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Unveiling a Remarkable Sports Partnership: The Bananas & Zappos Story

Get ready for an awe-inspiring journey as we dive into an electrifying partnership tale on this week’s 7in7 interview. In this riveting narrative, we introduce you to Jared Orton, President of the Savannah Bananas, and Megan Sheffield, Director of Brand Partnerships at Zappos. Together, they’ve woven a partnership that defies convention and has taken the sports industry by storm.

From Struggles to Stardom: The Savannah Bananas’ Transformation

Jared Orton’s account of the Savannah Bananas’ evolution is a rollercoaster of inspiration. From a struggling college summer league team to the world-renowned “baseball circus,” the Bananas’ journey is a testament to organization’s vision and determination. What began in Savannah, Georgia in 2016 as a humble wooden bat league team unable to sell tickets or secure sponsorships has blossomed into an all-encompassing fan-focused phenomenon. As Jared aptly puts it, “everything we do is for the fans.”

A Shift from the Norm: Banishing the Antiquated Ad Model

Jared’s realization that the traditional ad model didn’t align with the fans’ needs or desires led to an audacious move – going ad-free. This bold step required a complete overhaul of the organization’s approach, transitioning from a minor-league model to an experiential-focused one. His mission was clear: to put fans at the heart of every decision.

“This is not what our fans need or deserve,” Jared said.

Crafting True Brand Partnerships: The Zappos Connection

Enter Megan Sheffield, whose journey into the partnership was sparked by a heartfelt connection to the Bananas’ innovative approach. As Director of Brand Partnerships at Zappos, Megan recognized the synergy between their customer-centric ethos and the Bananas’ fan-first philosophy. A match made in sponsorship heaven, the Zappos-Bananas partnership was cultivated with passion and care.

Megan shared, “I found the Bananas watching TV two springs ago and fell in love with what they were doing with the game.”

Determined to make a difference, she embarked on a mission to establish a partnership that resonated deeply with both organizations’ values.

Unleash the Power of Partnership: Join Us on this Journey

This is more than just a partnership; it’s a story of transformation, innovation, and the art of putting fans first. As we dive into this 7in7 interview, we invite you to catch the episode and witness the magic unfold.

Mark your calendars for the upcoming Sponsorship Mastery Summit, where Jared and Megan will dive even deeper into their extraordinary partnership during their session “A Partnership That Went Bananas.” It’s a chance to glean invaluable insights, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and game-changing strategies that will ignite your imagination and fuel your passion.

Join us at the Sponsorship Mastery Summit, from Sept. 27-29 in Chicago, and prepare to be invigorated with fresh ideas and inspiration. The journey to redefining the sports partnership landscape awaits!