came to Morant, it’s a situation that’s hard to forget but a few more factors helped Morant out. One good move was the team promoting gun safety, along with Morant attending gun safety classes. The final thing Morant’s PR team did was push the attention away from Morant’s off the court antics to his on the court antics. Morant lead the Grizzlies to the #3 seed in the West and did so while averaging over 25 points a game and eight assists a game, Morant’s PR team posted a lot of things about the upcoming playoffs and how the Grizzlies are in a good position to win it all. One final factor in Morant’s comeback in the public eye is his teammate Dillon Brooks, who is widely disliked by the NBA community and is still stirring up trouble as of the writing of this piece.

All in all Morant’s situation was nothing to sneeze at, had he been convicted he most likely never would have stepped on an NBA court again regardless of his talent and limitless potential. However, not only was he not convicted Morant is seen in most eyes as a young star who has made his mistakes, however, as long as he turns over a new leaf there is no reason why he can’t be loved even more by the public in the future than he was before the crisis ever occurred. 

Advertising, PR, and the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is one of the most highly anticipated annual sports events in the United States. From the best of the best halftime performers, to all the memorable commercials, to the game itself, almost everyone can find some reason to watch the big game. Before, during, and after the game there is a lot of talk about the famous commercials. For some, they may only be watching for those commercials. Super Bowl day is a huge thing for the public relations industry. The game is not only a platform for companies to show off their advertisements, but all of the public relations and marketing that surround the game. When marketing begins for the Super Bowl, the league does not know the two teams that will be dueling yet, so they must go at a different angle. Whether it is the performers they have confirmed, the location or even the parties associated with the game, the NFL has to find a way to make it bigger each year.

If there is one thing we learn about advertising during the Super Bowl, it is truly the perfect place to introduce viewers to new products and places through advertising. Public relations can have an impact beyond simple ads. The cost of these 30 second ads is up in the high millions. These companies have to make sure what they are putting out is worthwhile for them and the viewers.

Public relations is what keeps people talking about the ads and hopefully remember what they see. The Super Bowl gives public relations professionals a chance to find a way to reach their target audiences. Public relations professionals have realized that they have to appeal to all viewers, whether they are actual football fans or not.

In the National Football League, everything pretty much leads up to the Super Bowl. It is the highest-earning revenue event for the NFL from all of the merchandise, advertisements, and TV rights. Teams, coaches, employees and executives work the whole season for this big game. Public Relations professionals are working towards the same!

PR is Behind Everything

Whether you are a sports fan or not, I am sure that the topic of the 2023 Super Bowl came up more than once or twice in past few weeks. Along with the NFL marketing team, we have Public Relations to thank for that.

The Super Bowl is one of the most anticipated events in sports. It is the biggest stage for the best of the best in the NFL to compete for the championship. This year, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs faced off for the title.

The Chiefs ended up taking home the Lombardi trophy, and for the Eagles, it was a heartbreaking end to an otherwise incredible season. Their last Super Bowl win was in 2018 and fans were counting on them for another. When it comes to image, the team relies on their in-house PR unit to keep the Eagles name known in a positive light.

The PR teams of both the Eagles and Chiefs helped promote the Super Bowl in a variety of ways this year. They wrote press releases, managed media relations, and organized press conferences. They also worked to build relationships with key journalists, and other stakeholders to help spread the word about the upcoming event. Additionally, PR professionals created content for social media campaigns, developed creative strategies to engage audiences, and monitored media coverage to ensure that the Super Bowl was being represented accurately. Even after the loss of the Eagles, strategies for positive social media posts have helped fans keep their loyalty to the team.

The Eagles’ in-house PR team has helped the outcome of the loss of the Super Bowl by focusing on the accomplishments of the Eagles throughout the season, highlighting the great plays and successes the team had, and looking towards the future and building excitement for the next season. The PR team continues working to create positive press and coverage of the team, highlighting the players, coaches, and staff that worked hard to get the team to the Super Bowl.

A Philadelphia Flyers Fan Turned Journalist

Back in the winter of 2018, I fell into a deep depression. Every day felt cold and unbearable, and getting out of bed was the most challenging thing I faced every day. I needed an outlet, something that could distract me from my life and keep me entertained. Past coping mechanisms weren’t doing it for me anymore, so I was desperately looking for something else.

