Sports sponsorships are everywhere around us, and some of the best partnerships seem to become part of the fabric of our lives. Like old familiar friends, or even family! Our affinity for those brands is so strong that our loyalty is unwavering, and their competitor is the enemy in our minds. If you have a close relationship with a brand, you know precisely what I am talking about – Nike fans and Coca-Cola drinkers rarely waiver in their purchasing habits. The affinity for a sports team is next level – fan vernacular is often around “my team,” and in motorsports, “my driver.” This level of loyalty is fascinating!
We recently had the opportunity to pull back the curtain, aka literally go behind the Green Monster, at Fenway Park! We toured the ballpark with the team’s Data Scientist from the front office. We did not talk Money Ball. Instead, we talked about the park itself, its personality and its 110-year history. We talked about the fans and their love for every quirk – the narrow seats, the section of oddly placed seats, and the “tattoos” on the green monster from balls hit so hard into it that they literally left the red stitching imprinted in the dimple it left behind. I couldn’t help but notice the plethora of partner logos peppered all around me. Many of the brands you would expect, and many others are thoughtfully woven into this iconic space alongside the very details that give this century-old stadium all its character.
Sure, our Data Scientist friend could rattle off stats about every last detail of the fan engagement and their habits, and he could certainly provide a prediction of just about any possible outcome for any partner, but he anchored on the story of Fenway. Asking us to imagine the one hundred years of fans who have sat in our exact seats, allowing us to feel the dimples in the green monster, feeling consumed by the nearly full stadium as we stood near the grass in the outfield. That tour engaged all our senses and created deeply seeded memories connected with emotions. Emotional experiences lead to brand loyalty.
At Breaking Limits we drive hard toward creating this level of loyalty through brand experiences. Clearly, it only takes one compelling experience with a brand to make it happen. Every detail matters. We consider how to engage all the senses to increase the power of memories created.
At the top of the 6th, Red Sox up by a score of 3- 0, we headed for the souvenir shop and put our money where our brand loyalty now resided. Just like that, I am a proud Red Sox fan and I feel compelled to wear my brand loyalty on a t-shirt, a tank top, and a hat! And I can’t wait to go back!