The NFL & Courtyard - Two Power Brands

November 18, 2011

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Brian Orakpo stands 6’3” and 260 pounds.  He came by headquarters to welcome Courtyard as the official sponsor of the NFL.  


I’ve been a longtime Redskins fan, in fact, since 1942.  I’ve seen them win some Super Bowls and I’ve seen them struggle like they’re doing this year.  

Putting a winning team together isn’t easy.  You need to find talent at every position and keep adapting your game plan.  A football coach and a CEO are always drafting or recruiting; they are coaching or mentoring; they are creating new plays or in our case at Marriott, new brands.  

That’s why it’s great that Courtyard is the official hotel sponsor of the NFL.  Marriott invented Courtyard and changed the lodging game.   We saw an opportunity to capture new ground and appeal to the business traveler.  That was way back in 1983.   

Today, the game has changed.  It’s much more competitive as other companies move into the market.  But we continue to innovate, to redesign our lobbies and expand globally.  

Brian and Bill

We call Courtyard our "power" brand.  Brian Orakpo fits that description as an NFL player.  

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.   



Enter Courtyard’s Great NFL Road Tour Sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Super Bowl XLVI and many other great opportunities. 


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I'm rooting for the Redskins today. Why don't you let Orapko loose on the competition. He could tackle an entire hotel building. Great partnership with NFL. I'm going to check out the sweepstakes.

I wish you every success, but it doesn't make sense to me. A budget minded level of hotel chain is sponsoring a league with seriously overpaid players?

You're going to fill a business oriented hotel with a bunch of noisy sports fans?

It's been an honor to read your blog, you are always inspiring me. Mr. Marriott

Even though you are not 6'3" like Brian Orakpo you are a "giant among men". You are a fantastic businessman, a great leader and a wonderful family man. You are like your Dad because you listen to and help your associates. We love staying in your hotels.

Brian Orakpo found a good COURT-YARD, it's a MARRIOTT's one !!!! congratulations !!!!

Wilder Savany

As a High School Golf Coach I agree always looking and building a team that plays smart and with heart. Mr. Marriott I have found that to be true with everyone at any of the three Vacation Club properties I own as well as when staying at all of the lodging brands in the Marriott system.
Last year I stayed in a Marriott property in Bethesda MD while volunteering for the US Open the staff from the front desk to the dining room were wonderful and very helpful. At all times they did their best to make sure I was able to get to Congressional for my volunteer duties. I am looking forward to the 2012 Open in Calf. at the Olympic Club where I will work the next US Open. Have not found lodging yet ...working on it but I look forward to another place to stay that makes me feel at home. Again I have to tell you how wonderful Stan Lewis has been over the years we have worked with him. Stan has always gone the extra mile to make sure we are aware of new opportunities and explain changes to my husband and I. We look forward to every meeting with him. Stan is the symbol for the "vacation club power brand" If you have any ideas on places to stay near the the Olympic Club let me know is all volunteer time I do while working the US Open and I would like to avoid renting a car plus my reward points are low so keep that in mind. Thanking you again for a safe clean place to stay while I am away from home. I know sports teams have fans .... and if hotel brands recognized fans I would be right up there wearing the Marriott logo. peace be with you Debbie

Great analogy. There are definitely many parallels between sports and business. It's great to see how Marriott has figured out how to maintain a winning strategy throughout the years.

Bill - Did you notice even though you were two fee shorter how much Orapko looked up to you? Loved the blog. You definitely changed the rules of the hotel game many times over.