We spoke with Erik Ayers, VP of Marketing at MorganFranklin Corporation, about his company’s new website Pivotal PlaysTM in Business & Government. The financial management, performance improvement, and national security solutions provider launched www.pivotalplays.com in the fall of 2010. Just like play-of-the-game highlights in sports, Pivotal Plays features game-changing decisions and innovations in industry and government. The action-packed site offers readers real-time information on key players in the marketplace through business news stories, Twitter updates, and “Pivotal Play of the Game” video highlights from Comcast SportsNet.

Q: Tell our readers more about Pivotal Plays. 

The website showcases organizations and personnel that are making headlines by turning challenges into winning results. By aligning business and sports themes, the site recognizes key innovations and innovators—often unsung heroes who have performed pivotal plays within business and government. Using public information sources, we explain why each pivotal play was chosen and take an unbiased approach to recognizing impressive results related to management, innovation, strategy, and technology. We hope to see this effort continue to grow as we spotlight new and exciting pivotal plays in the marketplace, bringing to light positive news in industry and government. 

Q: Why did MorganFranklin see a need to launch Pivotal Plays? 

For several years, MorganFranklin has sponsored “Pivotal Play of the Game” highlights during Washington Capitals and Wizards games on Comcast SportsNet. Things like teamwork, strategy, and skill are key to winning in sports. The same holds true when talking about performance, collaboration, and discipline in commercial, government, and community-based organizations. Pivotal plays don’t just happen in sports, they happen in business and government too. 

These are challenging times, but every day, business and government organizations are making tough decisions and choosing to turn challenges into opportunities. It’s time to celebrate these pivotal plays so that business and government leaders get the recognition they deserve. We can all learn from their struggles and successes. Through knowledge sharing and best practices, more business leaders will emerge and the marketplace will continue to grow and excel. 

Q: How can our readers get involved in Pivotal Plays content and discussions?  

When you witness a pivotal play, we’d like to hear about it. Pivotal Plays is an interactive site, and we invite readers to nominate organizations or business leaders for their pivotal plays—even if you want to nominate yourself. Readers can submit a brief form describing a play that is worthy of recognition. All entries will be considered, so check the site often to see if your play makes it to the top spot. You can also follow us on Twitter at @PivotalPlays

Q: What are other interesting features of Pivotal Plays? 

Pivotal Plays brings together sports and business in a fun way. While you read about news in the marketplace, you can also check out videos from Comcast SportsNet showcasing the latest “Pivotal Play of the Game” highlights from the Washington Capitals and Wizards games. Or if you aren’t near a computer, tune in to D.C. sports radio 106.7 The Fan to hear about the website’s newest pivotal plays. In the future, we also envision hosting several live events to celebrate the top playmakers and pivotal plays in business, government, and community-based organizations. 

Q: What does it take to be recognized as a Pivotal Play? 

Capital One was recently featured on the site, and they continue to make pivotal plays. At the ACG monthly meeting on Jan. 21, Murray Abrams, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development at Capital One, spoke about the recent acquisition of Chevy Chase Bank. I loved when he described the acquisition opportunity as a “freak of nature.” It was a great opportunity with many positive attributes—the type of deal that doesn’t come along too often. 

Although the market was struggling, Capital One saw the value in a great brand with a dominant local presence. What’s not to like about an opportunity to acquire a dominant banking brand in one of the country’s wealthiest and most resilient economies? Not to mention the fact that Chevy Chase was in Capital One’s backyard. They could see Chevy Chase, experience it, and connect with it on a local level, and they liked what they saw. It’s clear there were risks involved with the deal—and some may still exist—but Capital One applied discipline in its due diligence and explored all angles. Although the economic environment was challenging, Capital One saw real opportunity through a forest of fallen trees. 

With the acquisition of Chevy Chase, Capital One has furthered its diversification strategy. Time will tell if they captured a pure gem, but one thing is for sure: they made a bold move in an environment where others retreated. MorganFranklin calls that a Pivotal Play.