June 13, 2006
John Molori's Media Blitz
BY: John Molori
- Trinity time
Imbriano leaves Patriots to blaze his own trail Schwab stump; Boxing in Boston; World Cup and Revs; Ted’s time
He was instrumental in building two of the most dominant forces in New England sports. Now, Lou Imbriano is constructing his own model company. The former WEEI marketing director and Patriots’ vice president and chief marketing officer has founded TrinityOne Worldwide, a media marketing venture aimed at maximizing revenues for teams, players, media and corporations.
“We want to help teams with their marketing strategies, to build a better group and create more contacts,” says the 41 year-old Imbriano, who also served as chief operating officer of the New England Revolution. “We also aim to generate sponsorships for teams, help them manage their budgets while bringing down expenses and accomplishing their goals.”
This week, TrinityOne will announce an agreement with Richard Childress Racing, which includes drivers Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton. Childress, one of racing’s true legends, won NASCAR titles with Dale Earnhardt in 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1994.
TrinityOne is also doing all the sales and marketing for WB56’s coverage of the Harvard-Yale football game. Imbriano has signed more than 60 professional athletes including Tedy Bruschi, Dan Koppen, David Givens, Troy Brown, Taylor Twellman and Deion Branch.
He states, “We don’t do contracts for players. Instead, we focus on their endorsement deals. Many player agents are so busy grinding owners regarding salaries and contracts that they don’t have time to do this. We have already signed alliances with two major NFL agents, so their clients are now our clients.” Imbriano has also spoken to several Major League Baseball and NBA stars.
His work with media companies is similar. “We work with media groups creating content that will sell and generate revenue,” says Imbriano, who worked at WEEI from 1990-97 as executive producer, program coordinator and director of marketing.
“We also negotiate deals with teams and sponsors. If a team or player comes to us, we’ll find a good sponsorship or endorsement deal. If a media group comes to us, we’ll find sponsors that will create unique streams of revenue. If a corporation comes to us, we’ll find a good fit for their sponsorship dollars.”
Imbriano spent nine flourishing seasons with the Patriots. “Back in October (2005), I made a commitment to the Patriots for the 2006 season,” he explains. “The Kraft family said that they did not want me to go. Mr. (Robert) Kraft told me that Bill Belichick and I were the two key reasons for the team’s success. That is very gratifying.
“Last February, I sat with Jonathan Kraft and told him I’d stay the full eleven months and make sure our numbers are good. We had the best March ever in terms of sales in team history. In April, Jonathan and I decided that it would be best to part ways now as friends.”
Imbriano left the Patriots on April 7 and was in his new Framingham and Boston offices on April 10. Business has been booming.
He states, “Honestly, the work has been coming to me. The Sports Business Journal asked me if I wanted to take out an ad, but right now, I don’t need to do that. It’s been humbling and exciting seeing all the people who have reached out to me. By the end of June, we will have ten solid clients in baseball, football, basketball, soccer, NASCAR, television, radio and print.”
The company’s website, TrinityOneWorldwide.com, is currently under construction. Imbriano is truly thinking global and is in negotiations with a group from Ireland. He says he is receiving more than 400 emails a day from prospective clients and scheduling 5-10 meetings per day.
“We have nine full-time employees and six part-time,” says Imbriano, who has three partners including former Patriots’ corporate sales executive Aaron Sells.
“We’ll be 20 or 30 strong by the end of the year. I want some key sales people who know how to put people together.” In addition to Sells, Imbriano brought executive assistant Lola Hoye with him from the Patriots with the Krafts’ blessing.
“I love the Krafts,” he states. “They gave me an incredible opportunity and let me run it. Jonathan Kraft is one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met. Mr. (Robert) Kraft is like a grandfather to me. They are a billion dollar company, but also a family business.”
So, why would Imbriano leave the comforts of a successful and secure gig for the uncertainty of a startup company? “I am ambitious and entrepreneurial,” says the East Boston native and 1987 Boston College grad.
“There was not much more I could do with the Patriots. Plus, the longer I worked there, the people who worked for me had nowhere to go. It was time.” According to Imbriano, the Pats promoted the talented Jen Ferron, Murray Kohl and Brian Bilello in the wake of his departure.
His long-term goals are similar to those of the Krafts. “I want to build a business for my family (wife Tricia and children Victoria, 8 and Antonio, 5). Maybe put together another WEEI or New England Patriots.”
So, the question beckons. With Imbriano being an architect of two of the most successful sports entities in New England, was it the companies, or was it Imbriano?
He responds, “Both WEEI and the Patriots know what they are doing. I always looked at it as a lifestyle, not a job. When I was at home, I thought about how I could make things better at work. It really is all about great people. ”
ESPN Classic’s "Stump The Schwab" is holding local auditions on Tuesday, June 13 from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Champions Sports Bar at the Copley Marriott in Boston. Those chosen will take on "The Schwab," in head-to-head sports trivia competition.
Anthony Pepe of AM 1510’s “Mouthpiece Boxing Show” (Saturdays, 2-3:00 p.m.) told Media Blitz that on Thursday night at Boston’s The Greatest Bar, ESPN’s Brian Kenny and Bert Sugar will be on hand to preview “Classic Ringside: Rocky Marciano” airing Saturday at Noon. George Foreman, Angelo Dundee and Teddy Atlas also appear. Pepe was in Atlantic City this past weekend covering the Antonio Tarver-Bernard Hopkins fight.
On Saturday, The New England Revolution will air the US vs. Italy World Cup match on the Gillette Stadium ProVision screens at 3:00 p.m. as a prelude to that evening’s Revs match vs. DC United at 6:00 p.m. Kraft Sports Productions will feature a US-Italy halftime show with host Brad Feldman and World Cup vets Mike Burns, Revs head coach Steve Nicol and assistant coach Paul Mariner. Burns is s erving as NESN “SportsPlus” World Cup expert while Nicol and Mariner are ESPN International Cup analysts. Feldman has been on NECN and Univision talking World Cup.
Be sure to check out the Lowell Sun’s “Sports Talk with Teddy Panos,” at TheSunBlog.com. “It's been a ton of fun and we're really starting to pick up steam and gather some loyal readers and comments,” says Panos, a former WNDS-TV sports anchor. “The timing was perfect after the death of WNDS. We hope to add a bunch of new features including podcasts and even some video snippets.”
John Molori's columns are published in The Boston Metro, Patriots Football Weekly, ColdHardFootballFacts.com, Boston Sports Review, New England Ringside Magazine, Boston Baseball Magazine, Methuen Life, TheRemyReport.com, PatsFans.com, BostonSportsReview.com, BostonPressBox.com, BostonSportsMedia.com and BostonSportz.com. Email John at MoloriMedia@aol.com.
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