Pam Hollander: The power of sports and its ability to reach fans in unique ways
Pam Hollander is the Vice President of Marketing at Allstate. Since joining the insurance company in 2000, she has played a major role in engaging fans with sports they love by supporting the football community for more than a decade.
For years, Allstate has proved itself to be a committed partner in the development and growth of football across the U.S. and throughout the Concacaf region. In 2017, Allstate signed on as the Confederation’s exclusive insurance partner, for championships including the Concacaf Gold Cup, the Concacaf Futsal Championship, the Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship, and the full range of men’s and the Concacaf Women’s Championship and World Cup qualifying events at age levels from under-17 through full national teams.
For Pam, who has a deep love for the sport, there are many reasons football aligns with the Allstate brand – it’s diverse, it bands communities together, and the company shares in the passion fans have for the sport.
- How did you start your career in marketing and communications?
My first job out of college was with a public relations firm, and I spent about 15 years working at various public relations agencies in Chicago before my job at Allstate, where I was recruited to work in the marketing department.
- Tell us about the interest of Allstate in sponsoring sports events
Allstate knows the power of sports and its ability to reach fans in unique ways by connecting them around a shared passion. Working on a service brand (insurance) means we look to find extraordinary ways for fans to experience our brand. It’s a wonderful challenge to make the Allstate brand relevant and exciting to sports fans. As we think about fan engagement, we always ask ourselves ‘Would fans miss us if we were not here?’ We always want the answer to be ‘Yes.’ And in this new age of potentially ‘fan-less’ live events, making a brand relevant to fans virtually could become the new norm – at least for now.
- Why do you believe in soccer?
Soccer is played in nearly every community – and it’s an accessible game for everyone to play. As a parent of two boys that played soccer from a very early age through high school, I know firsthand the power this sport possesses in bringing people together.
- Tell us about your interest in pursuing a sports business career?
During my time at the public relations firm prior to joining Allstate, I was heading up an account and leading their support of several sports leagues and sporting events. So, I came to Allstate with that experience. At the time I joined Allstate, the only sports property they were aligned with was U.S. Olympics. Since then, I’ve grown the sports portfolio to what it is today.
- What are the key components to become a game changer?
One key to becoming a game changer is always asking ‘what’s next?’ What else can we be doing? What’s going to differentiate our brand from all others in the space? Making your brand relevant to the sport and to the fans is what will set you apart.
- What is the perception of your brand in regards to women’s football?
We timed our women’s football support announcement with the U.S. Women’s National Team Victory Tour in 2019. And what a proud moment that was! We, along with the entire world, were in awe of what this women’s team accomplished. We look forward to continuing to inspire fans and athletes with our support of women’s football.
- As a high-ranking executive, how would you empower more women to follow their dreams and pursue a career in marketing?
There’s no secret to making this happen. My suggestion is to follow your passion and find ways to make it a reality. There are so many different avenues one can take to get into marketing and sports – be open to any and all of them. And network – by all means network!
- Tell us about a memorable moment or anecdote related to soccer
It has to be watching my kids play the sport. My younger son, who was 11 years old at the time, had an interest in playing goalie on his club team. He let the coach know and started to train for it. As a parent, it’s genuinely nerve-wracking to watch your kid try to defend kick after kick in the goal. There were so many games where I saw him mope off the field after a tough game, feeling like he personally let his team down because the other team scored. It’s a tough moment as a parent to watch your kid go through that and take it very personally, but he gained something from these experiences. Football was so much a part of both of my kid’s youth and they learned a ton about themselves and being part of a team thanks to football.