We met with a client one Monday morning, and he was excited to have an offer on his home, but he was even more excited about the weekend he had just experienced. He had just returned from Wisconsin, where he met his fiancée, and they attended a football game in Green Bay. I get a chill when I think about it. He described going to Lambeau Field. He said it was like a religious experience, and now, 24 hours later, he was still on a high that infected all of us at the table.
I’ve thought about that morning a number of times since. JoAnn and I are not Green Bay fans. We live in Arizona and root for the Cardinals. Yet we were caught up in this client’s excitement for a team more than 1,000 miles away. I don’t even recall whether the Packers won the game. What I remember was how the Packers make their fans feel.
Professional football is about competition in one of its purer forms. The NFL is populated with competitors, from the front office to the field. They are all driven personalities. They all want to win. They all want to be number one. But whom do today’s superstars play for? Do they play for themselves, or do they play for their fans? After all, their clients are their fans, but how many of them know that?
How many other teams have fans like those in tiny Green Bay, Wisconsin? By all standards, Green Bay shouldn’t even have a team. They have no metropolitan media market. They exist only because they go back to a time before television and mass merchandising. ...