Published on December 3, 2020, at 9:03 p.m.
by Katelyn Lambert.
COVID-19 has taught the world to never take things for granted. Whether it is human interaction or going to a favorite sporting event, we do not realize the impact of simple acts until they have been stripped away from us. With sports coming back into our daily lives, the industry has brought with it life and excitement. Knight Eady, a creative agency specializing in sports, is here to help bring that excitement back to its clients.
Who is Knight Eady?
Located in Birmingham, Alabama, Knight Eady is a creative agency that owns, operates and manages sporting events in high school, collegiate and professional sports industries. The company was founded in 2013 by David Knight and Michael Eady. Both Knight and Eady graduated from The University of Alabama with degrees in public relations. Knight is over operations, while Eady takes on the strategy/creative side of the business.
Events have always been the main component of the work Knight Eady produces; however, over the last couple of years, the agency has grown its marketing and communication services tremendously. These are now stand-alone services offered to its clients. Not only does Knight Eady work with its sport-related clients, but it also takes on clients outside the world of sports. For example, the agency might take on a bank as a client to help them find out the best strategy to market its services to sports fans. “We have learned we have to adapt to where the industry is going,” said Knight.
Adapting to COVID-19
Eady emphasized, “Our business is built on the power of sports and what it can do to create positive environments, change for people and help businesses grow. When that essentially got taken away, at least the fan component, it changed things dramatically.” Unfortunately, Knight Eady’s busiest time is March through May, which was right in the middle of everything shutting down. The agency got to put on the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) basketball championship successfully, but after that, six events were canceled in April and May due to the pandemic. “There was nothing we could do at that point,” said Knight. “The biggest thing for us was that these events were basically just gone,” said Eady.
Knight Eady sent its employees home to work safely in March. Eady mentioned efficiency from home differed depending on the day, and everyone works differently when thrown into a new environment. Knight stated, “We realized we could create efficiency working remotely, but overall we desperately needed to be back in an environment together.” The team is now back in the office but can work from home if need be.
While Knight Eady struggled on the event side of things, the agency’s creative and digital side grew while working from home. Knight noted that events decreased but marketing and creative projects increased over the time their team worked from home. They have been working on a number of projects such as rebranding and more video production.
As for client relations, when COVID-19 hit everything was moved to digital format. For the most part, meetings with out-of-town clients were already being conducted over video platforms, but of course, during the shutdown, every meeting was moved to a video format. Knight mentioned that it was hard to build important client relationships when you are not in the same room.
The teal jacket
The teal jacket to Knight Eady is like the green jacket to The Masters. A lot of events were canceled this year due to the pandemic, but there was one event special to the Knight Eady team that had to be canceled as well. Every year the office splits up into teams to compete in things like trivia and athletic events during its annual staff retreat. The retreat ends with a jacket presentation to the winning team’s captain. Knight Eady’s team thrives off of being together and building relationships.
Knight Eady continues to grow in the world of sports, whether it is from helping with events or putting together strategies on how a company wants to market itself, the agency is making an impact. Although one would not say things are back to normal, sporting events are making a comeback. Just this week, the agency is putting on the AHSAA football championship in Tuscaloosa.
“Sports have been a healing mechanism for some people,” said Eady. While businesses are still recovering from the pandemic, sports have brought people back together and reminded them not to take the small things for granted — and Knight Eady is here to help with that.