Big wins are a big part of the Broncos brand, but losing is part of the game too. Between the inevitable highs and lows, the Broncos wanted to know where they stood in the hearts and minds of their fans and community. Whether it’s game day or any other, the team wanted a clear and focused answer to the big question: Who are we?
The Broncos experienced a lot in a short period of time: The absence of their Hall of Fame owner Pat Bowlen, winning Super Bowl L, and the retirement of superstar quarterback Peyton Manning. Following these events, the team wanted to ensure their communication efforts were resonating with their community of fans and stakeholders. To do so, they needed to figure out who they were currently reaching and why. Even more, they wanted to rally everyone around a single purpose. Achieving these goals would help the Broncos to remain a vital, valued presence in their fans’ lives for seasons to come.
“We don’t need to plaster Broncos all over our stadium. People already know why they are here. Professionalism, class, and staying humble.”AnonymousLeadership, Denver Broncos
Research brought to light a new way of understanding and connecting to the team’s growing community.
In one immersion experience, the Broncos found a classroom of kids with vast differences in their backgrounds, culture, and life experiences… except on Fridays during football season, that is. Ahead of Sunday games, the kids’ common passion was on full display as the whole room was decked out in Bronco orange. Some of the students even wore the same last name across their backs.
Additional research uncovered that people who move to Colorado from out of state buy Broncos gear to fit into the local culture. It’s clear: The Broncos bring people together.
Such insights became the keys to unlocking a new strategy for the Broncos to connect to their devoted following, as well as spark loyalty in a whole new legion of fans.
Further research revealed that the Broncos characterize the values espoused by the NFL: Respect. Integrity. Responsibility. Resiliency. This perception held true both inside and outside of the organization. The team expects players to extend the same commitment to excellence they demonstrate on the field to service to their community. As a result, fans see them not only as athletes, but also as role models.
Unearthing the unique, lasting connection the Broncos share with their fans makes it possible for them to engage with their community more meaningfully. They began to think of the organization as providing people with a sense of home. Even faraway fans are family.
With a clear, focused brand story and greater understanding of how to reach their community, the Broncos are able to stay true to themselves and everything they represent in the hearts and minds of their internal and external family — no matter what the future brings.
“The Broncos have set an amazingly high standard for football. The Bronco head never gets in trouble. The Bronco head demands respect.”AnonymousLeadership, Denver Broncos
Half of Broncos fans engage with the team on social media during the season.
The Broncos’ three Super Bowl wins — in 1997, 1998 and 2016 — ties them for seventh in the league.
The Broncos have sold out every home game since 1970 — the second-longest streak in the NFL.
Eight weeks each year (more in a playoff season), nearly 80,000 fans pack Sports Authority Field at Mile High to see the Broncos play.