Building and improving the team’s reach and relationship with Lions fans in order to impact the success on the field has remained one of the Lions’ primary goals, and the organization strives to share the experience of winning a championship with its fans. With that in mind, Parkinson, now in her fourth year with the club, continues to seek ways to enhance the overall fan experience and strengthen the organization’s engagement with its business partners and the community to accomplish that mission.
Parkinson has pushed forward initiatives to grow and extend the Lions brand locally, throughout Michigan and across the nation. #OnePride was first presented in 2013 that highlights Detroit as one team and one community. In addition to #OnePride, the Lions Defend the Den brand has now become an extension of one of the NFL’s best home-field advantages.
Among numerous improvements made to the fan experience at Ford Field, Parkinson has worked closely with partners to integrate unique fan offerings into Lions’ game days, such as the Southeast Michigan Ford Fan Tunnel, Henry Ford Health System Game on Cancer 50/50 Raffle and Quicken Loans Dream Seat section. Throughout the stadium, fans now have more food and beverage options than ever before, especially with the inclusion of Detroit and Michigan-based specialties, through the team’s partnership with Levy Restaurants. Outside the stadium, events such as the Lions official tailgate at Pride Plaza on Brush provides fans with exceptional pre-game entertainment options.
These experiences reach farther than just game day as the Lions offer thousands of fans up-close opportunities to see and interact with the team at training camp and events like Taste of the Lions.
Parkinson has been instrumental in the team’s efforts to increase exclusive, value-added options for season ticket members, premium seat members and suite holders.
In 2012, the team launched the organization’s successful Living for the City community philanthropic program. The integrative approach that drives Living for the City focuses on the transformation and improvement of Detroit’s communities through sustainable health and wellness initiatives and community development.
Among the changes she made since joining the Lions included the development and growth of the organization’s corporate communications efforts that publicize the collaborative efforts accomplished by the Lions and the team’s business partners.
Guided by her leadership and changes made since Parkinson joined the club, the Lions now reach several millions of fans through multi-media content published daily on the team’s website, Detroitlions.com, mobile app and through numerous social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Prior to joining the Lions, Parkinson served as the senior vice president of marketing and communications for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, reporting to MEDC President Michael Finney and Governor Rick Snyder. The MEDC serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead agency for business, talent and jobs, tourism, film and digital incentives, arts and cultural grants, and overall economic growth.
In her role at the MEDC, she directed all business and consumer marketing and communications, which included oversight of Travel Michigan, media relations, advertising, events, web development and graphics. She had direct oversight of the award-winning Pure Michigan campaign.
Before joining the MEDC, Parkinson served as director of marketing and public relations for Ann Arbor SPARK, developing and implementing the organization’s integrated marketing and public relations effort. Through aggressive public outreach and targeted advertising, along with the development of digital and social media tools, SPARK was recognized nationally under her leadership.
Parkinson also worked at Edelman Public Relations in Chicago, serving as executive vice president of the Creative Solutions group. She developed, coordinated and executed several creative campaigns for multi-national clients, including: Microsoft, Kraft, KFC, Pizza Hut, FTD, Case IH, Allstate, Abbott, Pfizer, Fuji Film, Mexico Ministry of Tourism, Illinois Board of Tourism, Bacardi, Underwriters Laboratories and Whirlpool.As a graduate from Alma College, Parkinson holds a bachelor of arts degree in marketing and accounting from Alma College. She and her husband, Frank, have four children, Madeline, Isabella, Carmen and Frank. Parkinson has held numerous board positions including the Michigan Travel Commission, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Washtenaw Economic Club and the Arts Alliance. Elizabeth currently serves on the board of trustees for Alma College.
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Tori Petry reports on what the 2015 Lions rookie class did this week outside of learning the playbook to prepare for their careers as pro athletes.