Lunching with the Jaguars Marketing Guru
Steve Ziff, the Mega-Marketer of the Jacksonville Jaguars sat down with me the other day for lunch "with the team." When you have the task of helping to run the marketing department of a successful football franchise, eating on the property allows for more productivity, surely. For the person coming in to meet said marketer, it's a different story. Security is high, the check-in process is intense and the waiting room is filled with local media. When your name is called, you jump. Steve led me up the escalator to the dining area, where monster screens were showing (what else) NFL plays, the smell of home-cooked food was in the air and the conversations I overheard were laced with lots of laughter. It was a very happy place to be eating lunch while getting to know Steve a little better. It was also nice to know that no matter how much food I had on my tray, it didn't compare to the trays of the professional athletes all around me. Influencer Marketing and the premise behind the FlipperSplash platform are not new to Steve. As a matter of fact, Influencer Marketing (word-of-mouth to the old-schoolers) has been a priority of Steve's since he began his storied career after college. He fully understands the power that one voice can wield. We chatted about advice, charities, One Spark and, of course, the Jags. He kindly answered some burning questions that I had for him and I think you'll agree, his advice is spot-on.
FlipperSplash: What does the word "Influence" mean to you?
Steve Ziff: Persuasion – using the power of persuasion to create a popular edge that others like, believe in, and ultimately emulate
FS: Has anyone ever influenced you to make a purchase that you might not have?
SZ: Happens all of the time to me – I’m easily influenced by the power of advertising
FS: Do you have a daily routine or habit that adds to your success?
SZ: I get up and workout every day (literally 28/30 days each month) at 5-6am
FS: What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the Marketing industry?
SZ: Be humble, be appreciative, be a sponge – and find a mentor early in your career
FS: Is there a trend in Marketing that you are most excited about?
SZ: Artificial intelligence – the potential and power it will wield in our lives is exciting
FS: With One Spark just around the corner - do you have any Marketing advice for the new Creators as they launch their ideas?
SZ: Allow EVERYONE to call your baby ugly, persevere and course-correct
FS: Do you have a favorite local charity or cause?
SZ: Pediatric heart charities – my son was a pediatric heart patient and was blessed to have an incredible pediatric cardiac surgeon. Others aren’t so lucky and the stress on families is exorbitant. The AHA is a great local charity, but we need to focus on supporting those with children who have cardiac defects and ailments.
FS: If you were giving a piece of advice to your 18-year-old self, what would that be?
SZ: Shut your big fat mouth
FS: Was working for a professional sports organization always your plan?
SZ: No – it can’t be a plan – too hard to break in – has to be right for your career and you’ve got to find the right place at the right time
FS: Tell us something that people would be surprised to know about you?
SZ: I’m a severe critic of myself – by far and away the harshest – I’m downright mean to myself privately
FS: Can you share a couple items that you have on your 2018 bucket list for yourself or your family?
SZ: We need to visit Australia and New Zealand, learn to play guitar, and take my kids to a Jags Super Bowl
Working with and meeting people like Steve and the members of his marketing team is one of the great benefits of launching FlipperSplash in NE Florida. Watching the Jags do the amazing job that they are this season and catching a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes action reminds me that it does "take a village" for teams to get on top. From the fans to the players, the ticket takers to the marketing team, and everyone that I met in between, this team is definitely a big, happy family. The EverBank Stadium facilities are beautiful and if I get another invite for lunch, I'm in! It's just too bad that they may frown upon doggie-bags.