A storied National Football League franchise. An intense rumor mill. Reporters hungry for a scoop. And major news with implications for a city, its team and its fans. CooperKatz was honored to be at the center of an important announcement, working directly with Jimmy Haslam III, the incoming owner of the Cleveland Browns football team. CK led media relations strategy to announce that Jimmy Haslam and current Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner had reached an agreement under which Haslam and his family would assume controlling ownership interest of the team.
Mapping out the strategic vision of the announcement and press event, CooperKatz identified three primary media targets which were offered embargoed interviews with Haslam himself ahead of the news release distribution and press conference. These included ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Mary Kay Cabbot, the local Browns reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Josh Florey of the Knoxville News-Sentinel, the city where the Haslam family business, the Pilot Flying J Corporation, is based. Following the embargo protocol, all three outlets published their story on Friday morning, fueling the news cycle with their privileged insights from Haslam himself.
CooperKatz collaborated closely with Haslam, the Cleveland Browns front office, the NFL officials, the mayor’s office and a flurry of reporters. All of the communications underscored Haslam’s deep commitment to bring the Browns into the NFL elite once more, along with his dedication to keep the team in Cleveland and to support the local community. Ultimately, the carefully-orchestrated interviews and stories, along with the press conference, successfully positioned the ownership shift as a positive, hopeful and seamless transition for Cleveland – a city filled with passionate and dedicated fans who want nothing more than their beloved Browns to win!