Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pro sports brands

Thriving brands reflect their cultural environs. America’s pro sports – so brilliantly played and packaged – face corruptions from the very culture that supports them. The NFL, like our lives, has become rule-bound and legalistic. The NBA has slowed to the tempo of corporate bureaucracy. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the major league brands? Herewith our rankings:

1 NFL

Brand delights

Balletic violence

Military strategy and rifle-armed QBs

Potential trouble

Public’s aversion to concussions and obesity among employees

Rules as complex as ant-nest tunnels

Strategic advice

Bigger, padded helmets and limits on body fat

50% fewer rules and reviews – i.e. Let ‘em play!


2 Major League Baseball

Brand delights

Vast green field and absence of play clock

Pitcher-batter duels / Close plays at home

Potential trouble

Over-specialization – DH, middle-relief, "set-up man"

Strategic advice

End the DH and ban all mention of pitch-counts.


3 LPGA

Brand delights

Astounding golfing skills

Short skirts

Potential trouble

Foolishly frilly logo meant to play-up femininity

Strategic advice

Re-draw logo to emphasize athletic skill.


4 PGA

Brand delights

Tiger and Phil rivalry

High-lofted balls landing on the green and spinning to the cup

Potential trouble

Non-stop commercials about men going to pee or not being able to get it up

Strategic advice

Forbid advertisers from portraying men as victims.


5 NBA

Brand delights

Best athletes on the planet

Potential trouble

Grindingly slow pace of play

Pro-wrestling exerience of screaming announcers and canned “music”

Strategic advice

Given today's huge, wide players, play four-on-four to put a premium on speed.


6 NHL

Brand delights

Fist fights and Neanderthal fans

Unnatural agility of humans on ice

Post-game interviews with toothless players

Potential trouble

You can’t see what the heck is going on

Strategic advice

Make puck and nets bigger for easier viewing and higher scores

Ban fights or score them (1 point per tooth, 2 for knock-out).

brandsinger

5 comments:

participant43 said...

Hey, Brandsinger, enjoyable sports essay. However,

1) I don't understand your association of NFL with obesity---yes, those linemen are large, but they're in great cardiovascular shape and highly muscled. (Or do you mean the wide-assed coach potatoes who marathon-sit through successive broadcast games?)

2) Slow pace of NBA games? What games are you watching?

3) Wouldn't larger pucks mean greater chance of injury--as higher-massed objects collide with vulnerable body parts?

brandsinger said...

Hey Part 43: Thanks for your comment.
1 NFL linemen have lower life expectancies than other men. That excess weight is hard on hearts and other organs.

2 NBA games are known to be slower than college b-ball.

3 Larger pucks don't necessarily mean heavier. They might consider styrofoam.

Keep those questions coming!

-brandsinger

brandsinger said...

Part 43: Just to follow up:
Recent studies list US life expectancy at 77+ years -- and that of NFL players as in the mid-50s.

http://www.sptimes.com/2006/01/29/Sports/A_huge_problem.shtml

That and concussions are problems the public won't continue to tolerate, I predict.

participant43 said...

Brand,

Lower NFL life expectancy not necessarily due to obesity--think of what these guys inject and the number of jarring collisions per minute!

As for NBA vs. College ball, I think, with due respect, that you've got it reversed: yes, people may, for a variety of reasons, view college ball as more exciting, but with the shorter shot clock, the big stars with their greater freedom to shoot, go one-on-one, etc., pro ball is played a hell of a lot faster than collegiate ball.

dennymour said...

Well if particularly I say about my opinion, then I like the sports brands mostly used by NBA as you also discussed about it here on this blog. I think those really seem strongly impassive, meaning & more delightful too. Do not you feel?