NFL Go. Brands Go. Humanity Go!
I never thought I would be writing something about the NFL. I’m not into sports in general, and so am not an NFL fan—I don’t hate it either—just not that into it. The only time that I’m really into this sport is when there is the Superbowl…to see the top teams play and, being a branding/marketing person, obviously for the ads.
Well, as of now I AM a fan of the NFL.
I commend the owners, teams, and individuals for their solidarity and standing up for what is right—for being human and respecting their fellow human beings. Bravo!
Trump has stepped onto holy ground. He probably doesn’t even know what he’s done. His disgusting words will impact more people in a
potent way than with anything else that he has done before.
As in most countries, sports are an intricate fabric of its people—it is associated with pride, emotion, champions, and belonging. 63% of the American population proclaims themselves as sports fans. That’s B-I-G. People will now take sides…there is no other way. With other issues, you can look away as you don’t “feel” personally involved, but now it’s a different “foot ball game” literally. The impact is on a huge proportion of the population.
At heart, I’m an eternal optimist and I must say: this is a tremendous opportunity for humanity, for the NFL brand, for NFL brand sponsors, and for any brand who supports the NFL’s point of view. At the end of the day, all of this will benefit us as a society if we use this opportunity for good. Let’s break this down.
1. For the sake of humanity. The #TakeAKneeNFL movement is expanding and at least 15 NFL team owners, as of September 24th, have issued statements opposing Trump’s hateful comments. Thank you for having the courage and bringing us all hope. We needed you to do this. We can now rise with you.
2. The good, courageous NFL brand. Like I said, I am now a fan of the NFL. I believe in them because they believe in me (as a human being) and my fellow human. I want to belong to the brands that consider me and others as equal human beings. Branding is about causing an emotional connection—that’s what happened to me with the NFL today—they have me. I actually want to go see a game tonight and scream!
3. Opportunity for brand sponsors. Sponsors, this your time to shine. Ride the wave that the NFL has created to show that you also believe in the right thing. This is not about money—this is about showing to your own brand community who you are. This in turn will provide dividends beyond your expectations. Doing good is lucrative. Don’t be afraid, we will be standing while you do the right thing. The NFL did the hard thing of drawing the line in the sand, now you can go on the side that is beneficial to all of us. This is a branding opportunity to connect with me viscerally…I’m waiting and yearning.
4. Calling ALL brands! Brands, this is the time to raise your voices and tell us who you really are and what you believe in. Surprise me with your conviction, love, and goodness. This is the time to make a statement, to activate me emotionally. And yes brands, you will polarize your community by taking a stand. But isn’t it better to have fewer devoted die-hard fans, than having more lukewarm fans? You know the right answer. This is also the time for you to share who you are so that we can connect. That is the essence of a strong effective brands. And don’t be fake, show us what you’re truly made of.
5. Power to the people—what we can all do! Each individual also has a responsibility. I’m finally opening myself and taking a stand on what I believe in by writing this article. You can do so much, especially in the age of social media where each individual is a broadcaster. Praise the NFL. Praise the brands that stand by with what’s right. Retweet, repost, do a video, write a rant—do what feels right for you, but try to do something. Spread goodness everywhere. Other individuals will notice, brands will notice, and slowly compassionate activism will prevail!
This is a tremendous time for us to unite—let’s all do our part! Thank you NFL for giving us the push.
Love, hope, and courage my friends.