The Elusive Fan Picks: Ten Worst Sports Brands

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In the universe of high-performing premium sports brands, little is said about those brands that have either failed to make the grade or are mired in the failure zone after an initial successful run. The Elusive Fan Podcast has taken the leap with a list that includes the National Hockey League, Barry Bonds and the XFL.

In the universe of high-performing premium sports brands, little is said about those brands that have either failed to make the grade or are mired in the failure zone after an initial successful run. The Elusive Fan Podcast has taken the leap with a list that includes the National Hockey League, Barry Bonds and the XFL.

The Elusive Fan Podcast -- http://www.theelusivefan.com/podcasts.html -- is a 20-minute weekly show based on the recently published book entitled "The Elusive Fan: Reinventing Sports in a Crowded Marketplace" (McGraw-Hill). Knowing that passions run high in sports and that no list of 10 could possibly accommodate the many dismal sports brand flops, The Elusive Fan invites sports lovers everywhere to post their own suggestions at: http://www.theelusivefan.com/serendipity/index.php.

The list in descending order:

10. New York Knicks

9. National Hockey League

8. City College of New York basketball team

7. Barry Bonds

6. Starter Jackets

5. Florida Marlins

4. XFL

3. Horse Racing

2. Tour de France

1. Track and Field

The podcast discusses the reasons for the choices. It was not an easy list to compile as the authors were tempted to include such tempting targets as the Indianapolis 500 and Temple University football. In the media age, lists have become an epidemic and are often sought after by the sports industry. This is one that sports brands will not want to make next year.

About "The Elusive Fan," the Book

Today's sports fan operates in a world saturated with choices. Traditional sports like baseball, football and basketball, must now vie for fans' attention (and dollars) with emerging challengers such as NASCAR, snowboarding, lacrosse, poker ... even paintball. For the first time in history, the sports industry has to reexamine fundamental questions about its true markets, product distribution and how to handle inevitable crises. The old business formulas, developed in an age of just three television networks and creaky stadiums with backless, uncomfortable seats, no longer apply.

Authors Irving Rein, Philip Kotler and Ben Shields deliver an innovative new business model centered squarely on fan satisfaction and retention. They give you the tools for successfully transforming your sports product into an enduring brand, immune to the vagaries of winning and losing -- flexible enterprises that quickly adapt to changing market conditions and consistently deliver a unique and satisfying sports experience.

Whether you are a decision maker for a sports team or league on the professional, college, or high school level, a business leader searching for clues to emerging trends, a marketer, advertiser, or sponsor of a sports product, an athlete looking to break out into new markets, or a fan who is interested in the past, present, and potential future of the sports business, this book is a must-read.

More information about the book can be found at http://www.theelusivefan.com.

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Ben Shields

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