Pride is a Powerful Economic Development Tool (Part 1)
Pride cannot be more evident that at a professional baseball, basketball or football game. Fans spend billions of dollars on an idea with no other benefit than the satisfaction of being part of a team. Why is pride so important for a team or city? Success in many cases begins with a belief in what one or many can accomplish. Pride is the simple belief that something has value and is worthy of association. If enough pride rallies together it proves a powerful force either in winning games or creating economic development.
How do we translate the idea of pride into economic development for cities? Are cities not in some ways competing to win…instead of games though it’s recruiting companies, residents and visitors? There is a fundamental link between the pride for one’s team and how that can be converted to the success of our cities.
Pride is built around an idea, an experience and a sense of belonging. After digging into the idea of team pride, I believe there are underlying fundamentals in create a sense of pride, whether for a team or for a city. There are many things that go into creating pride, but here are a few that can be pulled from any situation where pride is present.
- Consistent Marketing – Pride is a byproduct of great marketing and messaging. I’m not talking about Mad Men marketing with expensive ads. Guerilla marketing can work just as well. Pride though is most successful with the message is clear, concise and something that invites anyone to join.
- Loyalty – fans see themselves as part of the success. Loyalty brings fans back during good and bad times. It is this loyalty that maintains the sustainability for the team or city. Fair weather fans come and go, but the loyal fans are the backbone of what makes a team or city successful.
- Gathering Areas – Fans require a common area to display their pride. For teams, this happens to be stadiums. Fans congregate together in and around the stadium to celebrate the team and the coming victory. Without a common gathering area, it is difficult to feed the flame that makes the pride so powerful.
Like most things, there is a successful formula to obtaining a goal. My next piece will focus on some of the key ingredients to creating pride. Stay Tuned…