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The three Rs: Rays, Rams & Rebranding

Sep 21, 2012
by Carrie Pack Chowske, '00

Killingsworth to take on NFL with marketing role at St. Louis Rams

He made a name for himself in Major League Baseball by successfully rebranding the Tampa Bay Rays just before the team went all the way to the World Series in 2008. Now alumnus Brian Killingsworth, ‘00, is heading to the gridiron as vice president of marketing and brand strategy for the NFL’s St. Louis Rams.

At the start of the 2008 season, the Tampa Bay Rays unveiled a new logo and name. Killingsworth was on the front lines for rebranding, even bringing in Kevin Costner to help kick it all off. The entire process was a success, and it certainly wasn’t hurt by the Rays outstanding season.

But after 10 years with the Rays, Killingsworth was looking for a new challenge. He knew it had to be with an organization that could benefit from his specialized experience. He found that in the St. Louis Rams, a team that Killingsworth says is on the way up, much like the Rays right before their rebranding.

“There’s a lot of opportunity here with the Rams,” Killingsworth said. “They’re a very forward-thinking team and front office, and we’re going to have a lot of fun here.”

He’s excited to make his mark with the organization, hoping to grow the Rams brand through merchandising and individual game sales. He also says he’s lucky to be dealing with a young front office and a team who understands the ins and outs of social media, an area of marketing that Killingsworth feels passionate about.

“We want to market he Rams as the most accessible NFL team in the league,” he said. “We want our players to be out really making a difference in the community.”

Killingsworth says there are a lot more similarities between the Rams and the Rays than differences, though. The Rays’ turnaround was thanks to new ownership and effective leadership, as well as a collective vision to make the team great. Those same things led him to the Rams.
“The Rams are a team with a passionate fan base, but a team that doesn’t necessarily win,” Killingsworth said.

He says going through the rebranding experience with the Rays was rewarding and it gave him the motivation to help another team with loyal fans become more well-known.

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