Even if you don’t follow the NFL, you probably have heard of the Cleveland Browns. And you might have heard they don’t have the greatest success rate in recent history (the team won a total of four games in the three seasons between 2015 and 2017…with zero wins in 2017).Lo and behold, on September 20th, the Browns won their first game, against the New York Jets. Even the Cleveland Police Department was cracking jokes about it…
So what does this have to do with Brand Vitality?Despite the bad record and public ‘Bad News Bears’ image of the team, the Browns actually maintain a solid fan base. Why? The brand has created and—more importantly—maintained true believers. The players believe. The fans believe.
And even the brands (sort of) believe.For example, Budweiser. At the beginning of this football season, Budweiser had “Bud Light Victory Fridges” placed in bars around Cleveland. They were chained up and would only be unlocked when the Browns had their first victory.
“The Bud Light Browns ‘Victory Fridge’ is a fun way to celebrate and reward a fan base that has never wavered in enthusiasm or dedication to their team…it’s going to be fun to be part of the celebration when the teams earns their first victory of the season.” Andy Goeler, Vice President of Marketing for Bud Light