Harlem Globetrotters Press Release: Not Sure Why I Got It, But I Kind of Like It

Harlem Globetrotters logoLast week I received a press release from an unexpected source: the Harlem Globetrotters.

Frankly I’m not sure why they’d be sending a press release about their new VP of Communications to me. But I always liked the Globetrotters as a kid, so when I saw the team logo at the top I actually thought it was kind of neat.

To be fair I do write about PR and I occasionally cover sports and social media, so it’s not completely off base. But there isn’t any reason why someone would think this personnel announcement would be relevant to me.

The answer is that I’m in some PR databases so I get press releases every week of varying degrees of appropriateness.

And based on the accompanying pitch it is clear that this wasn’t specifically targeted to me:

Harlem Globetrotters pitch

Now it seems like I’m calling out the Globetrotters communications team and their PR firm (which sent this out) but the truth is I actually did enjoy receiving it.

So instead I’m going to use this as an opportunity to do two things:

1) Embed a video of the Globetrotters in action.

Life is better with buckets of water and confetti:

2) Prove the point that blogs (and other news sites) sometimes do publish all or parts of press releases verbatim, as I referenced in a post about a PEJ study on original news reporting a couple years ago.

So here is the complete press release.

While personnel announcements don’t tend to get picked up much outside of industry or trade outlets, I do like the success statistics they included.

The Globetrotters are also a case in which you can actually use a phrase like “legendary team” without it being an overused buzzword or marketing speak.

But the real winner was the logo; that’s what appealed to me most. I think it just looked cool:

Harlem Globetrotters logo

HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS PROMOTE BRETT MEISTER TO SENIOR VP OF COMMUNICATIONS

(PHOENIX, Oct. 18, 2012) – Harlem Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider announced today that Brett Meister has been promoted to senior vice president of communications for the legendary team for which he has spearheaded successful domestic and international publicity campaigns for 15 seasons, placing the Globetrotters front and center in the media spotlight with their millions of fans.

“Brett has done an amazing job of re-igniting the Harlem Globetrotters’ pop-culture flame,” said Schneider. “He, and his team, have worked tirelessly to make stars of this new generation of Globetrotters; from national appearances on ‘The Amazing Race,’ ‘The Bachelorette,’ ESPN, ‘Sesame Street,’ ‘Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader,’ and more, to creating local headlines in all 220-plus North American markets the team visits, Brett gets the word out in creative and compelling ways. He also spearheaded the development of our popular character education program for elementary school children and the new bullying prevention program we are about to launch.”

Meister completed his 15th consecutive season with the Globetrotters in 2012, leading the team’s overall domestic and international publicity efforts. He has grown annual coverage for the Globetrotters by nearly 507 percent over a six-year period (2007-2012), including an all-time record of more than 2.8 billion media impressions in 2012. Meister’s communications team was honored by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) in 2010 for excellence in reputation management, and won two straight Silver SABRE Awards from the Holmes Report (2009 and 2010) for Best Arts, Entertainment or Media Campaign.

In addition to overseeing the Globetrotters’ Hollywood outreach efforts, Meister is routinely responsible for securing national TV hits on “TODAY,” “Good Morning America,” “Fox & Friends,” and numerous segments on the ESPN family of networks. Other highlights during his tenure with the Globetrotters included a visit he arranged with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 2000, two separate visits to Iraq as part of the team’s annual holiday military tour to entertain troops, and two trips to the White House as part of the Annual Easter Egg Roll.

Prior to joining the Globetrotters in November 1997, Meister worked in the Continental Basketball Association for seven years, where he served as the league’s VP of Communications. He also worked as part of the basketball press information team for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.

A native of Marcus, Iowa, and a graduate of Briar Cliff University, Meister began his professional career as a television reporter and news editor (KTIV-TV, NBC) before serving as a college sports information director for three years.

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