Episode 13

Did you know that the Climate Pledge Arena will be the first carbon-zero arena in the world? Opening later this year, it will use zero fossil fuels, and its ice rink will be made entirely out of rainwater. The fully electric arena plans on using no single-use plastics and being zero-waste by 2024. It is, without a doubt, the greenest arena in the world.

On a recent episode of the Press Play Podcast, host Derek Gerber had the opportunity to talk with Jeff Webster, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at Climate Pledge Arena and its new NHL team, the Seattle Kraken. Since its inception, Jeff has been with the organization, and he shares a ton of knowledge about teaming with corporate partners to impact the community and lead the green revolution.

“Community is at the center of everything we’ve done since we started this, and I think there’s many examples of this. You don’t have to go far to find them.”


Here on the Press Play Podcast, we love to talk about how the key to quality, effective advertisements is storytelling. Whether it was Beth Stephens emphasizing the impact of authentic storytelling through influencer marketing or Blake Puryear describing how a genuine tone and a good story can help your audience relate to you in email marketing, storytelling has been the center-point of several of our episodes.

Prioritizing Community

Similar to Sloane Evans and the Houston SaberCats, who Derek interviewed in last week’s episode, Jeff and the team behind the Climate Pledge Arena and the Seattle Kraken are focused on creating partnerships with sponsors to impact their local community. The community has been at the forefront of every decision, and there’s no sign that this will change.

“Community is at the center of everything we’ve done since we started this, and I think there’s many examples of this. You don’t have to go far to find them.” (20:43)

The Seattle Kraken announced that all of its practices would be open to the public, and its facility will also function as a practice facility for local youth teams. Ideally, this will create a grassroots movement, connecting the organization to its young fans.

Corporations have been quick to partner and invest heavily with the team and arena because of the connection that locals have with their sports teams. As many know, the city’s NBA franchise, the SuperSonics, left for Oklahoma City in 2008, and the community was left with a hole in its heart. According to season ticket sales, it appears that the city will support the Kraken as it does the Seahawks and Mariners: rowdily.

“The companies and corporations and groups in this region have such a heart for sports, and I think it’s because they know that the fans and the people of this region have a heart for it. That’s one of the best ways that they can connect with those potential customers and such.” (12:41)

Going Green

Jeff explained that the organization had no choice but to reach for unprecedented sustainability goals with its new arena. In Seattle’s progressive, green city, it was a no-brainer to build the most eco-friendly stadium on the planet, but they needed a partner with the same vision. Luckily, Amazon shared similar values and was ready to pull the trigger on the project.

“You look at our relationship with Amazon, and of course, you start a project like this in a town like ours – Who’s the first company you’re going to want to get in touch with? Obviously, Amazon comes to mind.” (13:40)

Amazon has been approached by several other arenas worldwide, but this is the first time the corporation has decided to enter into a partnership. Ultimately, it chose to pass on the naming rights to the arena and fully supported naming it after the Climate Pledge.

The Power of Video

It’s no secret that promoting a brand new arena and professional hockey team in the middle of a worldwide pandemic has its own unique set of challenges. Still, the team behind the arena and hockey club found a solution: video.

The organization used a brand launch video to announce its logo, colors, team name, etc., and the video has been a massive success. It has been posted thousands of times across the internet, and choosing to use video allows the announcement to live forever.

“That brand launch video has followed us everywhere we’ve gone. I mean, it’s been reposted many, many times, especially by influencers and others around our industry. I think it was something that we were really proud of as far as being part of our brand launch, and that video lives forever.” (17:44)

The arena has also benefited from its use of animated explainer videos. Carbon-neutrality, zero-waste, and other sustainability topics can prove challenging for many to wrap their heads around, so the organization chose to utilize animation. It has released several videos explaining its motivations and goals, and it will continue creating more videos as it reaches new heights.

How is your brand engaging with its community and utilizing storytelling in its marketing strategy?


(1:02) Introducing Jeff and the Seattle Kraken
(6:44) Preserving history to create a new future
(11:18) Partner stories
(15:35) The power of video
(20:33) Prioritizing community
(23:28) What’s next for the Kraken?
(27:21) Myth-busting




Derek Gerber
NHL Kraken
Jeff Webster


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