Shot Callers: Elisa Padilla on Miami Marlins’ New Marketing Strategy

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When a sports team undergoes a major overhaul, building a strong marketing presence becomes a high priority. In the Miami Marlins’ case, much of this relies on Elisa Padilla, senior vice president of marketing and community relations.

Padilla, who also spearheaded another major brand shift when the Nets moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn, sat down with Adam White to discuss the Marlins’ renewed presence in the community and renewed dedication to building relationships with fans.

Edited Highlights Appear Below:

On launching the new Marlins’ brand (0:33)

Padilla: “When I came in, the logo, color palette, jerseys, everything was already designed. My job when I came in was to think through how we were going to launch the brand. One of the things that’s really important to us is that we infuse the fabric of this brand into the community. We put together a comprehensive 360 marketing campaign because the day that we launched this new brand, our goal was to be where people live, work and play.”

SEE MORE: Adam Jones on the Miami Marlins’ New Direction

On making the Marlins feel like a hometown team with a high transplant population (2:35)

Padilla: “I think that when you look at Miami and you look at the diversity and the richness that’s here and when you look at our new logo and our new brand positioning, we want to be one with the community. We want to be one with the city. Our colores is about us – not us meaning the Miami Marlins. It’s about us – Miami as a community because you live those colors every single day…We want to be more than just your baseball team. We want to be a place where you can come and you can enjoy a night out of entertainment and we want to become part of your lifestyle…From the brand and the launch and what we’ve done to date, we’re on track.”

On building trust between the organization and fans (5:05)

Padilla: “We have to demonstrate and be authentic in our approach. If part of our mission statement is to infuse the fabric of our brand into the community, we need to demonstrate that. So just a couple quick examples, one is the art program where we did seven murals in key locations, so we were very diligent about that process. We know how street art is very prevalent here in Miami. The day after we launched on November 16th we did ‘Surprise and Delight’. From eight o’clock in the morning all the way through to three o’clock in the afternoon, we had players and alumni and executives out in key communities serving coffee, handing out ball caps with the new logo, being part of their every day lives. That’s how we’re going to earn the community’s trust.”

On the community relations side since she arrived nine months ago (6:30)

Padilla: “I think that the one thing that we’re all passionate about is building this brand from the ground up, and doing it the right way from a grass-roots level perspective…We created a youth baseball and softball department whose sole purpose is to promote youth baseball and softball in Miami…We were in a meeting and we started talking about tee ball. Why don’t we own tee ball? Let’s go out there, sign up tee ball teams and we will outfit them from head to toe. The team was charged with signing up 100 tee ball teams. They overproduced, so we have 136 teams that are Miami Marlins and it’s been the greatest thing. “