What I Learned By Reading Brands Win Championships



   Three years ago I won an Amazon gift card during a contest at work. Whenever I receive a gift card for Amazon, I use it to buy books. I vividly remember going on Amazon’s book section and searching “sports business” in the tool bar. As I filtered through the responses, one book stood out from the others. What’s the saying again? I think its, “Never judge a book by its cover.” Well that day I judged a book by its cover and it paid off. There are many great books and tools available for sports professionals throughout the industry. Very few give practical, real life examples, in a clear and concise format. Brands Win Championships (Pictured below) written by Jeremy Darlow stood out immediately for 2 reasons.

  • The design, look, and cover of the book
  • The name/title of the book


     I really enjoyed the graphics and diagrams Jeremy used to explain his concepts. Once I opened up the book, it was a quick read. I highly recommend every person involved in sports to read this book. Several principles stood out to me when reading the book. I have included these below.

  • Perception– What is your company/brands perception in the marketplace? How are you perceived? An honest evaluation needs to take place before you can begin crafting or evaluating your brand story. In order to develop an unbiased view, sometimes you might need an independent source or customer feedback to help guide this discussion. 


  • Brand Equity– Depending who you talk to, brand equity can have many definitions.  Jeremy defines brand equity as, “The combination of strength and awareness.” What do people think about your brand? When someone sees your logo, what’s their first thought?  How often do they think about your brand? In today’s society we are constantly bombarded with information.  You want people thinking about your brand as often as possible.  Cutting through the noise and reaching your market can be difficult.  Those who figure out how to do this are successful and stand out.


  • Story– Every company/business/organization has a unique story. You can be a small business or Fortune 500, size doesn’t matter.   Jeremy identifies several universities who have owned and mastered their story. What makes your company different?   How well are you communicating your story? Your story is the backbone of your brand, having the ability to grow your business, if used correctly. 


  • Consistency and Frequency– When telling your story you need to identify and own the tone and voice of your brand. Your tone and voice needs to be consistent. The more consistent your story, the more likely people will remember it. The next step is frequency.  It’s important to communicate your story as often as possible, in as many different ways as possible (social media, digital, print, radio, tv, etc).  

     Since reading this book, I have followed Jeremy and his work. We were able to connect regarding his time at adidas. I spoke with him regarding his thoughts on “why” people are changing their preferences and buying adidas again.  Living the #3stripelife is a “real” thing.

adidas developed a great campaign around the NFL Combine called “Break The 40 Record, Win and Island.” If you wore adidas’ new adizero cleats while breaking the 40 yard dash record, you won an island. This was a genius marketing tactic, receiving great press coverage before, during, and after the NFL Combine. John Ross broke the record while wearing Nike cleats.  Even though he wore Nike cleats, adidas received great coverage as a “what if” and “he should” have been wearing the adizero. How long did this campaign take to put together? Jeremy discusses the time frame. 




    Each person writes a book for different reasons.  Just read through Jeremy’s Twitter timeline and you can see the impact his book has had on many people.    He shared with me the most enjoyable part of writing his book. 

    Check out the interview below. . . 

Nick Cipkus: Why should someone choose Adidas vs. another brand they have become accustomed too?

Jeremy Darlow:  I think we choose products based on 1. the product itself and 2. the congruency with our own personal values. adidas is at the forefront of creativity and encouraging new ways of thinking in all walks of life. I think it’s for that reason and because of the incredible product they are producing that people are gravitating to the brand.

Nick Cipkus: adidas “RUN FOR AN ISLAND” stole the build up to the NFL Combine. How long did it take too put together this campaign/story?

Jeremy Darlow:  Every project takes months to plan from concept to execution. But the tighter your overarching brand plan is, the quicker and easier it is to activate against that plan in ways like the NFL Combine island offer.

Nick Cipkus: What has been the most enjoyable part of publishing your book?

Jeremy Darlow: Meeting and interacting with people! I’m blown away every day by the reaction to the book. I never imagined it would be received as well as it has and I’ve been blessed to meet some incredible people along the way because of it. And, on a personal level, every time someone posts a picture of the book, I get chills. That puts a huge smile on my face.

WHO ELSE HAS READ THIS BOOK???? Share your thoughts and insight you have gained from reading Brands Win Championships. 

Follow Jeremy on Twitter at @JeremyDarlow

Purchase Brands Win Championships on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2sdzMMX




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