Fledgling St. Louis Shop Scores: NFL Drafts Core to Boost Its Flag Football Competition

By Trevor Jensen

CHICAGO–Core in St. Louis has landed an assignment from the National Football League to promote a flag football contest.

It is a relatively small creative project, but a high-profile win for Core. The agency opened its doors less than two years ago yet nonetheless dominated this year’s St. Louis Addys show.

‘To have work on our walls with the (NFL logo) shield down in the corner is a fantastic opportunity,’ said Jeff Graham, a Core account executive.

Core is producing print work for the NFL’s ‘Air It Out’ competition, a four-on-four flag football series that starts with teams in some 35 regions and progresses toward a televised championship showdown with a quartet of actual NFL players.

The newspaper ads will run in all NFL team markets and a half-dozen others that the league may be evaluating for franchise expansion potential.

TV work is an option though no decisions have been made.

The NFL’s advertising is handled in-house through National Football League Properties Creative Services. The NFL is handling media buying for the Air It Out project, Graham said.

Core learned of the potential assignment though a friend of Graham’s and sent work to Bruce Burke, vice president of creative at NFL Properties. Burke summoned agency executives to New York for a pitch and awarded them the assignment, Graham said.

Core’s advertising will attempt to build interest in the regional Air It Out competitions by letting people know it is open to everyone.

One headline will read ‘The NFL is now drafting women, children and middle-aged men,’ backed by action photos of flag football play.

‘From time to time we get really swamped and I’ll go outside for projects and assignments,’ Burke said. But most work remains in-house and ‘this is kind of a rare deal,’ he said. ‘I totally respected these guys’ abilities.’ The Air It Out contest begins in the summer with the final event around the time of Super Bowl in January, he added.

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