Since I could remember, my mom and dad both loved ice hockey, roller hockey, field hockey… basically, anything to do with hitting a puck with a stick, they were all over it. My mom was the captain of her co-ed street hockey team back in the day, and my dad was just in love with the sport. They met, fell in love, and had me, then started subjecting me to their love of the sport from a very early age. I would watch the Philadelphia Flyers with them all the time, simply because I didn’t have much of a choice. That eventually turned me into a fan, too.

It wasn’t until the winter of 2018-19 that I genuinely started to care about the sport as deeply as my parents did. As I was seeking a source of comfort and familiarity to bring me out of my depression, I decided, why not see how the Flyers are doing this season? (Spoiler alert, they did not do well that season, almost at all– apart from a random 8-game win streak)

I remember the day, January 31, 2019, very clearly. I was eating dinner on the far-left side of my couch in the saddest, most hopeless mood I’d ever been in. I turned the television on and tried to find something to watch. I came across NBC Sports Philadelphia, who were covering the Philadelphia Flyers playing against the Boston Bruins. The Flyers were on opponent ice, and then-rookie goalie Carter Hart was playing his absolute heart out (no pun intended) to try and help his team secure their sixth straight win. With Hart’s impressive goaltending and Travis Sanheim’s beauty of an overtime goal (in his 100th NHL game, how cool), the Flyers brought home the win.

I felt something new that night. I felt a passion start to fire up, one that I hadn’t felt since I started listening to One Direction in 2012 and Panic! At the Disco in 2013. I fully embraced the feeling and dove headfirst into the hockey world. Before I knew it, I was always at warmups, practices, games, and signing events with my friends and family, celebrating our love for our team. I quickly met so many new friends, some of whom I still talk to every day! Paying closer attention to the Flyers brought me so many new places– the most important one being into a journalist position with Flyers Nitty Gritty, an officially credentialed media site focused on covering the Philadelphia Flyers.

Twitter was and still is a space for me to express myself, my opinions, and my frustrations. I followed tons of Flyers-related people who shared in my love for the team, including Jamey Baskow, an official public relations expert for the Flyers. Little did I know that pressing that follow button on his page would change my life.

One of my friends, Katelynn Reiss, is a sports photographer who worked closely with Jamey. She took me under her wing when I started expressing interest in becoming someone like her, a woman who got to follow her favorite hockey team and make a name for herself while doing so. When the NHL started allowing reporters at games again after the initial COVID-19 lockdown, Katelynn was one of the lucky few to be let in the building. I remember being so jealous of her and wanting to be in there too, watching my favorite team in the world play a sport that I’m so passionate about. I knew she worked with Jamey, so I decided to take the leap and direct message him on Twitter to see just how I could get into the games, too.

I said, “Hi Jamey! I was wondering what criteria you have to meet in order to get into a Flyers game, like how Katelynn was there tonight.”

Jamey quickly responded, “Well, she is a photographer for Flyers Nitty Gritty. If you would like to join us, we have spots open!”

I had never been so excited yet scared in my entire life. I thought to myself, “what if this is the beginning of my career, and all it took was me being bold and asking someone how to get into a Flyers game?” I didn’t want to ask any questions or second-guess Jamey or myself, so I just jumped right in and said I’d love to join the team. Jamey gave me a call and we talked logistics. Before I knew it, I was an officially credentialed part of the media for the Philadelphia Flyers.

This was at the beginning of 2021, February 26 to be exact. It didn’t take long for me to put out my first article, “Flyers’ Power Play Looking Grim, But There Is Hope.” To this day, I am so proud of myself and this article. The amount of incredible things it has brought into my life is unbelievable.

A few weeks later, on March 9, 2021, I attended my first game as a member of the media. With my turtleneck and crystal necklaces on, I was ready to take on the world. I walked into the building as if I had done this a thousand times and made my way up to the press box. As I entered the long, narrow press area, I looked around and took in my surroundings. I realized that this was really happening, and I wasn’t just a fan anymore– I was a reporter, a journalist. I had a job to do, and I was determined to get it done right. This night was when I wrote arguably my favorite article, “A Night At The Farg.” I got to witness a Nolan Patrick goal in person (probably rarer than seeing Bigfoot), see my team win, and be part of something that I never would’ve thought I’d be.

