What Sports Teams Can Learn From Tech Companies

One of the greatest strengths of the sports industry is the willingness of its professionals to share best practices, ideas and concepts.  Despite competition on the field, sports marketers are usually eager to lend a hand to a counterpart with another team.  The common goal of succeeding in a heavily nuanced profession, with the same pervasive challenges and obstacles present in every game and market, bring sports minds together.  

While sports marketers may be well on top of what’s going on around their league, sometime the laser focus on what will and won’t work within sports prevents a full appreciation of other industries.  Maybe it’s the pressure of the season, the demands of the multiple hats that most must wear, or even a lack of desire to expand our business approach beyond the realm of what we have come to know best.  Whatever the reason, it’s just as important to understand the successes and failures of companies in other trades as it is to stay current on sports business trends.    The more influences you are exposed to, the more diverse your business knowledge is, the more curious you are, the more valuable you’ll be.

Tech companies are among the easiest to learn from, since their entrepreneurial philosophies often mean they aren’t afraid to push the envelope and test the boundaries of traditional business practices. Though seemingly disparate on the surface, the sports and technology industries actually have a lot in common.  Both essentially aim to connect people, be it through a ballgame or a social network.  Both are often entertaining diversions, making daily life more enjoyable by providing an escape or a simpler way of doing something.   They are both dynamic, constantly changing industries where creativity thrives. 

From Google’s renowned corporate culture to Apple’s unique ability to hype a product launch, sports teams need only look to the biggest names in the industry for inspiration.  Here is a closer look at three of those companies and what can be learned from them.

500 million active users and growing.  In the United States alone, users spent 41.1 million minutes on Facebook in August- almost 10% of all time spent anywhere online during the month.  The numbers are so ridiculous they’re almost impossible to comprehend at times.  Everyone would love to have that kind of customer base, right? Well imagine what it’s like when you want to make changes when you’ve got that kind of following.  Facebook just rolled out some layout alterations and announced more major profile updates that are on the way.  The response was as predictable as it was immediate.  People naturally resist change, but people vehemently resist changes on Facebook.  No matter the irony of people complaining about Facebook via Facebook, the site has become so entrenched in our lives that even the simplest of adjustments sends folks into a tizzy.