#52 The Ballketing Letter
The "Bryson Dechambeau" brand, the most marketable brands in sport, the state of sport tech, AR & the general sports industry, legendary marketing strategy & much more!
Hey there Ballketers,
Welcome to #52! The highlight of the week probably has been the event we attended on Wednesday organized by a professional basketball team in Spain. For several reasons:
It was the first “physical event” we attended in a long while, so it was nice to change pace for a few moments.
It was amazing to see the corporate support this team has, despite not being one of the top performing teams. Top tier businesses in the country are behind this organization. Why? It ties into point #3…
This organization is a living example of the power of values & purpose in sport. They support several causes and in fact, our “purpose driven sponsorship” framework is based on the work we did with them. The event was a great demonstration of how to get professional, paralympic & youth athletes involved under one sole initiative. Hopefully we will work with them again in the future.
On this week´s edition:
The Ryder Cup is here! In its honor, we share a few lessons that sport businesses can learn from Bryson DeChambeau as a brand.
Of course, more awesome business content to improve your skills, with a specific focus on tech & sport!
We keep updating our “Resource Center" and we are already above 500 pieces of content! The goal is to build a database of resources that will us all improve are business skills so feel free to suggest resources of your own, and we can make the database even more amazing.
Let´s get down to business!
"Confidence comes from putting in the work"
Chris Bosh - NBA Legend
This quote is from another awesome episode of The Knowledge Project, in which Chris Bosh shares several life lessons on a few topics, including:
Having a winner mentality & staying hungry ("You made it, now put in the work!”)
Emulating the greatest in your field and then introducing your "own thing" into the model to elevate your game.
Parenthood as the best way to learn to lead by example.
Keeping focused on the fundamentals of the game. He ties this into how leaders react when facing temporary defeat. They do not "feel" defeated; they keep focused on what they need to do and approaching come backs by taking one step a time.
Real greatness is not about making it to the top; it is about staying there.
Along those lines, there is another fantastic quote in this episode of Finding Mastery by Rebecca Rusch:
"Hard work leads to results which leads to confidence"
Make sure you check that one out as well as it provides an awesome insight into mastering your craft, challenging yourself to new limits, and understanding that "learning" is a continuous journey.
What sport businesses can learn from the “Bryson DeChambeau” brand
The 42nd edition of the Ryder Cup (arguably, the most popular golf competition) is almost underway! One of the players competing in it is Bryson DeChambeau, one of the most recognized players in the sport. Regardless of what you may feel about him as a player does not hide the fact that there are many lessons that brands can learn from him and apply to their own businesses. On this week´s Brief we share the elements that most standout to us and hopefully, will help you take your brand to the next level:
Develop a great product worth talking about: The results speak for themselves and, for several years now he has consistently been at the top of the rankings. Since 2015, he has participated in 132 events and has made the cut in 95 of them (72% of them).
DeChambeau has developed a unique method and data driven approach to the game which lead him to embrace a style based on "power." In other words, he made a deliberate choice (which is what "strategy" is essentially all about) on "how to play" the game of golf in search of an advantage vs other players.
This method even earned him a nickname, The Scientist, and we could even argue he created a new category in the sport : "Power-based & data driven golf."
While his style of play initially drew him a lot of criticism for breaking the status quo (Golf has never been played like this before) the results obviously made the market notice. Other players, (the competition) even started to try and copy his style of play.
But this did not work well for them; think about when Rory Mcllroy publicly admitted a few a months ago that he failed at trying to embrace several elements of Bryson´s style of play.
At the end of the day, it is not about imitating a set of features from the competition. The whole strategy & process is what makes the overall difference.
Bryson´s external branding elements (the packaging) also stands out vs the other players with the "driver cap" being the most recognizable garment he wears on a regular basis.
Even his sponsorship strategy can be considered somewhat unique as proven by the partnership he signed with Draftkings in November 2020, which made him, as Sports Pro Media reported, "the first (golf player) to wear a logo of a sports betting or fantasy sports company during the Masters."
It should be no surprise that Bryson also has a "different" style of communication vs other players; after all, this is being coherent with what his brands represents. Three elements standout:
Social Media: While he is present in "usual" platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, DeChambeau also has his own Twitch channel and Tik Tok profile (which is not common among other players).
This is an approach that many successful brands take: Develop an audience in "traditional" platforms and then test out new channels in search of engagement with new fans / customers.
Content strategy: Across his social platforms, his language has a certain flair to it, is somewhat provocative and is certainly coherent wit his brand image.
Messaging & Language: This another key element for brands who look to stand out, owning a certain language within a category. In Bryson´s case, he takes a radical approach also on his website, he probably is the only golf player that compares himself to Einstein.
Specific rivalries within the market: Even his famous feud with Brooks Koepka during 2020 does not really come as a surprise (Even though we are not sure if this is an overall "positive" for the game). But guess what? This type of content drives even higher engagement, especially among younger audiences (In similar fashion to the feuds we see in WWE).
And these would be the main lessons we believe brands can learn from Bryson DeChambeau from a business perspective.
To sum up, Bryson developed a different approach to the game (which competitors have not been able to copy), performed against what was considered the norm and developed a unique brand, language and messaging strategy.
