George Steinbrenner – New York Yankees

In baseball, everyone hates the New York Yankees. There are many reasons why the yankees are so hated, mainly because the Yankees Always win. But how did the New York Yankees become a team notoriously known as winners? The answers is George Steinbrenner, the team’s owner.

George Steinbrenner is legendary in the business world. Applying his foundational knowledge of marketing, and use of the 4 Ps (profit, price, place, promotion) Steinbrenner was able to brand The Yankees into a baseball powerhouse attracting winning athletes and diehard fans. At the very core of his work branding The Yankees was publicity. Steinbrenner actively engaged in questionable player changes, often times considered unethical. In the wake of statistics used to evaluate performance on the baseball field Steinbrenner was an under-the-radar advocate, trading favorite players off of The Yankee roster overnight. These acts put New York in the spotlight, but when they began to win, New Yorkers and others became greater fans than they were before.

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The player switches and success of the team were not the only contributors to George Steinbrenner’s legacy. Steinbrenner focused his efforts onto things like promotion of the Yankee logo, and seating prices and accommodations at the Yankee Stadium. More broadly, he engaged fans into baseball as a way of spending leisure time and money. At such a crucial juncture in the history of the sport, Steinbrenner enhanced every aspect of the game. Suddenly in mainstream society, baseball was leading entertainment. The Yankees were winning, and their fans were ecstatic.

It seems that, in America, branding the organization is one of the many contributors to success of the organization. Other key brands are the Los Angeles Lakers in basketball, and the New England Patriots in football. These organizations took a step back from the game itself and looked outward into what the organization could grow to represent. For these clubs, more than any other, the game itself is just a tiny fragment of the entire spectrum of what sports are.

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Knowing these things, it may be easier to like the Yankees. But the bottom line message is that using fundamental principles we learn in business school, we can make the historical changes we wish to see.

Similarly, risk taking can be a valuable asset in business.

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