Lions Phenomenon Checks All The Boxes

As the Detroit Lions head to San Francisco for this weekend’s NFC Championship Game, they have created a literal phenomenon born not just of winning but by a range of additional factors necessary for creating same.  In and out of sports theirs is a recipe often attempted but rarely duplicated.

In the field of marketing in general, creating a ‘movement’ or ‘sensation’ isn’t color by numbers. It is something that often comes together organically with success that is more surprising than planned. The ice bucket challenge, a simple yet unique action and challenge to family and friends to do the same, brought worldwide ALS awareness and some $117 million for research. At the time, many other nonprofits struggled with how to replicate something of this nature. Truth was, they could not.

When one-time client GalaxE.Solutions came to Detroit just prior to the city’s bankruptcy, it desired to locate in Campus Martius with the goal of hiring hundreds and working toward building an IT hub here. Its Outsource to Detroit 10-story banner dominated the city skyline and became of symbol of the company’s vision of repatriating IT jobs from overseas. It was a message that resonated locally and nationally into the White House. These were outcomes that were never planned to the degree they would ultimately achieve.

For the Lions, their ‘movement’ and the road to ending 60-years of frustration began with HBO’s “Hard Knocks” two years ago. There, we identified with the blue-collar work ethic and leadership style of Dan Campbell while getting an inside look at players and other coaches at work and at home. All of this helped checked the initial boxes of authenticity, shared challenges and goals and, as importantly as anything else – the human factor.  And, we’ve continued to win.

The final outcome is the icing on the cake for any sports team, company or organization. As from a challenge there must be a potential solution, and that solution must be solved and/or realized in some significant way. For the Lions that next step will be a win over the 49ers and, hopefully from there, a trip to Super Bowl Sunday for the first time ever.