A look inside the Titans' quick marketing work with Marcus Mariota

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans moved quickly to kick off a heavy marketing campaign featuring Marcus Mariota.

They drafted him second overall on Thursday night.

On Friday, 10 different electronic billboards around Nashville featured his picture, one of three new slogans and the team’s Web address and ticket office number.

“Aloha Y’all” strikes me as a smart marriage of two regional phrases that represent the meld that is about to happen. The team is also using "A Heisman in OUR House" and "This Duck Has Landed.”

Mariota is, of course, featured on a splash page that’s the first thing you see if you go to their website.

The Titans had plans in place knowing it was a rare occasion to have such a high pick and there was a likelihood of the team picking a high-profile quarterback.

They had mockups that covered a variety of possibilities ready to go, and were able to flip the switch Friday for the digital billboards, a radio advertising campaign and newspaper ads.

It’s not been four days since the pick was made, but the team’s pro shop has already sold over 1,000 Mariota jerseys, two-third online and the remainder in the store at the stadium, said Stuart Spears, the team’s chief revenue officer.

And in their biggest bit of positive national publicity, Mariota is on the cover of Sports Illustrated in his new uniform and behind a headline that reads, “Flash of the Titans.”

“You’re on the Clock, Marcus: Tennessee is Buzzing -- Now for the Franchise Turnaround.”

The biggest question, of course, is ticket sales.

At this point, only season tickets are available. Spears said the team is tracking close to 90 percent renewals and that will solidify by the end of the month, where accounts must be paid up or linked up to an installment plan.

New season-ticket sales don’t happen quickly, because they come with a personal seat license attached and the process takes some time. It’s not like just pulling something off the shelf. Spears said the team judges how things are going there based on activity, and that phone calls show “good signs that should yield results.”

Mini-packages and single-game tickets will be on sale later in the summer. Spears said there is plenty of work to do but also plenty of cause for optimism that the team will continue to sell enough tickets to extend a sellout streak that runs the life of LP Field.

Mariota and the rookie class come to Nashville Sunday and begin work at team headquarters Monday.

The quarterback’s primary obligation will be football, certainly. But Spears said brainstorming for how to take Mariota to the people is underway and that coach Ken Whisenhunt and GM Ruston Webster are accommodating and also want to see Mariota get out to help market the team.