Feb 29, 2024 - Business

Communicator Spotlight: Nancy Elder, CCO of the New York Mets

Photo illustration of Nancy Elder surrounded by a pattern made up of the NY Mets insignia.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals/Axios. Photo: Courtesy of the New York Mets

As the first-ever chief communications officer of the New York Mets, Nancy Elder is focused on the team's broader mission off the field.

Why it matters: Elder is tasked with taking an iconic team with an active fan base and retooling how it thinks about itself as a brand, not just a baseball team.

πŸ—£What she's saying: Communications is a conduit to fans, and players, coaches and executives prioritize that.

  • "Some of these guys have done more interviews than I have," Elder told Axios. "They have communicated any number of things β€” whether they're on a hot streak, or whether they're working through an injury or having a slump or whether they're talking about a partnership or foundation work. ... It is as important as the game they play because it's a way for them to connect directly with fans."

πŸ“How she got here: Before joining the Mets, Elder held chief communications officer roles at Mattel, JetBlue and most recently global sports streaming service DAZN.

πŸ— How it's structured: She reports to M. Scott Havens, president of business operations, and oversees a team of nine who manage baseball public relations, internal communications and communication strategy for everything that happens off the field β€” like the fan experience, philanthropy and community engagement.

⚾️ Biggest challenge: Keeping momentum when the team isn't playing well.

  • "We're here to win ballgames and hopefully win a World Series a couple of times, but we do so many other things that impact the community, and [during downtimes] is when it's important to remind fans of that," says Elder.

πŸ“ˆ Trend spot: She has noticed the "trend of businesses deepening their connection with the community β€” moving from sort of philanthropic, CSR stuff into real social impact."

🍽 Content plate: She recently binged "Better Call Saul" and just finished reading "Trust" by Hernan Diaz.

🧠 Best advice: Work hard to stay in touch.

  • "When you have an opportunity to connect with someone, and you really do connect with them β€” and I'm not just talking about a random LinkedIn connection, but you actually get on with them over lunch, coffee or Zoom β€” and there is a real connection or a shared interest, then you should make an effort to stay in touch with them."
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