Seeking the source of the horsepower
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 the team stood in the hearts and minds of its 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?
Sustaining affinity after the Super Bowl
The Broncos experienced a lot in a short period of time: The absence of 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 that its communication efforts were resonating with its community of fans and stakeholders. To do so, the team needed to figure out who it was currently reaching and why. Even more, the team wanted to rally everyone around a single purpose. Achieving these goals would help the Broncos remain a vital, valued presence in their fans’ lives for seasons to come.
A wide variety of inputs and methodologies have helped inform this work
"We don’t need to plaster Broncos all over our stadium. People already know why they are here. Professionalism, class and staying humble."
Research reveals purpose far beyond winning
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 vastly different backgrounds, cultures 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 Broncos 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 the team’s devoted following, as well as spark loyalty in a whole new legion of fans.
More than a football team
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 in 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 fans makes it possible for the team to engage with its community more meaningfully. The team 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 the community, the Broncos can stay true to themselves and everything it represents in the hearts and minds of its internal and external family — no matter what the future brings.
"The Broncos have set an amazingly high standard for football. The Broncos head (logo) never gets in trouble, it demands respect."
Half of the 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.
Eight weeks each year (more in a playoffs season), nearly 80,000 fans pack the stadium to see the Broncos play.
The Broncos have sold out every home game since 1970—the second-longest streak in the NFL.