June 21, 2017 / By Cynthia Ramsaran
Building upon its center of excellence in the ever-evolving space of digital sports and technology, Taylor announced today that it has named award-winning content producer Hunter Mandel to the position of Director, Digital Sports.
Mandel, who joins Taylor from leading sports content platform Bleacher Report, complements a deep and versatile team of digital sports strategists, content specialists, and social media managers.
In addition to Mandel’s appointment, three executives have been promoted as they assume greater leadership in the Taylor Digital Sports practice: Samantha Baier, to Director; Bo Wulf, to Senior Content Manager; and Mike Macias, to Social Media Manager.
For more than three decades, Taylor has served as a brand counselor and public relations partner to the world’s premier sports marketers. Along that path, the agency has been on the leading edge of supporting sports digital platforms, beginning with the launch of the pioneering website, ESPN SportsZone, in 1995.
As the sports landscape has rapidly evolved and shifted in response to the impact of social media and game-changing technology platforms, Taylor has helped to redefine the rules of fan engagement. Taylor’s deep knowledge and insights around fan behavior across a multitude of sports is at the core of its Digital Sports group, which is uniquely positioned to lead digital strategy and activation for many of the sports industry’s marketing and technology innovators.
“Hunter joins a best-in-class Digital Sports team that has long been at the forefront of developing impactful programs for the top brand marketers in sports,” said John Liporace, Managing Partner, Taylor. “His skills as a storyteller and his unique experience in developing engaging content for one of the most innovative sports media properties — Bleacher Report — will further elevate our capabilities in the dynamic, disruptive space of digital sports.”
In his role, Mandel is responsible for driving digital strategy and content creation for the agency’s select roster of client partners – which includes leading sports marketers such as P&G, Capital One, Allstate, IBM, and Mercedes-Benz.
Based in Taylor’s New York City office, Mandel previously spent more than five years at Bleacher Report, where he led a team that launched sponsored content for the groundbreaking sports platform. He and his team produced a wide range of features and athlete profiles, including a series starring blue chip high school football players as they announce their college of choice.
The “Commitment” videos became so popular, with millions of views, major media outlets like the LA Times and the Houston Chronicle interviewed Mandel about the social series, which earned him an Associated Press Sports Editor (APSE) Award. Additionally, Mandel and his team produced highly engaging sponsored content for major brands such as Exxon, Wilson, and Gatorade, for which he produced a series of creative videos announcing the National High School Player of the Year Awards.
Mandel began his career in sports production with HBO Sports, working on a host of award-winning programs such as Real Sports with Bryan Gumbel, 24/7 Boxing series, live pay-per-view boxing events, and HBO documentaries.
“Taylor’s long, successful legacy in sports and digital offers a compelling opportunity to leverage my creativity in new and surprising ways,” said Mandel. “Having a diverse amount of digital content experience and a deep understanding of fan engagement, I look forward to helping Taylor continue to innovate as a premier storyteller in the sports digital space.”
Baier, based in Taylor’s Charlotte office, started out as Katie Couric’s assistant at the CBS Evening News in New York before moving south to work as a television news reporter and social content producer in North and South Carolina. Wulf, based in New York, was a content producer and program host for the Philadelphia Eagles and a writer at ESPN, while Macias, also based in New York, created social content at MSL Group before joining Taylor.
All three executives have been pivotal in leading ground-breaking client partner activations and influencer work, with P&G (for Tide around the Super Bowl and NFL Draft), Mercedes-Benz and IBM around the Masters and US Open tennis, and Activision, which has enabled Taylor to gain a strong footing in the burgeoning world of esports.