This is the Cult Concept:
There is one thing that never ceases to fascinate me about sports. It’s not the superhumans dominating the field, nor the miracle moments, nor the megastructures that house them.
It’s the fans. More specifically, it’s how an organization is able to construct such a brilliant community that will tirelessly follow their team to the end of the Earth. There are very few settings where people follow an entity or organization so vehemently. I want to know how these followings are built, and I swear, the answer to all effective advertising and public relations lies within this subject.
I’ll use the Portland Traiblazers as an example, a team very close to my heart. The organization’s administration is not bad by any means, especially when compared to others. For the most part, we simply fall victim to the worst luck this side of the Mississippi.
But when you look at Rip City fans in relation to the actions of their administration, it’s astounding that we Blazer fans are so in love with our team. We’ve gone through GMs like Rex Ryan goes through crab at a crab feed. We’ve endured the Jail Blazers era. We’ve suffered a first-round draft pick bust. Twice. We’ve missed out on both Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant. If you don’t know who those two are, don’t ever read this blog again.
In spite of all this dark misfortune and luck, we are still the best fans in the NBA. That’s not a point to be argued.
Any CEO, ad or PR person who has the time and money should be painstakingly researching this phenomenon. People follow these organizations with extreme passion on a consistent, daily basis, however, nothing is really at stake. Even if the organization treats their fans like dirt, even if the organization is in crumbling disrepair, people will latch to your cause, so long as it is to create a fantastic sports team. Only social movements and nations are followed with such passionate fervor.
My question: what triggers people to go so insane for such an organization and practice that means so little? If people go this crazy for sports teams, Occupy leaders should be ashamed. Leaders, brands and ad/PR agencies everywhere should be ashamed.
My point is, that if you can work people into a frenzy over a sports team, you can really get them stoked on just about anything with the proper branding, PR and advertising. Especially with the right people speaking for your cause.
My next post will revisit the cult concept in relation to sports and elaborate on this post. Unless I get way too distracted.