Dallas Cowboys Customer EngagementMatt O’Neil−no pun intended−wears several customer engagement hats for the Dallas Cowboys. He is the team’s VP of Marketing and Senior Director of Brand & Media, and is responsible for the Cowboys’ brand including all branding, marketing, and advertising; all media and content creation, including TV production, radio, Internet, social media, mobile, and print publications.

What’s more, he oversees all Event Presentation/GameDay Entertainment at Cowboys games and third-party events at AT&T Stadium.

During his keynote session, Dallas Cowboys Content Combine, on Tuesday at the Engagement & Experience Expo, hosted by Loyalty360, O’Neil talked about the evolution of media and technology and how it can be used in an entertaining way that sparks customer/fan engagement and brand loyalty.

Known as “America’s Team” for decades, the Cowboys have a storied history in the National Football League. O’Neil was hired 2 ½ years ago to inject a major dose of excitement and fan engagement to the franchise, turning an in-venue only customer experience to something that is 24/7, 365 days a year.

Three elements players are judged on at the NFL Combine each year−speed, strength, and agility−are O’Neil’s pillars and keys to effective customer/fan engagement.

“This is what I think of when I think of customer engagement,” O’Neil told attendees. “The goal is to get better. How can I get better? It will drive you as a life goal. I’m a big believer in having swagger. We work very hard at it.”

As the highest valued NFL team, the Cowboys represent a “super powerful brand,” O’Neil said. But, he added: “There were a lot of broken process. You grow a brand through content marketing. Content marketing is all the marketing that’s left.”

O’Neil played a video called “Mean Tweets” that showed some Cowboy players reading actual mean tweets from fans.

“It was the most watched NFL video by five times,” O’Neil said. “Your ideas have to be original. Find something big and make it your own.”

Good content will do nothing for your brand, O’Neil stated.

“The bar has to be up here,” he said. “It has to be higher, incredible content. You cannot hesitate. The second you have that urge, you have to go.”

O’Neil has extensive experience in sports and entertainment. Before he came to the Cowboys, O’Neil was the VP of Marketing for the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer. In addition to running all the marketing, video production, and game entertainment, O’Neil was a liaison for Red Bull, the energy drink, charged with infusing the Red Bull brand into the entire soccer fan experience.

In 2000, O’Neil launched Dime Magazine, a basketball lifestyle, print publication and digital platform. After that, he moved to Hollywood where he produced sports video content and screenwriting, selling full-length feature films and TV shows in several genres to MGM, Warner Brothers, and 20th Century Fox.

O’Neil is particularly proud of the Cowboys’ slogan, “Finish the Fight,” which launched after Thanksgiving 2014.

“It was an agile kind of move,” he said. “Think of where you can get better and keep asking these questions.”

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