I recently attended a Flyers game as media this past weekend, on October 29. Over time, the media started to be allowed back into the locker room and other areas for post-game press conferences. I have attended many post-game conferences in a meeting room, but this time I chickened out and left when the rest of the media went into the locker room. I was just so nervous and didn’t want to say or do the wrong thing, so I left. I regret it, though, and at the next game I cover I will be going into that locker room!

Being part of the media means a lot, the most important thing being covering the game from an objective standpoint and making sure that the public gets factual information. Opinions are allowed to be sprinkled in, but the statistics and facts need to be one-hundred percent certain. It’s fun getting to attend games, take notes, and do research in order to properly cover a game. It certainly is a lot of work, but I absolutely love doing it. It’s an escape from reality into a different world.

I not only do this for myself, but for my mom, who just recently passed away from advanced lung and bone cancer. Since she was the origin of my love for hockey and the person I shared my passion with, it still hurts to watch games. It was really sweet, though, to cover the game on October 29 because the Flyers played the Carolina Hurricanes, whose head coach is none other than Flyers alum Rod Brind’Amour. Brindy was my mom’s absolute favorite player of all time. She was an honorary ‘Canes fan just because of the fact that her Brindy coached them. After the game, as the rest of the media and I were led to the conference room, we walked past the Hurricanes’ reporters conducting an interview about two feet away from our destination. Who else would they be interviewing other than Rod Brind’Amour? Before I even realized what was happening, I was two feet away from my mom’s all-time favorite hockey player. I couldn’t believe that I was just in that situation and I couldn’t go home to my mom to tell her about it. I still texted her, though, as if she was still here. I know she’s proud of me, and jealous too!

For the rest of my life as a hockey fan and journalist, I will always do it with my mom in mind. She was my number one supporter and always read my articles, shared them with friends and family, and told me over and over how proud she was of me. I’ll never forget the genuine love and care that she showed me throughout my journeys, both of my entire life and of my life as a Flyers journalist. Although life has ultimately gotten in the way recently and I haven’t been as involved as I’d like to be, I know that it will all work out in the end and I’ll make my mom even prouder– if that’s possible.

I owe a lot of my success to Katelynn and her respect for a fellow woman who wants to make a difference in a male-dominated field, and to Jamey for trusting someone he had only had one conversation with before. If it weren’t for either of them being so open and wiling to welcome me into the professional side of the hockey world, I definitely would not be where I am today.

My advice to those considering taking a leap would be to just take it. When I first messaged Jamey, I had no idea that it would lead me where it did. If you want to do something bold, just do it. The worst type of regret is wishing you could go back in time and do something that you can’t do anymore.

I am beyond excited for whatever journalism, public relations, and media have in store for me throughout the rest of my life’s journey.

The PR Side of NFL Football

It’s officially football season and that means Sunday’s are typically filled with food and watching football. Football is a great way for family and friends to come together and share their love for this sport. The passion from the fans and the dedication of showing up each weekend to watch their team play is the main reason for why this sport is so widely enjoyed. Public relations contributes tremendously behind the scenes of NFL football and so most people don’t realize the impact of public relations during preseason, throughout the regular season, and postseason.

The image of each football player is all managed by a public relations professional. Having a good social media presence and relationship between the athletes and the public is extremely important because it provides understanding and strong communication. Public relations professionals work hard with athletes and their teams to maintain a good reputation online. They may encourage their clients to attend high-profile goodwill events or volunteer and work with well known companies to promote their image and show that they can give back to communities in need.

Keeping the public and fans engaged in the content of their favorite team or athlete is also another important task for a public relations professional. Without fans, football wouldn’t be possible so making sure the fans are happy is a big priority. Social media is a beneficial tool where PR can publish game highlights or specific key plays from the game and interact with the fans in the comment section of posts by liking and commenting back. Upcoming game predictions, wins, and short player interview videos are all great ways for PR to get the team’s fan base invested and excited about game days. The team’s website is where a majority of the news tends to be located. PR professionals are most likely the first to pitch and publish news articles to these websites daily to keep the public well informed on injuries, trades, etc.

