Football and marketing you say? Yes, there are several similarities between the contact sport and the…well…the sport of contact.
Here are a few of them.
- Planning. Before a football game takes place, a ton of planning is required. From players to strategy, from strategies to hail-mary passes, football requires the same amount of pre-planning as any good marketing campaign.
- Hot shots. Every team has a high-profile player; in many cases it’s the quarterback, but in some cases is a defensive lineman. In marketing there are also high-profile players. We call them influencers. These people help to increase brand awareness and draw people to the campaign, much like the loved (or hated) players in the NFL.
- Cheerleaders are also part of both efforts. Football may not focus on them too much, but they are an integral part of the team. They help to increase energy and draw attention to the team. In marketing, those people are called champions. They back the plan, support the efforts, and often engage in spreading the word about the program.
- Fans. What would football be without the fans? Brands of all sizes also have fans. We tend to call them clients, customers, or yes, even fans. Without fans, marketing campaigns would not take off. There wouldn’t be anyone to help a brand out when something was controversial (e.g., Starbucks Red Cup). Fans are there for you day and night, good or bad. They stand behind you when things get slim and jump for joy when you score.
- Coaches are the leaders and visionaries who create the strategy, devise the short- and long-term plans, and help the team to execute the plays. Just like marketing coaches, these leaders are there to create the vision and goals for the whole team.
- Special teams also play a solid role during a football game. Special teams in marketing would include information technology, copywriters, graphic designers, and website designers.
- Second and third string players are also critical to the success of any good football team. When the first string players get hurt, these players are ready to step in and take the team to victory. These people also exist in marketing departments. Ask any team who has led a conference. There are so many players involved it’s hard to know when the first string ends and the second string begins. In many—nearly all—cases the players have the same amount of knowledge and often nearly the same amount of experience. The only difference between them is the high-profile time in the limelight.
Do you see any other similarities between football and marketing?
Share your best plays in the comments below.