About GenslerOnLifestyle

We enjoy our lives in many ways. GenslerOnLifestyle offers ideas and insights about how design can make leisure more accessible and enjoyable.

Search GenslerOn
Lifestyle Topics
Connect with Us
« Experience Retail on a Global Scale: Playing with Format | Main | Riding the Wave of the Future »
Thursday
Aug142014

Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands

Image © Gensler

Whenever my husband and I travel outside of the United States, we like to play a game called “count the American sports logos.” On our last trip to Italy, we spied over 50, including those of the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Los Angeles Lakers, and to our surprise, the Washington Wizards (we saw a full-on official John Wall Washington Wizards jersey). But the ones we saw the most belonged to the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys. Surprise, surprise.

The Yankees may have aged in recent years but the boys in pinstripes are still a household name for being winners. Since 2000, they’ve won the American League East division 10 times and captured two World Series trophies. The team’s slogan (Our History. Your Tradition.) hints at the franchise’s storied past—arguably the most storied of any American sports franchise—while inviting fans to participate in the construction of a present-day Yankees tradition. It’s historical and contemporary at the same time.

The Cowboys, another storied American sports brand, have had mostly under .500 records for the past decade and change. They’ve specialized in disappointing football performance, sexy cheerleaders and a Godzilla-sized (and priced) stadium more than actual on-field play. Yet according to Emory University Sports Marketing Analytics, the Cowboys enjoy the NFL’s greatest fan equity, a measure of fans’ willingness to support a franchise. And the same researchers found that the Yankees have their league’s lowest price-performance sensitivity, meaning their fans remain loyal win or lose.

So what can we learn from these two teams who both inspire high levels of brand loyalty despite very different levels of on-field performance? How does a sports brand engage fans when they’re delivering more Ls than Ws? How do you engage new fans to join the tribe of a less legendary team? Is the magic formula for building a base who loves you enough to wear your logo around Rome something other than championships?

These are some of the questions that I and my colleagues Tom Milavec and Evan Hathaway are asking as we start a new Gensler research effort titled “Win or Lose: Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands.” Our goal: To create a new dialogue with our sports team clients around what enhancing the fan experience is really all about.

It seems like everyone talks about the “fan experience” without a satisfying articulation of what that experience is. Sure, we can try to help people experience actual games in an engaging and enjoyable manner, but we see a need for further insight into what constitutes the fan experience outside of the arena so that teams can better understand and augment it.

Gensler delved into the science of branding in 2013 with our Brand Engagement Survey. This proprietary research effort helped us begin to understand why consumers fall in love with certain brands while shunning others. It also taught us that sports fans are the most brand-engaged consumer group: Sports fans averaged a brand engagement score of 20.2 compared with 16.6 for all other consumers.

The survey results revealed that sports fans tend to have long-standing connections with their favorite teams. They also tend to buy and wear a lot of team merchandise. These two findings did not surprise us.

We were surprised, however, to get some insight into why sports fans are good customers. They buy merchandise as a means of showcasing loyalty and identifying with the tribe but also say that they really appreciate the look and feel of their team’s jerseys, tee-shirts, hats, and other items – at a higher rate than the fans of technology and other consumer products. Their appreciation of design was something we didn’t necessarily anticipate, and want to explore so we understand its link to sales and ongoing satisfaction with their brand engagement.

The survey also showed that as a group, sports fans care more about familiarity and trust than innovation and freshness. They value tradition and a sense of continuity over the promise of something new. They want their teams to win now, but they also gain something from remembering the thrills of past victories or even the agonies of noble defeats. Detach a team brand from the history of the franchise and risk alienating longtime fans who watch sports year after year for the kind of comfort that only comes from continuity.

For us, brand questions always start with why – why does something have more or less meaning to people? To understand where sports fans gain meaning and how design can help strengthen that emotional connection, we’re focusing our research on the NFL. Four of the five top sports brands from our research were NFL teams. Obviously it’s an 800 pound gorilla with a dominant influence on not just sports but popular culture. Yet despite its success, the league faces challenges in the form of stadium attendance, controversial franchise names, and the danger of head injuries and the health risks they pose. Using the NFL as our “focus group,” we hope our research provides a more full-fledged understanding of sports teams brands and the emotional connections they foster.

Of course, my favorite place in Rome was the coliseum where I saw a historical marker noting that the rich sat in reserved seating with shade and servants while the ordinary folks had the nosebleed seats where they drank and gambled. Apparently the slow march of time only changes so many things, and we’ll see if history continues to repeat itself.

Kate Kirkpatrick is a writer who found a career in design based on her fascination with people and figuring out why they do the things they do. In 17 years at Gensler, she’s worked in brand design, practice management, marketing, executive communications as well as advising Gensler's D.C. office on beer and wine selection for social events. She’s a Washington Nationals season ticket holder and NASCAR aficionado working her way through a bucket list of big college football games. Contact her at kate_kirkpatrick@gensler.com.

References (137)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: Columbus Day 2014
    ml
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    llh
  • Response
    Response: bola online
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: rage dna
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: no2 extreme surge
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: goji vita
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Belladerm Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Vitafirm Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Vitafirm Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Revimax
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: resversaderm
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: renuvaderm Review
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: renuvaderm Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: splendyr Review
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Belladerm
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Rejuvius Review
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Testoril
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Alpha Genix Review
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: twitter.com
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Cleanse Renew
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: visit these guys
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Nuvoderm
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: detox slim Review
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Ultimate Muscle
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Derma Youth Review
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Skincare Cream
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: GCXT Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Testoril
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Sytropin Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Vital Cleanse
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Evo Brain
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Luxoderm Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Avoir Skin Care
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: stemologica
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Infinite Allure
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Revive RX Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Vitabella Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Derma Nova Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Hydravella Review
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Rejuvius Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Lavish Skin
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: rpg games
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: rpg games
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Le Parise
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Le Parise Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Duplicell
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Dermal Meds
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: testo xl Review
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Max Profits
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Wrinkless Cream
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Max Profits
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: link web site
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Dermascoop Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: HCAMax Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: HCAMax
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Lift Radiance
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Juveliere Review
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Juveliere Review
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: SkinRevive
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Adrenapump Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Lavish Skin Review
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: ripped rx Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Green Coffee Slim
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: My Score Review
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Belladerm Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: lipo skin Review
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Nuvitaderm Review
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Derma Youth
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: ReviveRx
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Rejuvius Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Response: Forskolin Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - architecture and design
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - architecture and design
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - architecture and design
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - architecture and design
  • Response
    Response: pro dermagenix
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - architecture and design
  • Response
    Response: Garcinia Slim 500
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - architecture and design
  • Response
    Response: Cash Mojo Reviews
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - architecture and design
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - architecture and design
  • Response
    Response: Rx Repair
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - architecture and design
  • Response
    Response: BB Cream Review
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - architecture and design
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - architecture and design
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - architecture and design
  • Response
    Win or Lose? Factors of Engagement with Sports Brands - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - architecture and design
  • Response
    Response: best miter saws
    In lots of workshops, it is common to see miter saws. This is because it can cut wooden blocks and sticks easily. If you think of making wooden frames for your household decors as well as other woodworks, then this is very useful to use. Obviously, the brands of miter saws ...
  • Response
    All the contents you mentioned in post are too good and can be very useful. I will keep it in mind, thanks for sharing the information keep updating, looking forward for more posts.

Reader Comments (1)

All the contents you mentioned in post are too good and can be very useful. I will keep it in mind, thanks for sharing the information keep updating, looking forward for more posts.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.