Saturday, 7 November 2009

Branding in Sports : Lessons from Usain Bolt

(Photos courtesy of NMG & Reuters)

He came, he saw, he conquered. Just like he's done on the 100 & 200m tracks, this athletics wonder-kid was at it again when he landed last week. He was even accorded audience with the powers-that-be, at one point even jokingly patting the Head-of State as they addressed the Press.
What do we learn from this?
1. Put a class act on the field :- Even before thinking of any antics (like Bolt gestures to cameras as he tries to calm his nerves) let your performances speak for themselves. Not just ordinary, EXCEPTIONAL !
2. Consistency :- In sports as in many things in life, consistency is a very important thing. This helps you remain relevant among the clutter of events you maybe participating in.
3. Committed :- Do not engage your fans if you are not committed to your sport. Fans will always see through any nonchalance and mediocrity means suicide not just among your fans but the purses too ( you can ask Mike Tyson).
4. Commit to a Cause :- As much as possible, commit to a cause beyond your sporting exploits. This helps you focus energies in the chosen cause and also helps stay grounded instead of engaging in harmful exploits and stuff that may cost you.
5. Flamboyance :- Though it may sound like a bad idea, be flamboyant in a nice way. We all know there are athletes, sports heroes who excel in their sport. But the GREATEST always EXCEL in their SHOWMANSHIP. Jordan, Ali and McEnroe are just some of those I can mention here.
6. Invincibility :- This is closely related to consistency. If you achieve the unachievable, please do not let us see your weaknesses. The minute we start seeing you tottering like a has-been gone is your hero status. Maradona in the 1994 World Cup is a good example here( maybe even NBA's Allen Iverson)

7. Smart Sponsorship(s):- As much as possible, DO NOT choose irrelevant products or brands to endorse.If they do not align with your goals and are not taking the extra mile to be what it takes, you go down with their premise. Be smart while choosing this.

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