Ford Pro Brand Head is Detroit Lions Superfan

Jan 19, 2024
Lanivich with son Drexel Click to Enlarge

When he’s not at work finding creative ways to bring the Ford Pro brand to life, Iain Lanivich can be found on Facebook, Instagram – and at Ford Field – demonstrating his “super fan” support for the Detroit Lions.

Lanivich, who heads up Ford Pro Brand Creative & Content, was a diehard Lions fan long before it was considered cool to be one. He’s had season tickets since 2000 – when the team was playing at the Pontiac Silverdome – and he stuck with them ever since.

“People go to the games for different reasons. Some like being with their friends. Others like to tailgate. I like to be part of the game,” he said. “Even when we were losing every week, I was screaming on every defensive play because I know sound can impact on offense. If I can do anything as a fan to influence others and make a difference, I’ll do it.” 

Lanivich with daughter Lilla on Jumbotron Click to Enlarge

Lanivich is proud of his Detroit Lions. In fact, he was instrumental in creating the “One Detroit. One Pride” mantra that has become a rallying cry for the team.

“There were two things going on when we launched One Pride. We had big name players on the team like Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson, but the team wasn’t doing well. At the same time, Detroit was filing for bankruptcy, so the city wasn’t doing well,” said Lanivich, who developed the slogan while working as a digital creative director for Campbell Ewald in 2013. 

“When we came up with the idea for One Detroit. One Pride, it was about leveling the playing field to say everyone has a role to play to bring success to our team and our city,” he said. “With sports team, typically they change out their slogans every couple of years. In this case, I think we really hit on something.” 

Lanivich One Pride Click to Enlarge

Lanivich is not the only Lions’ fan in his family. His father Leonard remembers the Lions winning their last championship game in 1957 and his children – Genevieve, Lilla and Drexel – represent the third generation of Lions fans.  

“Genevieve really loves football. She’s a true fan of the game,” said Lanivich. “A long time back she said, if it’s always going to be on in the house, I might as well learn it, so she always asks questions.” 

Lanivich with daughter Genevieve Click to Enlarge

To demonstrate their solidarity with the Lions, the Lanivich clan has been painting their faces for every game since 2012. 

Lanivich first Lions game with daughter Click to Enlarge

“When my wife and I took our daughter Genevieve to her first game, she wanted to get her face painted. They pointed us to the face painting area, and it was almost all kids. My daughter asked me if I wanted to get my face painted too,” Lanivich explained. “I asked the man to make me an angry lion. Little did I know that he was the owner of the face painting company. He wins competitions, and he’s amazing. He transformed me into a super fan, and from that day on the face painting has been like a family ritual.” 

Lanivich Fox NFL with Drexel Click to Enlarge

When the Lions made it into the playoffs, Lanivich added another dimension to his tribute. He colored his hair blue … but it wasn’t the first time.

“My first day at work at Ford two years ago I showed up with blue hair. I’m a creative, and I guess I wanted to make that apparent on day one. Everybody in Ford Pro always asks me to re-dye my hair,” he explained. “So, when the Lions made the playoffs, it was like killing two birds with one stone, making people at work happy and supporting the Lions.”

Whether he’s at work or at a Lions’ game, Lanivich said it’s important to him to give his all.

I think it’s all about finding passion in what you do and trying to make everything the highest quality you can make it. I want to give quality output as a fan in the stadium as much as I want to create quality creative for Ford Pro.
Iain Lanivich

Though he grew up in the suburbs, Lanivich said he considers himself a Detroiter. 

“That’s my team,” he said.  “It’s been a long wait, but I knew at some point things would turn around, and now we’re starting to see that happen.” 

Lanivich said he believes the Lions’ success after so many years is the result of several important puzzle pieces coming together at the right time.

“You have to have the right pieces in place to create the puzzle you want. The Lions have the right people in position – from the front office to the coaching staff to the players – and it’s all working,” he said. “It’s the same type of approach we need to take at Ford, especially as our company moves into new spaces, whether it’s creating new types of products or new types of teams. We need people who understand the puzzle and how it works.”

Lanivich will be at the game on Sunday when the Detroit Lions take on the Tampa Buccaneers.

“Go Lions!” he said.