Family. Football. Financial security. These three themes together create the foundation of a unique new video series launched by Lincoln Financial Group in partnership with the Philadelphia Eagles. Five short videos spotlight the powerful stories of the fans who overcame so much since the pandemic hit and yet still stayed committed to their favorite team, while also demonstrating how they plan, protect and retire with confidence. With the help of Eagles legend Connor Barwin, the series champions the backstories of each featured fan before ending with a personalized tribute that celebrates their unique experience and financial planning journey.
Click here to view the videos.
Creating a dynamic series with such heartfelt stories was no easy task. Lincoln worked alongside the Eagles Fan Services area to review the backstories of many passionate fans to select a few to highlight. Lincoln and agency partner GMR Marketing then filmed the entire series over the course of several nine to 10-hour days at the stadium, Lincoln Financial Field. The videos feature five different fans and their families. Each begins with a fan interview followed by a special surprise appearance by Barwin, who always filmed last to maintain the secrecy. Since retiring from the NFL, Barwin has worked for the Eagles and become heavily involved in the Philadelphia community.
“We chose Connor for the content series because his character and values heavily align with the Lincoln brand – he’s optimistic, a trusted leader and so much more,” said Holly Hettinger, director of Content and Social Media at Lincoln.
Each fan’s interview concludes with Barwin presenting a surprise gift that has a connection to that individual’s backstory. For instance, Ed Dallmann, a former small business owner and recent retiree celebrating his fiftieth year as an Eagles season ticket holder, receives an Eagles jersey emblazoned with the number 50. The Liples family, whose son has spina bifida and plays basketball in a wheelchair, is gifted an autographed basketball from Barwin, who says he plans to attend one of his upcoming basketball games.
“Filming this shoot was different than any other content series we’ve done with the Eagles in the past, since we were working with real Eagles fans and their stories were so genuine and heartwarming,” said Kirk Wilson, consultant, Content Marketing and Social Media with Lincoln. “I became the most emotional when the Liples family was filming and they were discussing their late son Dominic – and then when their other son, Ciarlo, was playing football on the field with his parents. It was a really sweet moment to witness.”
Since 2017, Lincoln Financial has produced an annual content series with the Eagles to help educate fans on the importance of financial planning. While the pandemic mandated a completely virtual production last year, a return to in-person filming generated excitement among the team this time. However, it also required many precautions due to COVID-19.
“We were thankful to film in person this year, even though it meant getting tested each morning and wearing masks at all times, except when families were filming on camera,” said Wilson. “Additionally, filming with fans is different because they aren’t as used to being in front of a camera as Connor or other players. However, they overcame their nervousness each time. They were so excited to film in the stadium, which made the experience much more rewarding for us as well.”
COVID-19 was not the only challenge the crew faced on set. The third day of filming brought a massive and unexpected hailstorm, one which required quick-thinking to relocate the production inside the Eagles tunnel—a decision that ended up providing great diversity in location compared to the previously recorded scenes.
“This was our first year putting the fans in the spotlight instead of only players or team personnel,” says Angela Laubmeier, vice president of Advertising and Sponsorships at Lincoln Financial. “We’re excited to see the reactions of Eagles Nation as they watch their fellow fans’ moving stories, and it’s such a fantastic way to welcome fans back to Lincoln Financial Field!”
Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation and its affiliates, LCN-3766056-091521