22 June 2014

Golden Rule invalid in life and sports business

Wonder why I do not wish anyone a happy birthday? The Golden Rule told me not to.

I am not big on birthdays. Never liked them, hardly ever celebrate them. As a minimalist I don’t like presents. Usually they only add clutter to my life and closet. Similarly cake only adds inches to my already burgeoning waistline.

For me birthdays are just another day. If I want to go to a special event or a nice restaurant I just go. If I need something, I just buy it. I don’t need to wait until the day of my birth to do those things.

So since the Golden Rule tells us to “treat others like you would like them to treat you,” then it is clear that I should not do anything for anyone on their birthday.


Following the Golden Rule has gotten me in a lot of trouble over the years. The fact is people are different and what you like or don’t like isn’t necessary the same for everybody else.

Instead of treating people how you want to be treated, you need to treat people according to how THEY WANT TO BE TREATED.

In the sports marketing context that means understanding your clients/customers and providing them the value and experience they seek.

It is important to realize that what you have in mind is not exactly what they have in mind. Your idea of fun at a game or view of effective sponsorship might be totally different that that of your fans or sponsors. Do not be rigid or feel you know what is best for them. Certainly it is important to give your clients/customers all the facts and make sure they are informed on trends and best practices so that you cover your bases and don’t get a  “You should have told me that!” down the road, but ultimately, as long as it is within reason – give them what they want.