Just watched ESPN “30 on 30” show on ’85 Bears. I was skeptical but it was touching, entertaining and compelling like most of these documentaries are.
You might tire of hearing about the only championship in Chicago. Despite the 6 Bulls’ NBA Dynasty Championships with legends Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Phil Jackson, three Stanley Cups with Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Coach Q as well as the 2005 Sox World Series with colorful Ozzie Guillen and crew (whew lost my breath), these Bears dominate sports history and culture.
However, if you’re a marketer, you can really learn about public relations and content marketing strategies from these Monsters of the Midway through the 6 lessons outlined below. The Bears propelled their brand like you can — achieving impactful business goals like amassing awareness, infusing energy, gaining relevance and sustaining momentum.
You could say they blitzed these business goals like their vaunted defense did:
- Ooze brand personality – this cast of characters has not been seen since – Sweetness Walter Payton, The Punky QB Jim McMahon, MLB Samurai Mike Singletary, Da Coach Iron Mike Ditka, DL MongoSteve McMichael, DE Sackman Richard Dent and DT Danimal Dan Hampton became featured in Coke, McDonald’s and Chevrolet commercials and promotions. Finally, the offense line anchored by All-Pros tackle Jimbo Covert and center Jay Hilgenberg got attention in this renowned Black and Blues Brothers poster for Chevy. Witness all their nicknames; these guys had heart and soul. Heard any nicknames on Panthers or Broncos?
- Drive engagement – known for being out on the town; they readily admit they would never survive in the social media age. But they wanted to hang with their rabid fans on their off Thursday nights. I understand Friday practices were quite lethargic. And many of these players still call Chicago home, still embracing all their glory and contributing to the community. Sarcastically, my Eagle and disengaged Bear buddies still “count off” how many years since the team won the big game.
- Stimulate and provoke conversation – Chicago and the nation were abuzz about their menacing 46 defense and rookie sensation William Refrigerator Perry. The 300-pound defensive tackle scored a touchdown in the Super Bowl and a few times in the regular season even catching a pass to score. That guy was amazingly agile and quick for a Fridge.
- Embrace values of sharing – inform, entertain, intrigue and educate. They did the second and third values best. Some brands don’t get it like the Bears did and still do.
- Make content compelling and timely – check out Super Bowl Shuffle (some can and can’t sing and dance). Love OLB Otis Wilson’s That guy can move like he did against overwhelmed offensive lines. Backup QB Steve Fuller and DB Hitman Gary Fencik are special (ouch). Does it stand the test of time? It is old school and the chorus infectious – so 80s? The song’s popularity led to it being #41 on the US Billboard Hot 100,
- They were innovators — their 46 defense named after man who wore that number and spearheaded by iconic defense coach Buddy Ryan (talk about a character) was revolutionary and produced 64 sacks. They held defenses to 198 points and scored 456, and they crippled many an opposing QB (ouch).
I have a soft spot for this group because when I was with Wilson, we promoted the first ever commemorative Super Bowl football made in tiny Ada Ohio. That was almost as much fun as watching this 15-1 juggernaut of a team.
What can you learn from these legendary ’85 Da Bears?
Later this year, we will talk about the equally brand stars — the “Big Red Machine.”
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