Digital, Governance & Commercial Growth, Leaders Podcast, Sport Business, Sports Marketing | Nov 13, 2020
In conversation with the NFL's Chief Strategy and Growth Officer.

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The man writing the NFL’s business playbook | The ‘sportification’ of political media coverage | How the biggest get bigger and what growth will look like for the NFL.

Episode 100 of the Leaders Sport Business Podcast features a conversation with NFL Chief Strategy and Growth Officer Chris Halpin (starts at 12:24).

Halpin joined the league in 2013, making the move from the private equity world and his job as MD of Providence Equity Partners. Although he has held a number of roles since that point, strategy has always been a key focus, and Halpin has become a pivotal influence on the business of the league as it strives to achieve its much-vaunted target of $25 billion in revenues by 2027.

Halpin was promoted to his current role in 2018 and has established himself as cornerstone member of the league’s C-Suite. When Mark Waller left his role running the league’s international business after the 2019 Super Bowl in Atlanta, it was Halpin who took on his responsibilities. His purview is now as wide as it is long term and bears some breaking down:

  • Halpin’s responsibilities as Chief Strategy Officer
  1. Innovation
  2. Driving fan acquisition
  3. Maximising fan engagement
  4. Using data and analytics to propel all the above
  • Halpin’s responsibilities as Chief Growth Officer
  1. International
  2. Football development and play pathways
  3. Media distribution and digital engagement
  4. Legalised sports betting
  5. New markets and ‘owner development’

On the conversational agenda:

– ‘Positive vigilance vs optimistic paranoia’ – the mood inside the NFL offices;

– The processes and people Halpin relies on to keep on top of all of his objectives;

– Where the NFL’s next billion dollar revenue rise is coming from;

– The link between private equity and sport and why Halpin’s watching CVC’s rugby play with interest;

– How to be interested in things that matter: have a set of ‘virtual advisors whose insights you steal and morph into your own’;

– Roger Goodell’s secret to success;

– How to present to a boardroom of 32 billionaires that make up the NFL ownership group.

“There’s real value for the sports industry in people who can bring insights of other business models, other industries where things have been done a certain way, and bring them to bear. It’s the power of analogy.” Chris Halpin, NFL.

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