Alex Chang

49ers CMO on the Future of Fandom in the Attention Economy

In looking at Alex Chang’s path to becoming CMO of the San Francisco 49ers, you could say he took a bit of a slant route (I’m slowly upping my football vocab!). His journey began when he decided to ditch his pre-med studies to explore healthcare consulting and then went on to American Express where he spent more than 13 years across various marketing functions.

So what brought him to take the marketing helm at the 49ers? The opportunity to transform brand strategy, engage new audiences and rebuild the marketing organization from the ground up. And that’s exactly what Alex and his team are focused on today as they look to move away from a legacy campaign to a new, more future-focused brand positioning launching in April.

“…It's time to look forward. This team is competitive now. This team is going to be good for quite a long time. And so we think that it's important now as we're thinking about the future, to really focus our fans in that way as well.”

But this is no easy feat according to Alex as he describes how the attention economy is providing both challenges and opportunities for reaching a new wave of 49ers fans.

“It doesn't matter whether you’re an NFL team, CPG brand, a technology brand or services brand. We're all dealing with the same issues now, which is figuring out how to capture the attention of the next generation. And the competition for that attention is exponentially higher than it was for a previous generation.”

Listen in to hear more about how Alex is thinking about captive engagement for not only the 70,000 season ticket holders but also the millions of 49ers fans who may never have a chance to step foot inside the stadium.