Friday Forum – AMB Sports + Entertainment
Michael Benford - Creative Director
#CircusForum The Creative Circus hosts special guests every Friday as part of our Friday Forum Series.
Michael Benford – ECD at AMB Sports + Entertainment
Michael Benford, was hired by the Atlanta Falcons in 2002, becoming the organization’s first in-house designer. His early work centered around designing and producing content for atlantafalcons.com, and the value of having an in-house design professional quickly became apparent; even Benford’s early work conveyed the grander visions of both the Falcons organization and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.
As the organization continued experiencing its own substantial changes, Benford’s experience with branding, coupled with his creative direction and managing skills, helped chart the course. This ever-changing role was strengthened by each challenge and new project he led the Creative Services Group through, and his ability to unite internal, external, and agency talent to get the job done, generated even more opportunities.
Benford and his creative teams excelled at staying ahead of traditional and non-traditional media trends, but in 2011, he took it all a step further by becoming the team’s new game-day photographer. Already deeply-passionate about photography, Benford created this opportunity for himself in order to capture the brand through his images, and he reimagined game-day photography in the process. He recently added the role of managing photography for the Falcons, Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Atlanta United.
Benford also created the look and feel of the annual Falcons Rise Up campaigns, several team publications, created an immersive fan experience for the teams Super Bowl LI headquarters in Houston, launched various premium seating campaigns and created the team’s first-ever style guide to standardize the brand and the vision it serves. A huge opportunity was seized by Benford and the AMB Sports & Entertainment Group Creative Team in 2015 as they left their indelible imprint on the organization and created the logo that would be used for Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The process included capturing the identity package needed to serve the Mercedes-Benz naming rights deal while introducing the “personality of the building in a clean and modern way.” Today, it is considered one of the 13 best stadium logos in the world.
He directed the creative for way-finding, sponsor integration, food and beverage and environmental graphics as part of his development of the design language of the dazzling $1.5 billion venue, and also oversaw the award winning creative efforts behind the launch of Arthur Blank’s new MLS franchise, Atlanta United, in 2017.
Benford has served as the Creative Director of AMB Sports + Entertainment since 2016 and continues to lead a team of internal and external design professionals and agency partners to drive visibility and value for the organization and brand.
Friday, August 9th at 11:45 AM
These events are open to the public (mandatory for students, of course) so if you’re in the neighborhood, come by and enjoy what Benford has to say!
Guests, check in at the front desk.