Besides social media, external events are also important in creating this excitement for football. There are two main opportunities for fans to go and see their team play during preseason. The football training camps and preseason games are both great opportunities and smart tactics by PR to build up the anticipation for the start of the season. Media day is another event that typically includes a large press conference managed by the PR staff. PR professionals have the ability to create that merge between reports and players/coaches for a day and allow players an opportunity for their voices to be heard. When you take a step back and think about everything that goes into football, it’s a lot. I think sometimes we don’t acknowledge all the work that PR does to make football so successful for the teams involved and the public watching. Next time you watch a sports game, acknowledge all the minor details that probably went into pulling off that event and I bet you will be surprised at how many details are usually overlooked.

Day in The Life of a Flyers Intern

I have had the pleasure of being a public relations intern with the Philadelphia Flyers for the 2021-2022 season. After many, many games we have it down to a system and all know what we need to be doing. On a game day we arrive a few hours before the start of the game. For a 7 pm puck drop, we arrive to Wells Fargo Center at 2 pm. Once I arrive, I make my way up to the press box. We start by doing a sweep of the press box; check to see if all the chairs are in the right spots, make sure all the broadcasting booths are unlocked, check for any papers from the last game and throw them away, etc. After that sweep, we start the process of printing all of our packets. We print games notes, clips, recent stats for both teams and lineups. Once these are all printed, they get delivered to our executive’s suite, both the home and away locker rooms, broadcasting booths and visiting team management. Throughout pregame we check in on press meal and credentials. We always have one of us interns at both of these spots leading up to the game. Press meal is available for any media, team staff, NHL scouts, etc. Credentials is located at the employee entrance and is a busy spot. All media, press, NHL scouts and sponsors all have to stop buy and check-in to get their single game credential. Throughout this time, we will help out with random things for the public relations department too! Once warmups start we make our way back up to the press box and make sure all the media/press are in the right seat, check if anyone needs anything, etc. We watch the game from the press box and get to watch the majority of it. When the clock hits 1 minute in the first and second period we grab the official stats sheet from the NHL crew and then make copies to deliver to all those same spots from earlier. When the clock hits 10 minutes in the third period, we make our way downstairs to help prep for the post-game interviews. We sit through all of the interviews and record them on our phones. After all the interviews are complete, we start the process of transcribing all of them. These transcriptions get used for our official website and are sent to media. Once that is complete, it is usually around 10:30-11 pm by the time we make our way out. It is so wild to think that we are down to just one more game this season! I am so thankful for the opportunity I have had this season with the Philadelphia Flyers and am hoping to be back next season.

A Sit Down With a Member of the Philadelphia Flyers PR Team

Walking into the double doors of Flyers Training Center in Vorhees, New Jersey you are
met with a sea of fans repping orange and black. These dedicated fans are here supporting their
favorite team just for a Thursday morning practice. The building is filled with chatter and
cheering as the Captain, number 28, Claude Giroux nets the puck in the last round of a drill. She
heads to the staircase in the right corner that most people probably don’t even notice. The
staircase leads her to long hallways filled with a main desk, offices and interview rooms. The
walls are lined with Philadelphia Flyers articles, artwork, memorabilia and more. She turns into
the third office on the right and she is in her home away from home. The desk is filled with
papers that have the Flyers logo on the top right corner, there is a calendar filled with important
dates and events and all different kinds of to-do lists. The average fan has no idea of all the
important, essential work that gets done at this desk. Alexandra Samuelsson is the Game
Operations Coordinator for the Philadelphia Flyers. Alexandra works in the
communications/public relations department and is the head of public relations right hand lady.

Alexandra attended The College of New Jersey and left with a Bachelor’s degree in
Media and Communications Studies. In September of 2014, Alexandra received her first official
internship in the hockey world. She worked with the Philadelphia Flyers Wives Charities as
game night staff. She would verify the cash sales against receipts, monitor sales, meet sales
quotas, etc. “I can still remember how nervous I was when I got offered that position. But it was
something that I ended up loving and got to be pretty good at,” said Alexandra. Alexandra
worked under the Philadelphia Flyers Wives Charities from September of 2014 to April of 2015.

