Innovative Marketing in Baseball

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During football season I wrote about innovation in the NFL and why the NFL is slow to adopt new in game tactics. Today,  I was reading Al’s Ramblings, my favorite Brewers blog, and found his post on the Cincinnati Reds attempt at making more money and generating more interest for the franchise: a futures game.  Instead of normal futures games like the one during the all star break, where the two teams are made up of minor league prospects, this futures game is the best players from the Reds minor league system against the full major league club.

This is a unique event that will not only generate money for the Reds, but will offer a value add for Reds fans.  Imagine if one of their top prospects hits a home run off of a current major league pitcher.  The fans will have something to look forward to and could have the beginnings of a legend, especially if that player comes up the the majors and stars later in life.

Al argues that the Brewers should implement a game like this before the regular season.  I agree completely, especially if the Brewers sold tickets for $10-20.  They could market it as not only a futures game, but an opening day for true baseball fans, rather than the alcohol soaked event that is the current opening day.  I’d like to see the Brewers and other team continue to innovate on and off the field, as adds to fan interest and team income.

Crowdspring is Fantastic

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I had read about the power of crowd surfing over the last few years, but had never gotten a chance to actually try it out.  My partner from ExchangeHut, Corey Capasso, introduced me to CrowdSpring, a cool new startup that is crowd surfing for graphic design.  Its a simple idea, but it works amazingly well.  Here’s how it works:

You go to crowdspring and fill out a form with what your project’s needs.  Then, you post how much you are willing to pay for the winning design.  After you submit your project, the entire CrowdSpring community is able to work on your project.  You are guaranteed at least 25 entries, or your money back.  The project lasts for a week and you can watch the designs roll in, comment on them and ask for revisions.  After a week, you choose the winning design and get the files from the designer.  Crowdspring takes care of the legal documents to make sure that you own the design that was created for you.

I recently used it for a project of mine and it worked perfectly.  Here is an example of an entry on crowdspring.  I would suggest checking crowdspring out for any of your graphic design needs in the future.  Crowdspring is cheap, easy and provides quality work.

Mozy: Branding Gone Right

In my last post, I talked about the state of Wisconsin and its branding gone wrong.  I wanted to use this post to show an example of a company with excellent branding and customer relations:

Mozy is an online data backup company that stores and protects files on your hard drive.  Here’s how it works.  You sign up for an unlimited storage plan for $4.95 per month and install the Mozy client onto your computer.  You tell Mozy what you want to back up and then the application does the rest.  The client runs in the background when you start up and shut down your computer, saving any files that have been modified in the interim.  If you computer dies, is stolen or somehow gets damaged, you can load the Mozy client onto your new machine and have your data back in as little as three hours.

There are a myriad of online backup companies, but I think Mozy has the best branding and advertising (I use Mozy to backup my computer).  Check out their homepage and see if you agree.  

I wanted to focus on an email they sent to their customers last week.  Its simply brilliant.  Here is the email:

Monthly Newsletter – April 2009

Flight 1549



Flight 1549Paul Jorgensen had just come from a meeting at Goldman Sachs when he boarded US Airways Flight 1549. He sat down in seat 1A next to the window, pulled out his notebook to capture of few thoughts, then put it away and prepared for takeoff.

Seated one row behind Jorgensen was Bill Wiley, also traveling for business with a computer onboard the plane. In fact, he brought a couple of notebooks with him. But he, like Jorgensen and all passengers, abandoned his personal belongings and focused on saving his life when the plane crash-landed into the Hudson River.

Both men had been backing up regularly. The difference is Jorgenson backed up online with Mozy, and Wiley backed up his two computers to thumb drives. Jorgensen retrieved his data back from Mozy, but Wiley lost 250 GB of his employer’s information. The stories were detailed in USA Today and ComputerWorld.

In moments of disaster, those who use Mozy are able to focus on other things than backup without the fear of losing their data. At Mozy, we’re grateful that all passengers on Flight 1549 were in the hands of such an skillful crew and were able to return to their loved ones without any loss of life or significant injury. 

Be safe,
Devin Knighton


This story is the perfect example of a sticky message.  Most Americans know about the crash landing in the Hudson.  Everyone can picture what they would do if they were in a similar situation and everyone can picture what they would feel like if they did not have Mozy to protect their data.  This email is another piece of brilliant marketing from Mozy.

“Live Like You Mean It” – Branding Gone Wrong

Live like you Mean It.  

That is the new slogan for the state of Wisconsin.  Apparently “America’s Dairyland” was not good enough.  The new slogan cost $50,000 of taxpayer money and it wasn’t even original: Bacardi trademarked it and has used it as a slogan to sell rum.  Motivational speakers use it as book titles, marketers put it on baby bibs, and high-minded college kids use it to discuss what they would like to do after graduation.

Its boring, unoriginal and very debatable whether Wisconsinites “live like they mean it” or if tourists are supposed to come to Wisconsin with that goal in mind.  Either way, it is a weak effort.  Wisconsin could have crowd surfed its way to a better slogan; It probably would have been better than Live Like you Mean It and wouldn’t have cost $50,000.

It brings up three rules that should should make sure to follow when they are trying to brand themselves:

  1. Do your due diligence to make sure your brand does not evoke other, unrelated products. (If it were Wisconsin and beer or brandy rather than Wisconsin and rum it might make sense)
  2. Be creative, not boring
  3. Don’t waste cash on something you could do yourself