8 Things Football Teaches Us About Marketing

It’s that time again—the time when Brian and thousands of other die-hard fans devote countless hours to football. The NFL has done a tremendous job getting people revved up and paying out for the sport they love to watch. So how can we learn by their example…?

1. Enthusiasm Rules.

Show that your business has a personality, that it has energy and purpose, and you’ll strengthen the bond you have with your clients and colleagues. Start a blog, jazz up your homepage, create great email campaigns, anything to get people talking.

2. Be a Fan.

Get out there and interact! Join sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, and comment on social media pages and blogs in your industry. Meet people in your field, both in your local area and beyond; show some love for their businesses and you’ll get some back.

3. Go to Training Camp.

If you’re thinking of branching out into social media, blogging, pay-per-click advertising, or other unfamiliar territory for the first time, spend some time looking at examples that are already out there. There are TONS of helpful resources just a Google search away. Educate yourself before getting out on the field.

4. Listen to Your Coach.

It’s likely that you hired professionals to help you put your marketing materials together. Consult with them regularly and put a plan together to consistently address your marketing efforts. Always seek out ways to market better, to have a leg up on your competition. Talk to your friends and family members, even your in-house staff, to help brainstorm ideas to get your message out there.

5. Run Smart Plays.

I’ve tried playing video games like Madden 2012, but unfortunately, just randomly pushing buttons doesn’t work so well if you want to beat your opponent. Keep your goals in mind when targeting your marketing efforts and stay on track.

6. Strong Branding Is a Must.

I’m always amazed at the emphasis that the NFL puts on branding, but it’s a great model. Each team has several dozen products consumers can buy that all coordinate. That’s what your clients are looking for in your marketing materials: your website, social media pages, email newsletter, logo, brochures, business cards, everything should be branded and cohesive to build confidence in your brand’s identity.

7. Sell from Different Angles.

Have you noticed that you can now watch football from your smart phone, tablet, laptop, AND television? And you can get official NFL products in stores, online from NFL.com, even on auction sites like eBay. Might your products and services be sold in a way you haven’t tried before?

8. The Best Defense Is a Good Offense.

As small business owners, we face scary opponents day in and day out, economically and otherwise, and nothing is certain. Consumers are more savvy to marketing techniques and wiser about where they’re putting their hard-earned dollars. And yet, football stadiums are always filled to capacity…. Always be thinking of ways to be on the cutting edge, of stretching the limits, of surprising people. Keep people interested and excited about what your company is doing, and you’ll attract some life-long fans of your own.

This was a fun blog post to write, but I’m sure I didn’t hit all the analogies. Tell me what I missed below!

22-year veteran of strategy: brand, business, organizational, communications. Certified in project management and regulatory compliance. Fan of dark tea, thick books, peace, and unity.

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