A year later in 2016, Alexandra applied for and then was offered an official internship
position with the Philadelphia Flyers. From January of 2016 to April of 2018, Alexandra worked
as a Public Relations Intern with the Flyers. Her duties included preparing game documents and
statistical packets, setting up the press box and other media locations in preparation for the game,
aided in the distribution of media credentials, conduct/record post-game interviews and then
transcribe them into documents for official use by the Philadelphia Flyers. “After working in this
position for just a few weeks I knew this is what I loved and wanted to do in the future, ” said

After the year of working this internship, Alexandra was offered a position with the
Philadelphia Flyers as a Public Relations Assistant right out of college. She was expected to help
out with anything the public relations staff needed assistance with. “I couldn’t believe it. I was
getting to work in the department that I love for an amazing organization,” said Alexandra.
She went on to work in that position for almost four years. Just recently in June of 2021,
Alexandra was offered a full time position as the Game Operations Coordinator. Her duties were
similar to the job and internship before but just more things added to her plate.

The UFC’s Successful PR Tactics During the Pandemic

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is one of the fastest growing sports in the industry currently. Through the pandemic the UFC transformed from targeting a niche sporting audience to becoming a mainstream sport, and an industry leader in PR tactics. So how was the UFC able to pull off this rapid increase in attention and revenue?

On May, 9th, 2020 The UFC hosted the first major United States sporting event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. UFC President Dana White was unrelenting in his pursuit of bringing back sports during this global tragedy. He saw an opportunity with the lack of sports media during that time, and took advantage of the circumstances by continuing to host fight cards with extensive COVID protocols. As a result of this PR tactic, White and the UFC had the entire sports industry completely focused on their organization, as it was the only source of current sports media coverage.

White’s diligent efforts during the pandemic helped the UFC begin many major partnerships with Industry conglomerates. A few of the UFC’s current partners include: ESPN, Draft-Kings, Monster Energy, Modelo, and Harley-Davidson.

Although hosting events during a deficit in sports content was a huge factor in the organization’s industry growth, their PR strategies before and after this event are a major factor in what made their organization successful. The UFC has one of the best, if not most consistent PR teams in the industry, and their strengths shined during the pandemic, as they had the opportunity to not be outshined by larger sports organizations.

The UFC uses social media as one of their main PR tactics. Their Instagram has 28.9 million followers, their Twitter has 8.7 million followers, their Youtube has 12.3 million subscribers, and their Facebook has over 28 million page likes. So it’s safe to say that their social media has a pretty strong outreach.

The organization uses their social media to post content that advertises their fighters, upcoming fight cards, announcements, and incorporates advertisements into their content. They have an extremely consistent and engaging social media presence that effectively keeps fans coming back to their pages.

Arguably one of their most successful PR strategies is their utilization of “hype videos” for each fight card they are advertising. The purpose of these videos is to get fans excited enough about a fight card that they are willing to pay for it, especially in the cases of Pay-Per-View events.

The UFC targets their PR strategies to convince fans to invest in two financial avenues. First is to encourage fans to purchase an ESPN+ subscription. This subscription gives subscribers access to the weekly “Fight Night” cards for $6.99 a month. The second avenue is using their PR to encourage fans to purchase their Pay-Per-View events (having an ESPN+ subscription does provide a discount for these events, but you still need to pay a one time fee of $69.99).

Their PR tactics, and social media content to “hype” fights get fans so excited that they are willing to spend money to be able to watch different fighters each week. The promotion videos are not only fun and exciting to watch, they are extremely persuasive in convincing fans that this is a once in a lifetime event, and they can’t miss it. The use of their social media and “hype videos”, even before the pandemic, has allowed the organization to build its brand up to this point.

The UFC’s social media also allowed the organization to showcase the strengths of their event management team. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is not a sport like basketball, where teams have a season schedule that is predetermined months before they start playing. MMA matchmaking is ever changing, as schedules depend on injuries, weight-classes, wins/losses, championships, etc. Hosting an event during the pandemic was not an easy feat, but hosting weekly events, especially given the burden of constantly changing fighter schedules and availability, is even more unheard of. The UFC has been able to pull off incredible event management for years, the pandemic just gave them an opportunity to showcase their strengths with the sports industry’s full attention. They continue to set the standard for how effective and efficient organizations need to be with how they schedule and promote events.

Whether or not you believe the UFC hosting events during a global pandemic is ethical, the success of their PR strategies by finding opportunity during the rapid decline of sport content was business savvy. Their PR and event management teams had a chance to shine, and they definitely took full advantage of the opportunity.

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