Business, Marketing, Sports Business

The Sports Executives Dream…

January 20, 2012

When it comes to sports, there are two points of views that it can be viewed from. The first is from a fans perspective and the second is from those who work on getting the actual sporting events to happen. From a fans perspective, sports is as close to an emotional roller-coaster as you can get. From your favorite team driving in the winning run to a buzzer beater shot that sends one team home and the other to the big dance, fans enjoy the luxury of being able to watch athletically gifted individuals come together on a grand stage.

On the flip side of things, sports executives that are involved with the marketing, sales, and organization as whole have a different perspective than that of the fan.  Past all the glitz and glamor, what it all comes down to is that it’s still a business. From the promotions that need to hit its’ numbers to the press release that needs to be done before deadline, the world of a sports executive is full of hurdles, surprises, and twists. Just how Alice entered the rabbit hole toward an unknown adventure, the sports world never ceases to surprise those who enter it.

With that said, we present the question of what a sports executive would ask for if they could have everything go the way they wanted? While everyone wants something different, here 5 ideas on what a sport executives dream might be:

1. Facebook Would Be Easy To Understand

Hate or love it, Facebook isn’t going anywhere. For sports executives, embracing Facebook can be difficult because of the simple fact that Facebook’s Promotional Guidelines cause so much friction because of their lack of clarity when it comes to determining what is and what isn’t a violation. For sports executives and teams, this is especially troublesome as the next level of engagement for teams when it comes to maximizing their digital fan base is through contests and promotions via social platforms like Facebook.

2. League Rules Would Be More Flexible

When it comes to great ideas, there isn’t a lack of them in sports. The problem though that so few of them see the light of day. For sports executives that are looking for ways to maximize their resources and talents, league rules can sometimes create barriers that impede progress. In the ideal world, leagues would work hand in hand with sports executives and teams, giving them more freedom to be creative and leniency to try new strategies.

3. A Mobile Marketing Strategy Would Be Easy

With an expected jump in the number of consumers with smartphones this year, finding a way into the mobile market will become a hot topic for sports teams. While few would make an argument against the viral nature of the  mobile space, what is up for debate is whether it’s worth it financially and also more importantly, if it’s even feasible given both league restrictions as well as the difficulty in creating a single application/mobile strategy that will appease all parts of an organization.

4. What’s A Lockout?

Eliminating the possibility of a lockout is an ideal situation not only for a sports executive, but for fans as well. While potential lockouts irk fans, sports organizations must tread lightly with decisions they make when a lockout is imminent, such as the case with the NBA lockout looming next season. These decisions include a multitude of areas including hiring personnel and budget cuts.

5. Digital Sponsorship Are Easy

One of the biggest question marks going into 2011 is the direction sports teams will take when it comes to digital sponsorships. While sponsorship teams have had mild success when it comes to selling CPM and standard sponsorship space on their team sites, sponsorships teams need to begin focusing their attention on social media assets and distribution as well as developing exclusive digital content that are sponsor eligible. For sports executives, educating and bringing in the right talent that know how to effectively sell digital sponsorship would be the perfect situation.

Personal Branding

Get Your Game Face On

January 1, 2012

Whether your Michael Jordan or the guy that pretends he is, everyone has a ‘game face.’ Game face, which by Wikipedia’s definition is “the expression of one who is prepared for or is facing a lot of difficult and/or undesirable work, especially when it is imminent,” doesn’t just represent a visual expression of what’s to come, but also a specific mindset. When we say mindset, we are referring specifically to an individuals mental toughness when dealing with any and all tasks. In the business world in particular, an individuals ‘game face’ can be the difference between success and failure.

What Your Game Face Says About You

While an individuals ‘game face’ is commonly associated with competitive sports, its evident in any situation where a competitive element is present. From taking tests at school to finishing off an important presentation for work, a ‘game face’ doesn’t just tell people that you are ready for the task at hand, it lets others know that you welcome the challenge.

While it was mentioned earlier that everyone has a ‘game face,’ not everyone shows it. Although there is nothing wrong with this, one of the most valuable attributes in the business world is an individuals desire to do more and a willingness to accept any challenge. Using that logic, the sooner an individual is able to put forth their ‘game face,’ the more valuable they become.

Remember, ‘game face’ isn’t just a visual expression, it can also be a specific mindset when given a difficult situation.

Why We Think of Sports First

As previously stated, when people hear the word ‘game face’ they think of sports. So much has sports come to be associated with the term that we rarely think about what the actual meaning of a menacing scowl or a piercing stare from an athlete represents.

While at first glance ones ‘game face’ might appear to be a reflection of ones current state of mind, it goes beyond that and digs deeper into the individuals character and emotions. One way to think of the term ‘game face’ is to associate it with one’s mettle or ability to cope with difficult situations. From Kobe Bryant grinding his teeth together during crunch time to Tiger Woods stern expression when staring down a fairway, there is no other arena aside from sports that can create an emotional roller-coaster the way that sports does.

Step Up to the Plate

You don’t have to be a superstar athlete to have a game face. In fact, you don’t need to be an athlete at all. The business world is full of situations where ones game face is put to the test. For some, it’s harder than others to actually show it, but it’s something that everyone should work toward. Focus, mental toughness, preparedness; these are all part of one’s ‘game face.’ It doesn’t matter what yours looks like. What’s more important is that you actually show it when the situation arises.  Similar to sports and how athletes compete against each other to gain an edge, the business world is as many would say, “a dog eat dog world.” With that said, how will you deal with the challenges that you encounter everyday?

Here’s some advice: Don’t back down from a challenge, welcome it.


Business, Marketing

Should Your Business Sell Everything?

January 1, 2012

As a business continues to grow in sales, there comes a point when a business needs to decide whether they should expand their product line offering or if they should continue to work with what they have. While there are many reasons why a business could benefit from expansion, there are also many reasons why it may actually hurt a business.

In the perfect world, the more you have to offer, the more valuable you are. Unfortunately, that is not the case. When a company begins to expand their product line, a business could be endangering their brand identity.

It’s Not For Everyone

Although expanding may seem like the best strategy, the truth is that expanding posses problems from a marketing standpoint if not done correctly.

To understand the possible implications of product line expansion, we will use Company X as an example.

Company X has built a reputation of building great copy machines. They have built a solid foundation in the minds of consumers, but now they have decided to expand to building computers, fax machines, and other electronic accessories. Although they are now able to penetrate existing markets, the big question is whether or not they can dominate it in the same fashion as they did with copy machines. In most cases, the answer is no. By expanding the product line and offerings, Company X has disoriented consumers. They are no longer relevant in the minds of consumers for any specific product or service, but are rather identified as selling a lot of ’stuff.’ Remember, there is never a demand for ’stuff.’

Don’t Sell Stuff, Sell Your Brand

While the obvious counter to Company X is to bring up examples like Target and Walmart, we must remember that they aren’t known for selling ‘stuff.’ They are known for selling many consumer products at a low cost. Similarly Costco sells many different product, but again they aren’t known for selling ‘stuff,’ they are known for selling products in bulk.

If you look at some of the leading companies that offer a wide range of products to consumers, what you will find is that none of them are known for selling ‘stuff.’ Rather, they are known for selling a particular type. Just how Costco is known for selling goods in bulk and Target at affordable prices, businesses that consider expanding their product offering need to determine what their message will be to consumers.

3 Questions To Ask Before Expanding

1. How much market share do you currently have with your current product offering/service line?

2. Do you have the resources to compete in other product/service market?

3. How will you change your marketing/branding efforts to support your new product lines?

Personal Branding

How To Build An Online Presence By Blogging In Two Easy Steps

December 27, 2011

When it comes to blogging, it doesn’t matter what your company does or what area it operates in. Writing a blog gives anybody the opportunity to maintain a global online presence. For example, say you were to look for an auto dealer in the Yellow Pages. You would find several businesses in your local area. However, if you type “auto dealer” into a search engine, you’ll get results from every corner of the world.

The Internet makes today’s business markets even more accessible. Blogging is a tool that allows businesses to cater to their potential clients on an online platform. Maintaining a blog can help a company website climb the ranks of global search engines while simultaneously providing a narrow focus to local consumers. Two key approaches allow business owners to establish a successful blog.

1. Provide new content frequently

Search engine algorithms are constantly changing, but a few points tend to be consistent. Among them is a desire to see new content on a website. The logic behind this is that if a site is updated regularly then it’s an “active” website. A site that’s never updated could potentially be seen as old and irrelevant, which can adversely affect search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. Updating a company blog frequently as an extension of the site allows business owners keep their websites current.

Though keyword rankings are crucial for a company to maintain a solid online presence, blogs should not used for SEO purposes alone. A person visiting a site feels the same way about new content. New content is not only an indicator of how active a website is, but also how active and informed a company is.

2. Hone your writing focus.

To keep a consistent audience, you’ll need to fine tune the exact content you plan to provide. The goal of blogging for a specific audience isn’t about hard selling. No one wants to read a blog that’s simply a filler for advertisement. By making your blog a place to educate your customers, your enterprise will gain recognition as being an industry authority.

Let’s go back to the auto dealer example:

You observe an increased need for used cars in your local market. You’ve already listed “used cars” as your company’s specialty on your website, but you want to make that information more accessible to potential customers. Your blog is a great way to highlight additional content about both the global auto industry and your local market. You might start by writing an entry on a new industry trend. A few days later you can write a post what it takes to be a licensed auto dealer in your state, making sure to include in keywords like “licensed,” “auto dealer bond” and “work history.” Another entry could describe the different kinds of warranties you provide when people buy a used car from your dealership.

The Internet puts the global marketplace at our fingertips, which makes it even more important for a business to find its niche. Through regular blogging with a focused narrative you can build a strong roster of regular customers.

This article was provided by Kristen Bradley of Surety, a nationwide surety bond producer. Surety works with a number of marketing firms that develop comprehensive online marketing strategies. The agency promotes effective online approaches to entrepreneurs and business owners to help them succeed with their professional ventures.