The Houston Texans public relations staff has been selected as the 2012 Pete Rozelle Award winners
by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).
The Texans, the 23rd Rozelle Award winners, earned the award for the third time in the past six seasons and the fourth time overall (2004, 2007, 2010, 2012), the most among NFL club public relations departments.
The other finalists were the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers.
The Rozelle Award is given to the NFL club public relations staff that consistently strives for excellence in its dealings and relationships with the media. The award is named for Rozelle, NFL commissioner from 1960-89, who started his distinguished career in sports PR roles as a student at both Compton (Calif.) Junior College and the University of San Francisco. After two more years as USF’s assistant athletic director after graduation, he broke into the NFL as the PR director of the Los Angeles Rams from 1952-55. Rozelle used his PR principles as commissioner to build relationships with the media during a period of unprecedented growth and challenge for the league.
Houston’s PR department is led by Kevin Cooper (senior director of communications), assisted by Evan Koch (communications manager), Zac Emmons (corporate communications manager), Charles Hampton (communications coordinator) and Brett Maikowski (intern). Cooper, who just completed his second season in charge of the club’s PR efforts, has been a part of all four Rozelle Award-winning Texans PR staffs.
“They make you feel as if every one of their games is a home contest for you,” said PFWA member Clark Judge, NFL columnist for CBSSports.com. “They find you immediately when you arrive on game day, ask what you need, then respond to your requests. I always evaluate staffs by how quickly they respond, and I always, always, always get a response from these guys within minutes of my request. Plus, they’re extraordinarily accommodating.”
ABOUT THE PFWA: The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) is the official voice of pro football writers, promoting and fighting for access to NFL personnel to best serve the public. The PFWA is made up of accredited writers who cover the NFL and the 32 teams on a daily basis. The Buffalo News’ Mark Gaughan, who covers the Buffalo Bills, is the organization’s president for 2011-13. The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter, who covers the Atlanta Falcons, is the first vice president for 2011-13. The Denver Post’s Jeff Legwold, who covers the Denver Broncos, is the second vice president for 2011-13. Follow the PFWA on Twitter at @PFWAwriters.
PETE ROZELLE AWARD WINNERS (to the club public relations department that consistently strives for excellence in its dealings and relationships with the media): 1990 – Denver Broncos; 1991 – Pittsburgh Steelers; 1992 – Seattle Seahawks; 1993 – Miami Dolphins; 1994 – Houston Oilers; 1995 – New York Giants; 1996 – Indianapolis Colts; 1997 – St. Louis Rams; 1998 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers; 1999 – Miami Dolphins; 2000 – Tennessee Titans; 2001 – New York Giants; 2002 – Philadelphia Eagles; 2003 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers; 2004 – Houston Texans; 2005 – Philadelphia Eagles; 2006 – Cincinnati Bengals; 2007 – Houston Texans; 2008 – Seattle Seahawks; 2009 – Arizona Cardinals; 2010 – Houston Texans; 2011 – Baltimore Ravens; 2012 – Houston Texans.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog