Meet Will Misselbrook, a visionary creative leader with an extraordinary track record in content, marketing, and branding across diverse industries and elite platforms. With over two decades of expertise, Will has steered remarkable transformations, notably serving as the Chief Creative and Content Officer for the MLS team LA Galaxy and AEG. His leadership extends across creative strategy, execution, and innovation, shaping unparalleled experiences for fans and partners.
Before his tenure with LA Galaxy, Will spearheaded the historic NFL team rebrand for the Washington Commanders, generating an unprecedented $87.3 billion impressions and 65 million views on launch day. Under his stewardship, the establishment of the NFL’s inaugural branded entertainment studio, Washington Branded, witnessed a remarkable surge, amplifying the audience base and branded content revenue by 250% within a mere 18 months.
Throughout his career, Will has left an indelible mark at acclaimed agencies and media giants like Wieden & Kennedy, Saatchi & Saatchi, BBH USA, Coach, Condé Nast, and The Wall Street Journal, crafting award-winning content and marketing campaigns for diverse audiences and esteemed clients.
His mission at LA Galaxy and AEG is driven by an unwavering commitment to deliver engaging, relevant, and impactful experiences. Passionate about storytelling, innovation, and culture, Will is dedicated to inspiring and empowering teams to achieve excellence and drive impactful results.
Explore the insights and expertise of this seasoned creative maestro as we delve into the artistry behind unforgettable experiences and brand transcendence.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started in your field?
Well, I’m a Brit and grew up in London. I moved to the States about 14 years ago – living in New York for 11 years and the rest has been in LA.
I started my career over two decades ago, beginning in production as a music video and commercials producer—an incredible and challenging introduction to the world of storytelling. I got into this by writing hundreds of emails, and letters and making phone calls to get my foot in the door as a production assistant. The persistence, thankfully, paid off and I joined a production company where I was lucky to have moved up to producer quickly.
Progressing to the agency side, I spent a decade with Creative Agencies such as Wieden & Kennedy, Saatchi & Saatchi, and then BBH in New York, refining my skills in crafting compelling and disruptive storytelling.
Around nine years ago, I shifted my focus to true cross-platform storytelling and immersive experiences. Transitioning to the media side, with Conde Nast, Wall Street Journal, and retail giant Coach, provided invaluable insights into consumer content consumption, shaping my approach to creating relevant and resonant stories.
My current dual role is Chief Creative Officer and Chief Brand Officer for the MLS team LA Galaxy and AEG. Here I lead Galaxy Studios, an in-house brand entertainment studio. As part of the senior leadership team, I spearhead initiatives to diversify the brand, overseeing all aspects of content, creative, production, marketing, gameday events, and brand development.
Prior to this, I served as the Chief Creative Officer and Chief Marketing Officer for the NFL team Washington Commanders, where I was the first-ever Chief Creative Officer for an NFL team. I was fortunate to help orchestrate the most successful team rebranding effort in NFL history, generating 87.3 billion impressions and 65 million views on launch day alone.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career, and how did you overcome them?
I consistently leverage diverse aspects of my learning and past roles when embracing new opportunities, a principle that holds true when transitioning from the realm of media and entertainment to the world of sports, having worked with both NFL and, more recently, MLS teams. I never saw myself working in Sports, but my career journey led me here – so I’d always tell others to be open to anything, don’t pigeonhole yourself into one specific role, and see where it takes you!
I perceive every career shift not as a challenge, but as an opportunity for growth. Early in my professional journey, I was advised against taking a job for which I was perfectly qualified, as it might lead to boredom and lack of challenge. This philosophy has guided my approach throughout.
The challenge on the media side lies in catering to a diverse audience base, particularly at Conde Nast and WSJ, where I worked across various publications. Creating cross-platform content for distinct audiences within a saturated content space demands cutting through the noise to deliver entertainment and information at the highest levels. Creating content people want to watch versus being forced to watch.
My current role has seamlessly integrated elements from my past experiences. Understanding our fans, general sports enthusiasts, and the broader content-consuming audience enables me to develop compelling cross-platform initiatives and experiences. These initiatives not only entertain our fan base but also align with social and cultural trends, diversifying our brand narrative.
Constantly challenging myself and my team, I strive to identify shared value interests between the brands we collaborate with, our fans, and our players. This involves creating meaningful content and partnership programs that enhance relationships. The goal is to be platform-agnostic and audience-agnostic, focusing on the passions of each stakeholder to craft authentic and meaningful content.
What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned throughout your career, and how have they influenced your approach to leadership?
It is essential always to be attentive, stay curious, and invest time in immersing oneself in a wide range of content and storytelling. Regardless of the brand or industry, I make a consistent effort each week to explore creative branding initiatives from around the globe. This exploration serves as a wellspring of inspiration. To truly stand out and connect on a profound level, we must go beyond our immediate organizational context and peer into diverse realms. This involves looking beyond our own teams and understanding activities in unrelated categories to discern what strategies are effective and why.
Employing data and social listening tools allows us to tap into relevant and impactful cultural trends. By applying this methodology, we can enhance our content strategies. The goal is to forge meaningful connections that cut through the noise and resonate with our fans and audiences, regardless of their location. This entails extending our focus beyond the confines of our organization and exploring what resonates outside of our immediate sphere.
My approach involves not adhering to conventional marketing norms, we strive to make a distinctive impact by establishing a connected narrative that extends into diverse categories. You also must take risks. Educated risks. Over the past six months, our culture, society, lifestyles, and interpersonal dynamics have undergone substantial transformations. Adapting to these changes, I consistently strive to comprehend these societal shifts. My goal is to anticipate compelling stories across diverse platforms and mediums that will captivate audience interest. This pursuit is driven by both curiosity and a keen awareness of what resonates with me personally, aligning with my values and priorities, and channeling these elements into creative endeavors.
Contemporary consumers no longer seek traditional marketing; instead, they desire to be part of a meaningful conversation, educated, and entertained simultaneously. To connect with them emotionally, creative marketing must revolve around socially and culturally relevant topics that fascinate, engage, and elicit emotions. The conventional method of merely presenting content no longer suffices; it is essential to approach creative marketing with a focus on subjects that captivate and entertain consumers while evoking genuine feelings. This involves tapping into ongoing conversations or cultural moments that influence decision-making, provoke emotions, or instigate change. Creative expression can take various forms, such as comedy, infotainment, drama, fiction, or documentary, whether it’s for marketing a product, brand, or TV show.
One thing that people don’t know about you?
I broke my cheekbone playing rugby when I was about 20 years old and have a metal plate now across my cheekbone!
What advice would you give to young professionals or entrepreneurs who are just starting out in your field?
Never cease to challenge yourself, and don’t shy away from stepping out of your comfort zone, whether in your professional role or personal life. Actively seek connections across various job sectors; you never know who might transition to a significant role elsewhere and remember you. Attend events, job functions, panel talks—anything that allows you to broaden your network.
When evaluating a job opportunity, consider the key factors: your job title, your relationship with your boss, the compensation, and the potential for the role to challenge you and facilitate your growth toward your desired career destination.
Thank you, Will, for an illuminating dive into your incredible career journey! Your openness about navigating diverse industries and seamlessly transitioning across roles has been truly inspiring.
Learning from your experiences and the diverse challenges you’ve embraced along the way offers invaluable insights that will undoubtedly guide aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs in the field.
Your advice to remain curious, challenge oneself, and actively cultivate connections resonates deeply, showcasing the importance of continuous growth and an ever-expanding network.
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