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Updated: January 24, 2022 On the Record

On the Record: Longtime sportscaster branches into athlete branding

Greg Glynn in an indoor ice rink, in an action shot holding a hockey stick. Photo / Jim Neuger Greg Glynn, an athlete brand adviser and CEO of a new Augusta-based company called Pliable, photographed at the Camden National Bank Ice Vault in Hallowell.

After a dozen years with Marshall Communications, longtime sports broadcaster Greg Glynn recently founded an Augusta-based marketing, public relations and broadcasting company named Pliable. Mainebiz caught up with him to find out more.

Mainebiz: How did you go from high school hockey player to sports broadcaster?

Greg Glynn: I suffered a back injury in high school that led to the decision to start broadcasting the games instead. I realized I had to turn a negative into a positive, so that’s what I did.

MB: What inspired you to start Pliable?

GG: The pandemic. We’ve all had to adjust to be more pliable. When the ruling came out in June about NCAA athletes being able to benefit from their name, image and likeness, it got me thinking about the ways I could use all my marketing, public relations and broadcasting experience to help high school, college and professional athletes build their brand.

MB: Why jump into the ‘wild west’ of athlete branding so soon after the NCAA rule change?

GG: Now is the perfect time for me to help educate high school and college student athletes and their families about what an athlete brand is and what it can do for them.

MB: What services and expertise are you offering?

GG: I’ve created a customized 10-Step Pliable Athlete Branding Playbook that guides athletes through the process of how to create their own athlete brand. The playbook includes everything from profile development, career planning, logo design, media training, photo and video content for social media, plus building the athlete’s website.

MB: Why is it so important for today’s young athletes to have a brand image?

GG: Every day, athletes work extremely hard to excel in their sport, but there are so many other athletes doing the exact same thing. I help them stand out and tell their story.

MB: What athletes are you targeting with your business and why?

GG: I work with high school athletes and their parents because they want their son or daughter to get into their top choice for college and get a bigger scholarship. I work with college athletes who understand that they might not go pro, and they can brand themselves now to pay for college and get the best employment opportunities.

I also work with professional athletes because they know eventually their playing career will come to an end. It’s important for them to build their athlete brand and network during their playing career so they can leverage it when their career is over. Many pro athletes struggle with this transition because for more than 20-plus years they have been working on their craft and now they need to find a new career.

MB: What events are you broadcasting these days?

GG: Since my broadcasting days with the Pirates, I’ve spent the last 12 years broadcasting a wide range of high school and college sports across New England from baseball to volleyball.

MB: And your fondest memories of your time with the Portland Pirates?

GG: I remember graduating from Quinnipiac University and coming up to Portland for my first year with the team. I learned quickly in minor league sports; you wear a lot of hats. I enjoyed every minute of it. Looking back, the loss in Game 7 to Hershey in 2006 in the Calder Cup Conference Finals still hurts. Above all, it’s the relationships that I value the most.

MB: Among pro athletes, who do you consider brand trailblazers and why?

GG: Michael Jordan deserves a lot of credit for what he did with Nike and his Air Jordan brand, he really started it all. Athletes such as Tiger Woods, Abby Wambach and Serena Williams have shown other athletes what an athlete brand can be. Tom Brady is at the top of the list. What he has done with his TB12 brand and TB12 Foundation is remarkable.

MB: What are your long-term plans?

GG: Within the next 10 years, I can see a day when I work with an athlete on their brand and then hire them because they will have experienced what an athlete brand did for them. I have already heard from a lot of athletes who are very interested in what I do; they realize building their athlete brand is a great way to get ahead of their competition, not just in sports, but in life.

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