Sports metaphors are often used in business. It was a home run. You’ve got to go the distance. Come out fighting or come out swinging. You get the picture. But, there are many lessons that can be learned from sports, beyond the clichés.
With Super Bowl Sunday coming up, let’s take a look at some of the most important lessons that can be learned from the event.
Let’s face it, the Seahawks game did not go to plan. In fact, four minutes before the end of the game, it seemed like our U.S. neighbours were going to turn the predictions on their head and lose the game. But Russell Wilson made it happen, creating a magical comeback, winning the game and taking the Seahawks through to the Super Bowl. What does this tell us? Achieving your goals makes you the winner. It doesn’t matter how you got there. The most notable business gets the lion’s share of the market, while the rest fight over the scraps. To be notable doesn’t mean that you are the biggest business, it just means that you are the best. Tony Hseih, CEO at Zappos decided early on that his key business focus would be customer service not sales. It was a big gamble for a company who was failing to cover its costs and struggling to compete with its competitors, but it was a bet that paid off many times over. Find your niche, market it and become a winner!
2. Be Prepared for Everything
As Wilson knows, timing is everything. It doesn’t take 60 seconds for the fate of a game to change entirely. And once those tides turn your team needs to be prepared to do everything in its power to push through and win. Planning ahead is key for any business, whether it’s seasonal marketing, an opportunity to buy or merge with another company, or the potential to outsource some of your operations, you have to be ready and you have to be decisive. Create a multitude of what-if scenarios and plan your attack with built in flexibility to help you react to opportunities as they come up.
3. Put Your Star Performers in the Spotlight
This Sunday, there will be no chance that the all-star quarterbacks will be benched for the biggest game of the year. They will be thrust into the spotlight with high expectations. So why not do the same with your best quarterbacks. Whether you have an awesome sales person that can inspire a Chamber of Commerce, or a social media maven that could teach a MeetUp group a thing or two, find an opportunity for them to spread their wings. Your belief in them will boost their confidence and provides a great opportunity for you to demonstrate your branding and company culture to different types of audience.
4. Exploit Endorsements
Take inspiration from Under Armour. You may have noticed the Under Armour logo on all football player’s gear. It’s the brand of choice for many sportsmen and women. The logo placement may not be big, but the implied endorsement of their product can be a big influencer on their target market.
It’s time to find your own endorsements. This can be through bloggers using your products and talking about them or your local sports teams wearing your own branded gear. Third party endorsements can be a great opportunity for marketing your business to new and potential customers.
5. Think Outside the Box.
Football isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But the Super Bowl isn’t just about football. It’s about the commercials during the breaks that intrigue the marketing world. It’s about the half-time show that appeals to music and celebratory fans. It’s about the suspense and being part of something the entire continent is watching. The lesson here is that although it is good to cater to your core market.
Sometimes it’s good to think of alternative products or services which will attract a new and altogether audience that can bring your business money.
Whether you just watch the Super Bowl to know if you won the office pool, or you want to watch the game and argue with the referees, the Super Bowl’s broad appeal and unparalleled success holds valuable lessons for every small business owner.
Now let us know what you’re small business is doing for the big game! Tweet us at @smallbusinessbc