Business Lessons from the Super Bowl

The biggest sporting event to kick off the month of February 2014 was Super Bowl 48.  I used the number 48 because there were shows where the sole purpose was to help adult Americans calculate the Roman numeral XLVIII.  The fact that it was an educated audience was a little scary.  But, what lessons can a business owner learn from the Super Bowl?  Here are my three takeaways:

  • Underdogs have a chance – Every stat I saw that week said the Seattle Seahawks would lose that game.  What they did not count on was that when you are the underdog, you fight harder.  Small business owners are underdogs in this economic environment.  Our stats say that most businesses will fail before they reach the 1 year mark (our Super Bowl.)  We make a bet on our small businesses every day and do whatever it takes to make it to 1 year, then 2 years and that magical 5 year mark.  Everyday becomes a Super Bowl.  Place a bet on yourself and then work harder than anyone else to make it a reality.
  • Marketing works – I have not seen this much hoopla around an event in quite some time – perhaps because I had a front row seat in my home town.  But every celebrity was involved, every athlete was interviewed, there were contests for audience members, reporting on transportation, and a really big deal day-by-day accounting of the weather which would make or break this event.  Why don’t we do an all-out push for our small businesses when it comes to our main events?  We don’t want to pay for a marketing plan, or for an ad.  Then we wonder why we are not getting business.  Let’s follow the lead of the Super Bowl, and market our businesses like it’s our last day in business.
  • Hire the right team – When they decided on having a Super Bowl in NY/NJ, they knew it was a huge risk and the key to its success on an international platform would be to hire the right people to get the job done.  They hired someone who headed up one of the top marketing companies in the world to be their CEO.  That person, in turn, then hired a team of marketers who are known to deliver new products and services.  As a small business owner, we don’t spend money on the right people mainly because we don’t always have the money or we already have the money earmarked for something else.

If we take heed of the above lessons and execute them, we too can have a winning team.