Pitchman

What can we learn from Sports Brands? #33 – The Brand

As legend has it, a gaggle of players was assembled in the locker room awaiting the start of the NBA All-Star game's three-point shooting contest when Larry Bird walked in. “So,” he said with a broad grin, “who’s playing for second?” Perhaps as much as his basketball acumen–he did indeed go on to win the three-point shooting contest that day– the predicate for Larry the Legend’s iconic brand was his swagger. It was an unlikely swagger: in a world of fast, agile black men who could seemingly jump out of the gym, Bird was a lumbering white guy who might not have been able to clear a shoe box in a single bound. The “Hick from French Lick” [...]

What can we learn from Sports Brands? #23 – The Brand

When LeBron James played for the Miami Heat, a man walked into a San Francisco bar one afternoon to catch an NBA game, sidling up next to a woman who appeared to be in her 60s. Miami was losing and the woman mentioned that she was from Cleveland, but there was something in the way she said it that left the man with the distinct impression that she was among the Cleveland fans left embittered by the “King’s” move from Ohio to South Beach. As the Heat mounted a comeback,  however, the woman became increasingly animated, raising her fists triumphantly in the air and exclaiming “Yes!” when LeBron hit a clutch shot.  Amused, the man asked the woman: “I [...]