Super Bowl: Great Metaphor for Business Success



Past Super Bowl feats serve as terrific examples to inspire equally superb business performances to achieve profits.

Indeed, enthusiasm, execution and hard work deliver results. The moral? Anything is possible if you dream big, stay positive and work hard.

Good Marketing Captures Emotions

In a nationwide TNS Express Online Survey asked fans to pick their favorite Super Bowl moments.

Joe Namath, Super Bowl III


Three of the most-mentioned favorites:

–Joe Namath’s 1969 prediction that his New York Jets would beat the then-Baltimore Colts, which was a lesson in confidence and marketing puffery.

You might recall he went on to sell tons of products –from hosiery to skin cream.

–Hank Stram’s colorful quote the following year, “Pump it in there, baby,” was a lesson in coaching — mentoring.

–The invincible “Steel Curtain” of the Pittsburg Steelers, which taught us lessons for protecting brand equity.

Even non-Steeler fans could appreciate the team’s defensive stars, including “Mean” Joe Greene, L.C. Greenwood and Jack Ham.

Lessons in Execution 

The aerial artistry of Terry Bradshaw’s pass completions to Lynn Swann and John Stallworth were awe-inspiring.

The receivers were like graceful ballet dancers as they leaped to catch the ball. They were also tough and never fumbled — outstanding examples of mental strength and focus.

Role model for courage

My all-time favorite Super Bowl moments were in 1980 when the Steelers defeated the Los Angeles Rams in a highly entertaining game, 30-19.

Why? One player stood out even in a losing cause. One of the gutsiest performances ever.

The most inspiring player in that game was All-Pro Ram defensive end Jack Youngblood — he  played every down of the NFL Title Game and Super Bowl on a broken leg.

Jack Youngblood, Super Bowl XIV


Jack Youngblood is synonymous with stud. There was no self-doubt in his eyes.

He remains as the consummate role model for grit and perseverance.

Lessons in Marketing Strategy

Reprise Media’s “Super Bowl Search Marketing ScoreCard,” measures how well advertisers capitalize on their Super Bowl advertising investments.

The technology firm, www.reprisemedia.com, helps companies increase their brand equity in online marketing.

The company contends that national advertisers fail to capitalize on their Super Bowl commercials by not taking enough precautionary steps in online marketing. That means focus on ad text, keyword selection, and landing page content.

Capitalize on advertising

Not to oversimplify, the company offers four basic reminders:

  1. Make sure to include your Web site address in your advertising.
  2. On search engines, bid on your company’s name, products, services, and your spokespersons.
  3. Ensure a common thread in all your advertising and repeat your key phrases.
  4. Prevent buyers’ remorse by making visitors feel rewarded. Offer to let them register to win a product and promote interaction with you.

Smaller advertisers, too, can benefit from Super Bowl-like performances by learning from successful national advertisers. You’ll reach the best prospective customers with good credit or high net worth by advertising on local news outlets.

Cost-effective keys to online success include media outlets with strong journalistic standards. You’ll also be amazed how economical their Web sites are, too, if you insert banner and rich media ads. Don’t forget to generate opportunities by submitting quality press releases to their news departments.

From the Coach’s Corner, branding remains an important factor in fast food sales, which has suffered as a result of the economic downturn.It has forced fast food companies to discount prices and focus on value meals. However, as consumers now count their eating out at fast food restaurants as a dining-out treat, the companies with the strongest branding and customer service will win.

Value meals are a drag on earnings if customer service is not perceived as good. Obviously, that’s a concern in the fast food business, especially when a company does not have a visionary salesperson. (Beloved Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas knew about quality, customer service and what his customers wanted.)

Whether the economy is strong or weak – 18 percent of customers will only buy the cheapest product or service – they’re not likely to return unless you have the cheapest prices. So, you want your stores to succeed on repeat business by targeting the 82 percent who are concerned about price but are influenced by other factors.

My cursory sampling of fast food restaurants shows a connection between a successful fast food stores and the perceived level of good food and customer service. A key ingredient is respect for the customer and showing an attitude of gratitude. The stores that have employees who excel in customer service and say thank you to customers are a catalyst for customer loyalty.

For value-conscious customers, price is important but their purchases are decided on emotion.

In order of importance, their five buying perceptions are:

  1. What they think about your spokesperson and employees
  2. Your company image
  3. Product or service utility (is this good food?)
  4. Convenience
  5. Price

For related reading: The Seven Steps to Higher Sales, and Sports Offers Lessons on Strategic Management and Planning.

“Winning isn’t getting ahead of others. It’s getting ahead of yourself.

-Roger Staubach


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.






Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.