GREAT FALLS — Heidi Browning has spent the final three many years on the prime of her career.
As a advertising govt, her profession has stops at a number of influential corporations reminiscent of Fox Interactive/MySpace and Pandora. However since 2016, Browning has served because the Senior Exectuive Vice President and Chief Advertising and marketing Officer for the Nationwide Hockey League, serving to the group thrive within the digital world. Browning oversees three elements of the NHL’s advertising: fan engagement, fan insights and social media technique.
“After I joined the NHL, the corporate was celebrating its 100 yr anniversary,” Browning mentioned. “So our problem was – how can we take it to the top of the following hundred years? How can we keep relevance with younger followers? How can we type of push the boundaries? In order that’s the place we’re as we speak.”
And her efforts have been remarkably profitable. Beneath Browning’s management, the NHL has skilled a 33% progress in followers on Fb, Instagram and Twitter. She spearheaded the introduction of eight new Twitter accounts, a number of on Instagram together with TikTok, Weibo and WeChat accounts. Because of a targeted technique on video content material, video streams have elevated 111% throughout Fb, Twitter, and Instagram.
She’s developed the NHL Energy Gamers Advisory Board, a panel made up of 25 followers ages 13-17 from the US and Canada who’re bringing their finest concepts to assist develop the sport with a youthful viewers.
However earlier than she was a C-suite govt for one of many world’s largest sports activities leagues – she was a younger lady rising up in Nice Falls Montana with large goals.
“I used to be born in Bozeman and moved to Nice Falls at a younger age. So I went to highschool at Meadowlark in grade college after which West junior highschool, after which CMR,” Browning mentioned. “I used to be an solely youngster so my mother and father saved me busy with quite a lot of actions. I used to be an overachiever for positive. I used to be concerned in orchestra, I performed the violin, I sang within the choir. I used to be on the controversy staff. I simply bought concerned in quite a lot of totally different actions.”
Her curiosity in advertising began after she graduated from the College of Colorado Boulder, whereas working at Kaplan Check Prep, and finding out for the LSAT. She had initially deliberate on working as a lawyer within the international service.
“Kaplan gave me a scholarship that I labored off by working within the workplace. And sooner or later I used to be working within the Kaplan workplace in Boulder, Colorado, and it was a good looking sunny afternoon. And all my pals had been out having enjoyable, however I needed to work,” Browning mentioned. “And so I bought artistic and I primarily introduced the within of the workplace exterior. I introduced a desk and a chair and all of our brochures and our workplace was proper on a strolling avenue in Boulder. And I generated extra leads for the group that they’d ever seen earlier than, simply because I believed exterior the field l. And in order that was my first advertising award that I ever received and I believed, wow, that is fairly cool.”
From there her profession took off, and she or he grew to become a extremely sought speaker and presenter at trade conferences for her experience in digital advertising and social media. After a gathering with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Browning joined the NHL. She was lately named one in all Adweek’s Most Highly effective Girls in Sports activities.
Browning is a tireless advocate for gender equality in sports activities, and pays it ahead as a lot as she will be able to.
“I would say that all through my profession, I’ve most frequently been the one lady within the room, on the desk, within the conferences and within the board room. And so it is actually essential for younger women and younger ladies within the office to see that girls can obtain C-level positions,” Browning mentioned. “I at all times quote Billie Jean King who mentioned ‘When you can see it, you will be it’. And I make it a private dedication to spend time with younger women, younger ladies to assist them. Give them suggestions, give them recommendation and assist them construct confidence on their paths to the long run.”
Browning’s place within the NHL has introduced her everywhere in the world, and linked her to an untold variety of communities, followers and gamers. However regardless of the place she’s been and regardless of the place she’s going, she’s by no means forgotten her Montana roots.
“I really feel like Montana is answerable for my work ethic. My household has at all times been a hardworking household and I carry that with me wherever I am going,” Browning mentioned. “I additionally credit score Montana for preserving me grounded in the true world. After which being particular person and, being variety to others. These are all qualities which can be from my childhood that I carry with me.”
Browning, whose mother and father nonetheless stay in central Montana, hasn’t been in a position to go to lately because of a busy schedule and dwelling bi-coastal in New York and San Francisco. However she lately adopted Showdown Ski Space on Instagram and fondly remembers her household making journeys to the ski hill throughout her upbringing.
“I used to be an enormous skier and we would ski each single weekend, which is enjoyable,” Browning mentioned. “So it brings again every kind of heat, fuzzy reminiscences of these days on the slopes. I simply love Montana.”