Let us know if this sparked some ideas or thoughts of your own. In our blog we take a bit of a deeper dive into "Bryson´s brand" and even share a few commercial opportunities that he could explore in the near future, so feel free to check that out as well.
Change your mindset and approach towards solving problems…
Want a better solution? Then think about "less" rather than "more."
Insightful episode of "People I Mostly Admire" in which we are urged to think about subtracting features or elements (vs adding more of them) to add value. This may sound counter-intuitive but in essence, it forces us to dig deep into the fundamentals (for example, what our customers really need) and focus relentlessly in delivering value against them.
Embrace this model for learning & self-reflection
"What?" / "So What?" / "Now What?"
This awesome episode of Lochhead on Marketing discusses all things creativity & learning. Among other things, you will learn that great framework to improve your reflection skills. In essence, it forces you to think about what you have learned, why it is important and what will you do (if anything) going forwards with that new information.
Lessons from Profitwell on "How to win"
While Profitwell is not a sport related enterprise, the pillars of its success surely provide an opportunity for sport businesses to learn something new. This episode of "How to Win" does a great job in digging into the elements that drove their rise and we wanted to highlight the following:
Educate your customers on the category (problem you solve)
Consider rolling out a free product to drive demand
Become a "media company" to build an audience which will drive new business down the line
Keep up to date with the trends in the sports industry…
Learning from the most marketable brands in Sport
Interesting review on Sports Pro Media of the most marketable brands in sport. The top 5 brands are:
Why? Primarily because of their exposure on social media & sponsorship activation and that they are involved with 4 major sports: Football, Basketball, Cricket, Motorsports (which drive 75% of the total value).
In the particular case of Nike & Adidas, the depth of their partnerships (teams & athletes) and the exposure they get thanks to certain athletes even if they do not sponsor them (Ronaldo & Mancheter United in the case of Adidas for instance) plays a huge factor.
Other than that, there are a few lessons that brands can learn from these brands:
Long term commitment to the sport property
Focus more on generating engagement rather than the “amount” of exposure
Activation is key, specially in social. It is not just about signing the deal
The partnership between the brand & sport property needs to aligned in terms of values, target & metrics
Alignment is also critical in the channel / platform to drive higher fan engagement
The use of Augmented Reality in sports marketing
Awesome episode of the Halftime Snacks podcast in which they review the use of VR in sports marketing including 3 broad realms:
It also includes examples from pro sports, fitness and youth sports so there is something in it for everyone in the industry!
And , if you are interested in learning more, this eMarketer episode shares interesting views & facts on the role AR has in Social Media. It includes data on customer perception of AR, how the platforms are embracing it and the use cases (industries) in which it could have more opportunity.
Understanding trends in the Digital Economy
GaryVee shares his views on the digital advertising industry. Check it out if you want to give a few thoughts to your organic and paid strategy and also to identify trends you should definitely look into.
More on the evolution of the industry…
The PWC State of the Sports Industry Survey
The team from PWC Switzerland has published its annual State of the Sports Industry survey with insights and expert opinions on key topics such as:
The role of tech in fan engagement.
A must read for anyone involved in the industry.
Breaking down the realms of sport tech
Fitt Insider shares an insightful breakdown into the world of Sport Tech and its different applications. A key idea to understand is that we enter the 3rd Age of Sport, in which technology plays a central role in redefining the industry.
On that regard, they also break down the technologies with most impact and the ones with greater investment appeal:
Tech with most impact: fan engagement, athlete performance, and stadium experience.
Tech with greater investment appeal: media & content platforms, esports, and data, analytics, & biometrics.
Definitely worth checking it out!
Imagine the next frontier of your marketing game…
The 3 pillars of Legendary Marketing Strategy Planning
Awesome article from Category Pirates describing the 3 pillars in which to build your marketing strategy upon. These include:
The Information Wars: The war for who frames the problem, names and claims the solution, and as a result owns the narrative.
The Air Wars: the war for who is then able to most effectively “sell” that narrative at scale (Demand generation)
The Grounds War: the war for who can best convert new recruits to the war effort (Capturing demand & Lead Generation)
The future of your brand through the "Imagineers"
Brilliant article published on Brandingmag explaning the role of an Imagineer in being a critical part of your brand´s future. In essence, an Imagineer turns your brand story into experiences and relies on 5 pillars to do so:
Attention to Detail
Long, Medium, and Close Shots (From the generic to the specifics...)
The definite guide to Branding Strategy
If you want to understand what developing a branding strategy is all about, then you need to read this article from CXL. It lays out the 4 elements of a brand strategy:
Promise (Positioning + Value + Proposition = Promise)
And the 3 steps to create it:
Fit (Audience & Channel Fit)
Placing “purpose” at the center of the brand strategy
And, if you want to dig deeper in the role that purpose plays in the brand strategy, you cannot miss this awesome Brandingmag article. It provides awesome data about why purpose matters and a framework to implement it:
Brand vs Values Fit
Audience Interest /Drivers
Alignment with the overall messaging and personality of the business
Is their gain from being involved with the brand?
Is it present across the entire business? or is it just a "marketing thing"?
And that does it for The Ballketing Letter #52! Thank you if you made it to the end. If you have any feedback, let us know so we can keep making this newsletter better and be of value to you.
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We hope to see you back next week. Meanwhile, Keep safe.