As our country is coming back to life in the wake of huge changes to our view of normalcy, it’s really easy to feel lost from a consumer or a business perspective. From the business side of things, we are now being forced to adjust how our products and services are offered to the public, if they can even be offered at all. One of the best things you can do is to stay simple when trying to bring your business back to life and one of the industries that has always done this well is the sports industry.
Now, please take note: during the recent shutdown, even our seemingly impenetrable sports industry took major hits, throwing out group events and even cancelling entire seasons. Sports have now restarted slowly but surely, but with massive restrictions in place. In this case, let’s talk about how sports teams work during a typical year, not one ridden by a pandemic. Sports teams know who their customers are, they have strategies to reach their business goals, and they perpetually work to keep their team branding and story classy, forward-thinking, and endearing. Let’s take the simple key elements of marketing and branding in the sports industry and see how they apply to everybody else.
Look at Team Goals…Multiple Times Per Year
One of the best things sports teams do consistently for their organizations is to reassess their team goals multiple times per year. Even though a sports organization seems like it would have fairly straight forward goals, such as making it to the playoffs or having great players, business can take a turn for the worse quickly, just as it can for organizations of other sorts. Sports teams teach us to simply step back repeatedly through the year and see if our company goals are still applicable given the current state of affairs:
- Are we reaching our clients and satisfying them with our products and services?
- Are our financials or statistics looking good enough to keep our investor group happy?
- Is our core story and message still appealing to our clientele?
As we experienced a societal shutdown recently, there has never been a better time to reassess your company goals, seeing if anything needs to be adjusted in or out to better fit the needs of your clientele, investors, and fans.
Keeping communications streamlined
Sports teams are amazing at keeping their communications inspiring and streamlined, both externally to clientele, fans, and investors, as well as internally among the players and staff. Again, this is a rather simple tactic that applies to companies of all types. Some questions to consider:
- Has the CEO shared their vision for the company’s future with their team? Is the team aware of the long-term and short-term goals of the company?
- Do you have a new product or service that you’re trying to gain attention for? Or has your company completed groundbreaking research that would entice investors or customers?
- Are the public-facing members of the team familiar with what to share, or what not to share, with your audience?
Another thing that sports teams are excellent at is keeping cards to the chest, meaning keeping information private until approved by management to release it. For example, teams will withhold information about player trading from the media until contract details have been hammered out, as to not appear overly confident. The same rule applies to businesses of all types: Carefully sharing information at the right time will keep your company image strong, and the only way to do that is to keep your employees very clearly informed as to what is shareable and what is to be kept private.
Making Adjustments to Your Company to Fit the New Normal
Sports organizations rely more heavily than almost any other type of business on continuously looking for changes to make to achieve ultimate success. In sports, this can mean anything from trading key players, to redesigning logos, to community outreach events. Put into perspective, this again can apply to businesses of all types:
- Are your “star players” still producing for your company?
- Are they delivering your company’s story proudly to your clientele?
- Can they adjust to the needs of the business in this new normal business environment, or do they need to be retrained or perhaps replaced?
These are hard decisions to make, but also crucial to the wellbeing of your business and team. During times of change, your business will need to look inside itself, maintaining and operating off of its core story and values. These societal changes may take time to adjust to, so maintain strong internal communications, stick to the key principles of your company, and test run new business strategies as needed. On the other side, if your business model isn’t having any trouble operating as it always has, consider either carrying on status quo or perhaps adding some bonus offerings to your model. When society goes through great change, new needs will arise, and perhaps this will even bring about new opportunities for your business.
Sports marketing is a simple but extremely effective model that applies to businesses of all types. At the heart of sports marketing is Creative Blue’s keystone methodology: strategic storytelling. When resetting and refreshing, businesses can do nothing better for themselves than to deeply invest in their core story and branding. Look at times of societal upheaval as an opportunity to step back, take a deep breath, and look at the heart and soul of your company. At Creative Blue, establishing our clients’ core story is the linchpin that makes virtually any form of communication more simple, meaningful, and effective. Once a company’s story is firmly set in place, the tools are there to take that business anywhere it wants to go, with their key audience standing right by their side.