Shortly after landing the multimillion-dollar NFL account, Brandissimo hired a quiet 29-year-old named Allison Guiliotis. The NFL was a demanding client—before long, she was working 60-hour weeks—but unlike many others, it made its objectives clear. It wanted to “get to kids as early as possible,” Guiliotis says. “They talked about creating lifelong customers.” To that end, the league had Brandissimo create a website and a virtual world meant to entice kids.
The league was also aware that nothing had boosted people’s investment in the sport quite like fantasy football, which incentivizes fans to pay attention to several games every week. “It is an incredible mechanism if you are trying to create an addiction to football at a young age,” says Gregg Witt, the executive vice president of youth marketing at Motivate Inc., another Southern California agency. So the NFL asked Brandissimo to help connect kids with NFL Rush Fantasy, the first such game created by a pro league aimed exclusively at young children.