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PRWeek: “How BerlinRosen Helped Score The Biggest Deal in U.S. Sports History”

August 1st, 2023

Sports PR is a dynamic and exciting space, and we’re thrilled to be doing work that makes a real impact in the sports world. A few days ago, news broke that the NFL owners unanimously approved the sale of the Washington Commanders—from Tanya and Dan Snyder to an investment group led by our client, Josh Harris. This groundbreaking purchase not only marks a significant milestone in sports history, but also showcases the immense impact of Sports PR. In an exclusive story for PRWeek, our principal and co-founder Jonathan Rosen delved into the strategy behind this groundbreaking campaign and much more. He shed light on the strategic planning and collaborative efforts that paved the way for the successful sale of the Washington Commanders.

“Jonathan Rosen, principal at BerlinRosen, said his agency focused on communicating Harris’ commitment to investing in on-field excellence and reconnecting with fans. 

“‘Given the legacy and history of the franchise and the enormous attention on the sale, we had to deal with just an unreal level of interest from media at every point in the process on every incremental detail as it proceeded,’ said Rosen, via email.” 

In making this historic deal possible, Sports PR played a crucial role, and we at BerlinRosen are honored to have been part of this momentous journey with Josh Harris and the Washington Commanders. BerlinRosen approached this deal strategically by focusing on effectively communicating Harris’ commitment to investing in on-field excellence. As a result, this sent a strong signal to Washington Commanders fans, players and the broader sports community about the franchise’s dedication to success and competitiveness. This also allowed us to shape a narrative that inspired hope, optimism and excitement for the future of the Washington Commanders.

“With strategy and messaging support from BerlinRosen, Harris has communicated directly with Commanders fans, most recently buying a full-page open letter ad in The Washington Post.

“In the note, which ran in Sunday’s edition of the paper, Harris vowed to deliver a championship caliber team, but, ‘most importantly,’ said he hopes to earn fans’ trust.”

BerlinRosen supported Harris with strategy and messaging support as he communicated directly with Commanders fans, including recently buying a full-page open letter ad in The Washington Post. The decision to personally address the fans through a full-page open letter showcased Harris’ genuine commitment to transparency and to building a strong connection with the fanbase. Harris took the opportunity to convey his vision for the team directly, ensuring that his message reached a wide and dedicated audience.

Through the messaging orchestrated by BerlinRosen, the open letter delivered two essential promises: the pursuit of on-field excellence and the earnest desire to earn the trust of the fans. By emphasizing the commitment to delivering a championship-caliber team, Harris reaffirmed his dedication to success and to creating an environment that fosters winning culture.

“‘Washington is a storied NFL franchise with an incredibly passionate fanbase. With that comes a responsibility to handle the communications of such a historic, record-setting acquisition with precision and care,’ he said, via email.”

To nimbly navigate the sale of a franchise with such a rich legacy and history, we managed the communications aspect responsibly, providing accurate information at each stage of the process. The Washington Commanders’ sale represented more than just a business transaction; it signified a new chapter in the franchise’s history. Understanding the emotional connection fans have with the team, our approach to sports PR was driven by the recognition of the team’s cultural significance and the impact that this change would have on its community.

This achievement with Josh Harris and the Washington Commanders exemplifies how Sports PR can drive transformative change and elevate impactful ventures like this.

Read the full story on PRWeek.