5 Superbowl Lessons for Your Personal Brand

Companies that ‘invested’ in an ad for this year’s Superbowl were paying $5 million for 30 seconds, that’s over $160,000 per second and then up to an additional 25% was being spent on advertising to promote the advertisement!

This great cartoon from Tom Fishburne at Marketoonist.com sums it all up. Check out his previous Superbowl cartoons too by visiting his website.

The commercials and the half-time show are for many the primary reason they watch the game. Some people even plan whole parties around the ad breaks rather than the game itself.

There was an excellent podcast on the winners and losers of Superbowl advertising, as well as some fascinating tournament history by Terry O’Reilly over at Under The Influence.

Perhaps you are one of the people who did watch it for the football or were tempted to check out the incredible comeback via a social media posting, which apparently happened in large numbers toward the final quarter.

If you are looking to the marketing activities for clues or ways to promote your personal brand, then regardless of whether you are a fan or understand the game, you will be better invested in taking some pointers from the action on and around the field.

Vision & Belief

The two teams in the final, the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots, were arguably the two best teams this season. Indeed, they both believed that. The two coaches had both experienced Superbowl success and are capable of painting a picture to their respective teams about being a winning team.

When it comes to your personal brand, do you have a vision for where you want to get to, what you want to achieve? Then do you have the belief that you are going to make it?

Preparation & Planning

The run up to the Superbowl final is two weeks. In that time the players, coaches and other personnel will have pored over hours and hours of tapes of the competition. They will also have practiced extensively, trying to anticipate every play, outcome and even surprise.

Personal branding is not something that just happens, and if it does you are not defining what it is, others are. Take your vision and turn it into an executable plan. Then set about preparing how to implement the plan, measure results and adjust accordingly.

Flexibility & Versatility

In the first-half Atlanta dominated the scoring and the methods that the Patriots had had no effect. Even before the end of the first 15 minutes, Bill Belichick the Patriots coach was re-writing the game plan. The players were ready to make the changes, and slowly things started to turn around.

“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry” Robert Burns

Even though you may have a plan laid out for your personal brand, change happens. Consider the possibilities, unexpected opportunities, and pitfalls and how you might be able to react and still accomplish your goal.

Persistence & Resilience

Even with less than 20 minutes to go the Patriots seemed like a lost cause. No team had ever come back from a 10 point deficit, and they faced a 25 point one. No-one on the Patriots team seemed to think about anything other than winning. They drew level at the end of regulation time and then went on to win, delivering 31 unanswered points scored.

“To the last whistle” Tom Brady

Developing and building your personal brand is going to take persistence. It is not a sprint, more a marathon. Taking small incremental steps and advancing is going to be better. Sometimes it is going to look almost impossible, and resilience is going to ensure you don’t give up.


Ultimately all of this would have no value unless the Patriots team could deliver the points they needed. The result did not boil down to only Tom Brady, the quarterback, it was the whole team on and off the field. Everybody executed, they did what they had to do.

“It’s up to you to own the definition of who you are” – Paul Copcutt

Having a championship personal brand will be determined by your ability to perform. Your personal brand is not going to develop by itself, at least not in a way that you want it to, clarity of what you stand for is critical, and execution of that by you is essential.

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