With few exceptions, Adland can only dream of creating brands powerful as team sports. But we must always try.

June 16, 2015

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The Chicago Black Hawks have won Lord Stanley’s Cup (again) and the Golden State Warriors are poised to win their first title in 40 years. By way of geography, these are both teams  I am vested in. I grew up in Chicago. For the last three years, I’ve called the Bay Area my home. In those scant three years, I have also witnessed the San Francisco Giants take a pair of World Series. On the other hand, over 40 years in Chicago and my neighborhood Cubs have nothing to show for it. Will this be their year?

Worldwide, few commercial brands engender such passion as professional sports teams. Perhaps Apple and Nike in its heyday. Guinness in Europe. One could make a case for Virgin airlines.

But really, nothing matches the unmitigated passion we see when it comes to professional sports. To fans of this team or that, those jerseys and those logos mean everything.

Whenever I begin an engagement with a new or potential client, one who is looking for a new identity or campaign, I always tell them it is incumbent upon us to show them their brand as if it were a winning sports team. Externally and internally, I want everyone who encounters their goods, their logo, to feel it as if it belonged to a team. I ask would you wear this campaign like a jersey?

It’s asking a lot, I know. But isn’t that the brief? If our/their idea doesn’t feel like a tee shirt they would wear on Saturday to the gym, what good is it?

3 Responses to “With few exceptions, Adland can only dream of creating brands powerful as team sports. But we must always try.”

    • I really like the brand point of view in this article. It is so true that no one feels more dedicated to a logo than that special home team sports logo. No matter what consumers will by products with the logo, wear the logo; even paint the logo all over their bodies. Therefore, the author makes a great point that all advertisers should think of their new marketing campaign as that class sports team logo. The line, “If our/their idea doesn’t feel like a t-shirt they would wear on Saturday to the gym, what good is it?” could not be more perfect and true. Advertisers need to think what their consumers will be proud to wear and represent, so if that means working a little harder to make sure of that then be it. It’ll go a lot longer in the future if the consumer is proud of the company they’re buying from or supporting.

      Molly Kind-Rubin
      A.B. Freeman Business School Student, Tulane University

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