FLYERS LAUNCH IN-HOUSE CONTENT SHOP: ON THE FLY PRODUCTIONSMarch 15th, 2021
PHILADELPHIA (March 15, 2021) – Today, the Philadelphia Flyers formally announced the launch of an in-house content shop, On the Fly Productions, which will showcase and promote the team’s multimedia content, bolster the organization’s continued emphasis on original video content, and serve as the marketing and creative arm of the Comcast Spectacor portfolio of brands including the Flyers, Gritty, Flyers Charities, Wells Fargo Center and Philadelphia Wings.
On the Fly Productions will enhance the organization’s multimedia production capabilities, and the marketing department will modernize existing office space to house production needs, including a dedicated podcast studio for the Flyers Broadcast Network, one of the top podcast suites in the NHL. The move is part of the organization’s aggressive expansion of its internal capabilities that focuses on brand aesthetic, digital storytelling, media planning/buying, and event production. On the Fly Productions will also provide significant bandwidth and resources to support the organization's corporate partnerships, ticket sales, self-produced events, and other initiatives.
“Today’s fans have an expectation that sports and entertainment brands do more than sell tickets and post highlights,” said Mark Zarthar, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the Philadelphia Flyers and Wells Fargo Center, who will oversee On the Fly Productions. “This past year escalated that expectation. Without fans being able to attend games and other live events, we’ve revitalized our approach to content creation – we’ve sought to capture emotion, connect our community, and spark inspiration. The launch of On the Fly Productions will expand our ability to attract new fans, grow the game of hockey, and share the stories of our community.”
Just last month, the team released its first episode of the long-form video series, New Heights, which highlights individuals who are breaking barriers and inspiring change in Philadelphia’s hockey community. The debut episode focused on Black History Month and Philadelphia’s Black hockey community, including local players who were introduced to the game through the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation. Last week, in celebration of Women’s History Month, they released the second episode which spotlights four local female figures in hockey and their individual journeys within the sport.
“The standard for content quality and output has risen rapidly in team sports, and this move will help us continue to be leaders in our industry,” said Zarthar. “The digital world is fast-paced and continuously advancing, so we need our content team to be equally nimble and reactive. The inspiration for the new production shop’s name came from watching our team on the ice - in hockey, a team’s ability to strategically change ‘on the fly’ can often mean the difference between winning and losing, and for us, producing content ‘on the fly’ is how we keep our fans engaged with our brands.”
The success and expansion of Comcast Spectacor’s sports and entertainment portfolio was a significant factor that led to a full-service, in-house production shop. On the Fly Productions will serve as an asset for multiple departments, across multiple properties, and will be a major additional component of Comcast Spectacor's corporate partnership capabilities.
“On the Fly will service important revenue-generating priorities from tickets and merchandise to corporate partnerships and special events,” said Zarthar. “Corporate partners, in particular, are seeking non-traditional assets beyond hospitality and signage. Our internal production shop will hold the keys to tremendous value and innovative opportunities within Wells Fargo Center, throughout greater Philadelphia, and in the digital space.”
On the Fly Productions will be directed by Mark Zarthar, Senior Vice President of Marketing. Dave Dundas (Creative Director), Christine Mina (Sr. Manager of Digital Content), Max Farrara (Manager of Video Production), Georgieann Michels (Sr. Director of Advertising) and Tina DiVilio (Sr. Director of Event Presentation) will have leadership roles. In the last several years, the Flyers marketing efforts have received recognition in the form of various industry awards including Best Marketing Team for the NHL’s Club Business Awards (2019), Best in Sports Social Media for Sports Business Journal (2019), a Webby Award for Social Media – Athletes & Sports Teams (2019), and a Clio Sports Gold Winner for Social Media (2019).
In 2018, the Flyers introduced the infamous mascot Gritty, who is currently the most followed and engaged mascot in professional sports across social media channels. In 2020, the Flyers launched the pandemic-inspired “ANYTIME. ANYWHERE.” campaign, spanning from the 2019-20 playoffs to present day. Despite playing in a fan-less environment, the Flyers have enjoyed a 56% YOY increase in 2020-21 television ratings (local and national), maintained the NHL’s #1 rank in team Twitter engagement and experienced the top retail e-commerce performance in team history.