American Football | TepFu: The art of disruptive marketing

American Football

Now this is brave of me, I’m recording this in mid-january. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but this episode is all about American football and marketing and what we can learn from the Superbowl and from the biggest game in town, which is American football. 

The reality is I’m a Green Bay Packers fan. I’m hoping that when this episode comes out on the 29th of January, that a few days later at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, that my beloved Green Bay Packers will be featuring in the game and will hopefully go on and win the Super Bowl! 

I may be wrong, it’s a bit of a gamble, one can never tell. 

But either way – go pack go! 

So what can we learn about American football? 

Well there are five lessons I want to talk about today. 

The first is that ultimately American football emerged from a game we know in the UK. Whether you like it or not American football originated of course from rugby. 

But what the American players of the game realised is that it didn’t suit them. So they changed the rules, they just decided actually we can do this differently or better or it’s going to suit us, so they changed the rules. 

The rules that you currently play by, that you and your competitors adhere to, the rules that currently determine how you make money, are there to be changed. If you think you can do better, if you change any of those rules it’s absolutely on you to change those rules. And you can test it. 

The rules could be anything, for example Amazon Prime is a massive game changer, nobody had done anything like that before, where you paid a fee annually and you got Next Day Delivery – that was a game changer. And it was a massive competitive advantage to Amazon. 

How can you change the rules? 

The next lesson I think we can learn from American football when it comes to marketing for our businesses, is understanding the customer. 

It’s a sport, yes and they want to watch an amazing sport, and it is an amazing sport, and I love it. Go pack go. And the beer and the snacks and everything else is really important, so there’s a very strong commercialised sense around the game. 

But who is the customer? 

Is it the fan watching? 

Is it me? 

I don’t think so, I’m not the customer, I’m actually the meat in the sandwich, I’m the product really for the customer. The customer of course is the advertiser. That’s why there’s lots of ad breaks in American football, because somebody’s going to pay all those wages. And so there are tons of ad breaks because the real customer, the true customer needs to get paid, they need to get their product out. 

So understanding your customer, recognising who the customer actually is and really capitalising on what they want and what they need from that game is super important. 

Now in the context of American football you could argue there are layers of customers, there’s the viewer, the fan, they’re a customer, they’re buying merchandise, they’re supporting the teams, they’re helping you do the marketing actually because we all share stuff on social media. We wear hats to show which team we love, so we buy that merch, we do everything else. 

But the secondary or the primary customer depending on your perspective, of course is the advertiser. And so they have and carry massive clout. 

The third lesson I think we can learn from American football is we always talk about selling the sizzle not the sausage. 

In the case of American football they go beyond that. They have perfected the art of selling sizzle. They’ve turned it into selling the sizzle and the razzle-dazzle. 

And the reality is the sausage is just a sport like any other, like rugby. It’s just like rugby and yet look at the difference between the rugby game as it’s televised, as it’s shown, as it’s packaged up and the American football game. 

Now there are many that will argue about one of those two being a superior sport, but that’s aside, the reality is the people running America football have always recognised that the way to get to people is to turn it into a show. 

What do you do that could turn into a show? 

And before you tell me it’s not possible, Gordon Ramsay turned it into a show. And yes I know he’s Gordon Ramsay, but he’s a chef and he runs restaurants where he employs staff and he runs a kitchen. So what he did was he turned running the kitchen into a show, and he turned employing staff into a show. 

So how can you turn it into a show? Because by the way you’re already running a show, you’re just running it really badly if you don’t have a youtube channel, if you’re not behaving like you’re a television broadcaster, you’re definitely already behind the curve. 

We can definitely, absolutely focus on the razzle-dazzle and selling the razzle-dazzle and the sizzle and turning everything into a show as much as possible. Because that show then creates massive valuable, free marketing as you can see. 

Even for Gordon Ramsay, he creates revenue, but for you all, it can absolutely create marketing money. 

The fourth lesson I want to talk about today, as a learning from American football and marketing, is tribalism. 

Now I got my hat out earlier, this is the Green Bay Packers, very close to my heart. Absolutely love the team, love the colours, the green and the gold. They are Titletown, they’re where American football was born. They are so good they named the Super Bowl trophy after the highest winning coach at Green Bay, Vince Lombardi. A man very close to my heart and amazing human being. 

That tribalism right there is vital to the survival of your business. 

If you do not have the ability to inspire people to join either your faction versus another, or one of the sub factions within the camps of your own business. Then you’re missing a massive trick and your competitors will almost certainly jump all over it and do something similar along those tribal lines. 

The fifth thing I want to talk about today, is raising standards. 

American football teaches us many things, for me as an ex player (not very good mind you) and as an ex coach (probably not very good there either), I really got into the game and it’s changed loads of levels of how people are expected to behave. 

One of the things American football can teach business is that no matter how good somebody else is doing something, you can be more excellent at it. You can be better at it, you can set a higher standard and you can play a better game. 

I want you to think about how you can change the rules, understanding the customer layers involved and how you can serve them, understanding how to turn your business into a show or a multitude of shows to create marketing and even revenue opportunities, I want you to think about tribalism and how you can help your audience tap into the various facets of your business or your sector, and last but not least how you can raise standards so you can beat the competition before they even get out of bed in the morning. 

If you want to know more about everything I talk about, do join me on my next webinar go to www.tepfu.com/webinar it’s a free webinar, that takes place every couple of weeks. It’s got a fantastic Q&A at the end, you can ask me anything and I’ll do my best to serve you when it comes to making your marketing better. 

I hope that helps and I hope at this point the Green Bay Packers are in the Super Bowl, and if they are Go Pack Go! Absolutely come on Aaron Rodgers, you’re still in the game mate!