The Speed of Culture Podcast: Winning Over Gen Z

Sport is about passion, improvement and victory.

In this episode of The Speed of Culture, Michael Shaw, vice president of marketing of the Miami Dolphins, joins Suzy founder and CEO Matt Britton to give us a behind-the-scenes look at how sports teams compete not just in the game, but also in their marketing efforts to engage today’s fans.

During the conversation, Shaw takes us on a journey through evolving consumer trends and strategies to engage modern sports fans. He also unveils key lessons from navigating the dynamic world of sports management to prioritizing fans for brand success.

Shaw is a brand architect and business strategist known for fostering cultural transformation for both B2B and B2C companies. Beyond his strategic expertise, he is also a sought-after keynote speaker, Adweek and Brandweek executive mentor, and a Global Institute of Sport advisory board member.

Tune in to the latest episode below to learn how sports teams engage modern fans to drive brand success.

Key highlights:

07:34 – 08:45 – The power of intentional choices: Making deliberate career decisions allows you to tailor your professional journey to the skills you wish to acquire and the personal growth you aim to achieve. Some may find their path within a single organization, while others may find that hopping between various companies better aligns with their learning and development goals.
08:45 – 12:30 – Thriving in sports management: Success in sports management hinges on earning and maintaining fan trust. Shaw builds this trust by concentrating on team spirit and future possibilities, rather than dwelling on previous difficulties. The key takeaway is to stay adaptable, regardless of wins or losses, and to channel your efforts into areas you can influence, rather than those beyond your control.
13:52 – 17:09 – Prioritizing the fan: The Miami Dolphins center their brand marketing strategy on the fan experience, ensuring a seamless presence across various channels. They understand the importance of identifying opportunities and embracing new trends to captivate younger fans and boost engagement. At the same time, they recognize the value of staying focused and grounded while pursuing ambitious, long-term objectives, like winning the Super Bowl.
18:30 – 23:03 – Engaging modern sports fans: Today’s younger sports enthusiasts engage with the game in a new way, often showing more allegiance to individual athletes than to entire teams, drawn to the players’ personal lives and interests. This shift has led to a content strategy that highlights athletes’ personalities and hobbies beyond the game, fostering a deeper, more personal bond with fans.
28:05 – 30:54 – Three pillars of effective leadership: Effective leadership is built on qualities that don’t necessarily show up in conventional metrics. These include courage, infectious energy that propels others forward, and the ability to initiate and navigate tough conversations.

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