Branding the Bucs
Alumnus Brian Killingsworth lands chief marketing job with Tampa’s up-and-coming NFL team
By Tom Iacuzio, ‘06
Photos by Zach Thomas, ‘00
After 10 years in the marketing department of the Tampa Bay Rays, Brian Killingsworth, ‘00, left baseball for the gridiron with the St. Louis Rams. After three years, Killingsworth has returned to Florida as the Chief Marketing Officer of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“My family and I are extremely excited to be back home,” said Killingsworth, who started the new job in January.
As the head of marketing, Killingsworth oversees the marketing, digital, community relations, events, entertainment and analytics departments for the team.
“One of our main goals is to connect more with the families of Tampa Bay and help them become part of the Buccaneers family,” said Killingsworth. “We have a first-class organization both on and off the field, and we are striving to make a daily impact in the community to enrich the lives of those who live, work and play in this beautiful region.”
Learning from experience
Killingsworth said that between his time with the Rays and the Rams, he learned many valuable lessons that helped him prepare for his new job at the helm.
“I was with the Rays for 10 years and learned how to really market the experience and not just the game, and I was afforded the opportunity to really be innovative and creative with marketing, promotions and advertising,” he said. “In St. Louis, I got to take a lot of the things I developed with the Rays to the football world. We did some really fun and non-traditional things in St. Louis that helped to grow the brand. Now, I get the once-in-a-lifetime chance to come back home and work for my favorite team growing up.”
It’s a football team that has endured a lot of growing pains of late, but Killingsworth said that despite the struggles, he is confident he can keep the fans excited. Part of that excitement comes from the fact that the team had the number one pick in the last NFL draft and selected former Florida State Seminole quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston.
But Killingsworth said that keeping the fans excited extends far beyond the field of play. “At the heart of it is really trying to connect our fans to our brand, its players and the intrinsic ownership of season pass membership,” he explained. “We are in the entertainment business. We try and focus on the elements that we can control that surround the game day experience, and the touch points we have with our members all throughout the year, not just on Sundays.”
For the love of sports
For Killingsworth, his love of sports reaches back to his childhood when he developed a love of both baseball and football. At Flagler College, Killingsworth played catcher for Baseball Coach Dave Barnett, a man he credits with inspiring much of his success.
“Coach Barnett trusted me to be his catcher, and I have always admired the way he goes about his business, works extremely hard, and is a true professional,” said Killingsworth. “I learned so much from him about leadership and empowering others to lead themselves.”
Now in his career, Killingsworth said he is thrilled with his ability to work in a field he is so passionate about.
“In my career I have been able to blend my love and passion for baseball and football with my creative side to develop marketing campaigns and promotional ideas to really help build a brand, connect emotionally with fans and drive results,” said Killingsworth. “I can’t explain how much I love being a part of something bigger than myself, and working for a team gives me that opportunity.”
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Flagler College Magazine is published twice a year and sent to alumni, students, faculty and other members of the Flagler College community. It highlights the people, developments and accomplishments.
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