Personal Branding Tips from NFL Teams

by Joe Lavelle on January 31, 2012

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With the Superbowl match up between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots approaching, I’ve spent some time thinking about the “personal branding” of teams in the NFL.  Teams are known for their names, their mascots, and perhaps an accessory that has become a must-have staple of their fans at every game (I’m thinking the Steelers and their Terrible Towel here).

I’m wondering — which of the adopted personas of our football teams translate into what could be used as convincing examples of leadership and dominance in the business world?  Let’s look at a few:

The Ravens — This conjures up images of a dark and ominous creature.  Those who are familiar with the Poe poem from which the team gets its name also may think of psychological terror and death.  Perhaps not a personal brand that will promote confidence and good will in the business world.

The Lions — How can you go wrong with the King of the Jungle/Forest?  This team’s name symbolizes power, strength, and bold leadership.  It’s not surprising that you sometimes find lions featured in marketing for large companies.  I vote “yes” for the transfer of branding from the sports world to the corporate world here.

The Redskins — Hmmm.  Where do I begin with the difficulties you might encounter selling this brand in the professional world?

The Browns — Yawn.  It’s a reliable color that you can find everywhere around you, but it doesn’t exactly infuse a sense of excitement over the product.  UPS pulls it off well, but I think the effective use of the color ends there.

What about the Bears, Cardinals, 49ers, Chargers, or some of the other teams I haven’t mentioned?  Think about some of sports organizations out there, or maybe even specific players, and how their names and associated mascots or paraphernalia could be used as inspiration for professionals in other fields looking to advance their image and career.

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