March 25, 2010

Have You Found Your Fans?

Earl "Curly" Lambeau was an employee of the Indian Packing Company and got the idea to start a football team. Curly needed some bucks to get gear so he asked his boss for help.

His employer agreed to give him $500. The only condition was that he incorporated the meat packing company’s name in the team name.

Curly was general manager and head coach for the next thirty years and is a member of the NFL Hall of Fame.

Launched on August 11, 1919, the Green Bay Packers have a record twelve championships and remain the only non-profit community owned American professional sports franchise. For years, NFL rules stated that each team must be owned by one individual. In the case of the Green Bay Packers, the entire city of Green Bay, Wisconsin owns the team.

When the Packers are playing at Lambeau Field, the city of Green Bay is a ghost town. Residents are either at the game or watching it. The franchise is as much a part of the community as any person or major company.

Line Up and Wait.

If you want tickets to a game, line up, for a very long time. If you want season tickets, you have about a forty year wait and you have to prove you are a permanent resident of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The Green Bay Packers are celebrating their 91st anniversary. The team has not won the championship in 79 seasons since 1919.

Content Context Community.

Fans happily wear a wedge of cheese on their heads - a tradition that began when fans in rival Illinois attempted to insult Wisconsinites. Instead of turning the name calling in to something ugly, they embraced it and the sight of cheeseheads at Lambeau is as common as beer.

Buzz phrases such as “brand evangelist” come to mind but in this case, Curly Lambeau simply wanted to start a football team and asked his boss for some cash to pay for some gear. And nine decades later, Packers’ fans will virtually defend the green and gold with their lives.

What can you learn from the Packers to apply to your business?
Have you found your fans or still looking to sell a few tickets?

strategy. marketing. social media.

photo credit: goinglikesixty | wikipedia

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