Brand Strategy

Kaseya’s unorthodox approach to finding job applicants: putting its name on the Miami Heat arena

CMO Mike Sanders said the IT software company was relatively unheard of before getting involved with the team. “That changed overnight.”
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David Alvarez/Miami Heat

4 min read

Kaseya is trying to hire 3,400 people in three years. Instead of just posting job openings on LinkedIn, the IT software company took things a step further: Buying the naming rights to the Miami Heat’s arena.

The arena officially became known as Kaseya Center this summer after a stint as the FTX Arena, just a few months after Mike Sanders was promoted to CMO of the company. It was his idea to go after the naming rights—admittedly “opportunistic” given the crash of FTX, he said—but the move seems to be paying off already. It probably helped that the Heat made it to the NBA Finals not long after the news of the new arena name broke, he noted.

“We were the largest company in Miami that nobody had heard of, and that changed overnight,” Sanders told Marketing Brew. “I’ve gotten people reaching out to us from Australia, from Poland, from the UK, reaching out for opportunities that have specifically mentioned the naming rights.”

Not my first rodeo

Though he’s CMO, Sanders hasn’t taken a traditional marketing path throughout his career. During a prior stint at Kaseya, he held multiple sales roles, which have informed how he approaches marketing.

“I love the idea of building a real partnership with sales…and being able to come in with a lot of knowledge and a lot of credibility when it comes to the things that we’re doing in marketing and how they impact sales,” he said.

For instance, Sanders sees a sales opportunity tied to the arena name. Kaseya is in the business of selling IT tools, primarily to small companies. A little publicity doesn’t hurt when pitching them.

“When it comes to what we’re doing in the B2B space, there’s obviously a huge advantage when we’re selling into any company if they recognize the name,” Sanders said.

If all goes to plan, that name recognition will also help Kaseya, which currently has almost 5,000 employees, staff up. Its hiring push comes after the company struck an economic incentive deal with Miami-Dade County, which grants the company up to $4.6 million if it creates 3,400 jobs paying $107,000 on average in three years.

Remember the name

The arena naming rights could help Kaseya meet that goal by upping its brand awareness, a major KPI for many brands that do sports sponsorships. “People want to work somewhere they’ve heard of,” Sanders said.

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So when the Heat arena naming rights came up for grabs, considering Kaseya is headquartered in Miami, “we had to take advantage,” Sanders said. As part of the deal, $83 million of the $117 million will go toward a gun violence prevention program in Miami-Dade that the county had initially partnered with FTX on. Sanders declined to share further details about Kaseya’s marketing budget.

Sanders said the program could also help the company from a hiring perspective. “From a purely commercial sense, having an awesome community around you makes it easier to convince people to move here, makes it easier to find people to recruit,” he said. “So there’s a business case for it, as there always is when you make an investment of this size, but it’s also the right thing to do.”

Kaseya is already seeing ROI, including a 64% uptick in the number of applications for Miami-based jobs in the two months after the new signs went up, according to Sanders. Nielsen Sports calculated the media value for in-stadium assets appearing on linear TV ahead of the NBA Finals to be $8.6 million, according to Kaseya.

For a 17-year deal, hiring 3,000+ people in three years is a fairly short-term goal. Beyond that, Sanders said Kaseya is looking to brand build around the concept of “powered by Kaseya,” which he said is “akin to what Intel did with ‘Intel Inside,’” a campaign that helped the company establish its reputation with everyday users.

“That’s something that’s going to take more time,” he said.

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