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Michael Jordan, “The Last Dance” and B2B Marketing Tactics
As fans around the world long for the return of live sports, many are settling for a trip down memory lane.
“The Last Dance,” ESPN’s ten-part docuseries chronicling Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls dynasty, has become the latest entertainment phenomenon (move over, Tiger King).
The series documents the end of an era for Jordan, along with Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Horace Grant, Steve Kerr and company as one of the greatest franchises in sports history.
It also reveals Jordan’s transformation from a standout guard to a global brand.
Michael Jordan: A Marketing Juggernaut
The impact Jordan and the Bulls had on the game of basketball is historic. But the marketing impact is just as mind boggling. Jordan elevated the Bulls’ home game ticket sales and TV revenue by $135 million and $366 million.
Today, folks just call it the “Jordan Effect.”
Jordan’s prowess extended to his sponsorship deals, as companies that penned endorsement contracts with the five-time MVP saw their profits climb and their public images flourish. According to economic estimates, Jordan had a $408 million effect on partners such as Gatorade, Oakley sunglasses and General Mills in the 1990s alone.
However, these figures pale in comparison to the effect Jordan had on his flagship sponsor, Nike.
Despite a reluctance to originally meet with Nike in 1984, Jordan was quickly wowed by the presentation and partnership Nike proposed. Jordan took a personal involvement in the design and production of the inaugural pair of Air Jordans, a product that jump started Nike’s popularity.
By the late ‘90s, Jordan products grossed Nike an estimated $2.6 billion, with Jordan having an estimated $5.2 billion effect on the overall brand.
A Place for Sponsorships in B2B Marketing
Jordan was an ideal fit for the Nike brand, and sponsorships are a time-tested way to associate brands with celebrity, particularly in the B2C space. Yet marketing experts have begun to recognize their value in B2B campaigns.
Sports sponsorships can increase awareness, engagement and sales while boosting a brand’s image – outcomes central to all marketing campaigns. Additionally, B2B organizations with smart sponsorships often see a jump in job applications and employee engagement.
The Power of Good Testimonials and Case Studies
While not every organization is capable of sponsoring a world-famous athlete, there are other tactics like corporate sponsorships that connect brands to desirable users and showcase a product in action.
Testimonials and case studies can spotlight ways in which a product is being used by top talent and showcase a product in action.
Zoom, the technology giant whose name has become ubiquitous in the contemporary virtual world, features customer testimonials prominently in the presentation of its video conferencing software. The company even segments client stories by industry to individually highlight the use of its product in various economic sectors.
Case studies and testimonials have the potential to greatly impact a brand’s perception, as well as identify an organization’s desired customer base. Testimonials and case studies from well-recognized or relevant clients can attract a second look from prospects who model themselves after companies featured in the success stories.