What’s Your Story?

Brittany Hodak recently joined us on Flip the Switch to share her insights on cultivating super fans and experiences.  Combining personal stories of becoming a Wolverine fan with studying fans through her marketing and collectibles company ZinePak / The Superfan Company, Brittany crafted a SUPER strategy to foster relationships and build super fans that can be executed across a wide range of brands, including music, retail and sports.  

To find SUPER fans:  

S – Start with your story
U – Understand your customers
P – Personalize the experience
E – Exceed Expectations 
R – Repeat

Sounds simple enough, right?  

Repeat reminds us that your story is present tense and that it’s being rewritten every day.  

“Pretend that you don’t have the jerseys, you don’t have the brand, you don’t have the name. If people didn’t know which team was playing, what could you do to make them want to come back anyway?  What are the parts about your story that no other team in your league is going to be able to replicate that have nothing to do with legacy? What are those moments? What are those impactful things that you’re doing to ensure that all of your fans feel welcomed, appreciated, validated, engaged?”

Brittany Hodak

What your fans need to feel welcomed, appreciated, valued and engaged will change. Therefore, your story should change. Are you constantly evolving to meet the needs of your current customer or fan?

Within the last week, countless sports and entertainment organizations announced their venues will be at full capacity again. The photo galleries and hype videos accompanying the announcements reminded us all of the camaraderie that we have missed over the last 15 months.  

The announcement is just chapter one. What will be added to your story in the next few months? Next year? 

The words adaptive, nimble and agile became some of the most commonly used words in the industry last year. Through all the challenges and hardships, think about the positive takeaways. What did you learn from your fans through those virtual game day pivots and digital engagements? If you had fans in the past year, what experiments did you run that you will roll out stadium-wide? How will you leverage that insight to enhance the in-game experience at this year’s events? 

It starts with understanding your customers’ story and conducting regular, active listening.  In the last year, how many of us may have listened to customers’ needs, but were not able to meet them, because of capacity guidelines or other restrictions? Now you have the opportunity to act on input. Consider pulse surveys, focus groups, introducing (or re-introducing) fan councils, options that allow fans to provide feedback and impact real-time changes. 

“Super fans are created at the intersection of your story and every customer story.”

What will your next chapter say?

For more from Brittany, listen to the full conversation here.

Read More
Flip the Switch

Cultivate SUPER Fans with Brittany Hodak

Joining the show this week is Brittany Hodak.  Recently named Chief Experience Officer at, Brittany shares her frameworks that organizations can adopt to cultivate super fans and experiences.  Prior to joining, Brittany co-founded a marketing and collectibles company ZinePak (later named The Superfan Company), which was featured on Shark Tank and earned one of the highest valuations in show history.   She exited in 2019 to focus full-time on speaking and consulting with organizations to harness the passion within fans.

David and Brittany set their rivalry aside to dive in to Brittany’s SUPER strategy and focusing on real-time data to perfect customer and employee experience.


6:03    MGo(Baby)Blue – Coach Harbaugh Converts a Razorback

13:22  The ZinePak/Superfan Company Takeaways

19:02  The Future of Collectibles

22:32  Brittany’s SUPER strategy

26:39  What is special about your story?

28:10  Fostering Future Fans & Connecting to Kids

31:08  Tailoring Campaigns to Niche Audiences

33:47  Overcoming Apathetic Fans

42:53  Personalizing Customer and Employee Experiences with

46:53  The Uber Way – Data in Real Time

Additional Resources

Beach Boys’ 50th Anniversary Collectible Dolly Parton’s Pure & Simple Album 

Dolly’s Imagination Library

More from Brittany

The ABCs of Creating Superfans

The Superfans System

The Superfan W.A.V.E. eBook

Connect with Brittany

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn


Today’s episode was sponsored by CheckdIn.  Know exactly who’s working in your venue.

Want more from EngageMint? Subscribe to our newsletters at

Read More
Flip the Switch

Building Athlete Brands and Priming for NIL with Jim Cavale

This episode covers everything from leadership and building a company, to NIL legislation and empowering student-athletes.  Today’s guest is Jim Cavale, Founder and CEO of INFLCR.  With NIL legislation set to go into effect this summer, college athletic departments are facing so many unknowns. Jim and his team recently launched INFLCR Verified and INFLCR Plus, initiatives to help athletic departments and student-athletes proactively prepare for this change and provide them the tools to capitalize on their brand power and voice.

Jim Cavale Show Notes

4:20     Giving Athletes a Better Brand and Voice – Genesis of INFLCR

6:32     Leveraging Relationships and Forging Connections

10:37   Evolution of INFLCR and Partnership with Teamworks

21:31   Inception of INFLCR Verified

27:43   Building an Internal Creative Agency

30:44   From “Athlete Brand Building” to “Name Image Likeness”

33:10   Performers, Producers and Players

37:36   Combating Legislation Paralysis

40:31   Model of Leadership – SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey

43:50   Four Domains of Personal Balance


Additional References
Wake Up Warrior

Connect with Jim
Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  LinkedIn


Today’s episode was sponsored by CheckdIn.  Know exactly who’s working in your venue.

Want more from EngageMint? Subscribe to our newsletters at

Read More