Meet Annette Parker, Our Community Member of the Week

Community Spotlight: Annette Parker, Executive, Sports Marketing, CAA

Name: Annette Parker

Job: Executive, Sports Marketing

Company: Creative Artists Agency

LinkedIn: Annette Parker

In 140 characters or less, tell us who you are and how you got to where you are today.

Passionate advocate for golf, and leadership development. I’m here because of my obsession with the golf industry and some old-fashioned social media stalking.

What’s one trend in media or marketing that you’re buying or selling?

I’m buying the impact and influence of esports. Growing up, I was never a fan of video games so I’ve had to make a concerted effort to learn everything I can about the esports landscape. It is still defining itself as far as brand integration is concerned, but the early adopters are setting a course and creating a very compelling case for those who are following it. I’m excited to see how the segment grows, not just in revenue, but in its impact on the life of the average consumer with meaningful brand engagement.

How do you define engagement?

I see engagement as moving a consumer from a position of passivity to an active change in thought or behavior. In the golf space, we’re helping our clients deepen their partner and prospect relationships by creating experiences that affect their business operations and ultimately their bottom line. Golf is at the intersection of business and sport, which makes it the ideal backdrop for so many of our clients’ overall objectives. Engagement may not look like the more widely known consumer experiences, but they are just as meaningful.

What’s the project or campaign that you’re proudest of? Why?

Almost immediately after joining CAA Sports in 2016, I was told our account team would be responsible for planning a lion’s share of the Tour Tournament held at the end the season. Each year this tournament helps determine which 50 players earn their PGA TOUR card and move on to play in PGA TOUR tournaments. It was set to be held at Atlantic Beach Country Club for the first time, and our team, along with colleagues at the PGA TOUR, planned every element of the week’s activities and client’s activations. The day before we were set to open, Hurricane Matthew swept into Jacksonville, FL forcing us to cancel the entire tournament. It was a difficult moment, we had been planning for months, and had to bring it all down out of measures of safety and precaution.

It wasn’t until a few weeks later that we decided the best way to look at that execution was as a dress rehearsal for 2017 when we would do it all over again. When the 2017 Tour Tournament came we were ready and were able to produce a quality event for our client, their partners, and the players. Experiencing that type of setback despite all of the work that went into it, and the subsequent success is a proud moment because it’s a perfect depiction of how life can go and serves as a reminder that persistence breeds success.

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What are you working on right now? Any exciting future plans that you’re able to share?

The CAA Sports Golf group started off the year in a sprint, with four tournament title sponsorship activations, and eight client activations taking place over a four-week period. We’ve also broadened our brand marketing capabilities and are in the middle of activating at various industry events endemic to our clients’ business segments. The first part of the year will remain at a downhill pace as we’re working on activations at The Players, Masters, Zurich Classic, and US Open.

As a connected fan, what’s the best piece of sports content that you have recently consumed?

This year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Gary Woodland asked Amy Bockerstette of the Arizona Special Olympics to play the infamous 16-hole with him. One hole of golf played by a pro and a guest during a Pro-Am round does not typically produce moving sports content, but this year was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Amy was motivating and inspiring with each shot she took. She went on to par the hole while Woodland and fans in the “Colosseum” cheered her on.

The TOUR media group did an excellent job of capturing the moment and all of its drama, excitement and emotion. I may have watched the IG video no less than a dozen times in the first 24 hours. I later read that it went on to become the most viewed video on the PGA Tour website, and, as of the end of February, it is still the leader of the site’s “Must See Moments” campaign.

What’s been the biggest high and low of working in sports?

My biggest high was a pretty personal moment: In 2016, Jim Furyk, our client’s brand ambassador, received the Payne Stewart Award (an award for charity, character, and sportsmanship). I was managing the account and Payne Stewart was the reason I got involved in golf just over 10 years prior. It was a complete full circle moment that I took as an indicator that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

As for lows, I think, like most, it’s when a relationship is lost or a program misses the mark. I work hard to keep those moments few and far between, but when they come they tend to produce great learning moments, so it is still a small win.

What’s one element of the sports industry that you’d like to see change?

I’d like to see people continue to work on changing the stereotypes that tend to follow those in and around sports. There is so much that individuals and organizations can gain by breaking from the status quo and providing seats at the table for new voices and faces. I work in golf because I love the sport; I also work in golf to serve as an agent of change from within the industry. I know there aren’t many black women on this side of the table, but I hope that by pulling up a seat it will inspire others to do the same—be it in golf or elsewhere.

What’s an example of one way in which MiS has positively impacted your career?

MiS has been an inspiration because I’ve watched my good friend Shania Weil (co-founder of MiS) grow this organization from concept to influence over the years. I believe in her vision, and seeing it manifest keeps me encouraged to stay the course in everything I do. MiS has also allowed me to build relationships and help others make connections that have advanced their careers. Being a part of a network with that much influence will always have a positive impact on me as a person and on my career.

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Hear more from leaders and creators across the sports industry this June at Hashtag Sports, an annual conference designed for media and marketing professionals.