Almost a week after the Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 World Series, people are still buzzing over the victory and the end of their 108 year losing streak. Though the World Series serves as a national event to some, it has significant public relations and marketing lessons attached to it. Here are five major lessons from the World Series, and its contenders, provided to communication students throughout the seven game matchup.
1. To make your product great, you have to invest in it
The Chicago Cubs made significant roster moves the past few off-season’s; these moves increased their player payout. According spotrac.com, for only the 2016 season, the Cubs 40-man active roster earned more than $130 million. Your organization must make this investment deeper than just superficial changes, and must start with their core– the Chicago Cubs started this trend by hiring a new president of baseball operations in 2011, Theo Epstein.
The old saying goes, “if you want to make money, you have to spend money.” This is exactly what the Chicago Cubs did. Not only did they increase their revenue this season, they created a winning a team and boosted the moral in their city.
2. Failure leads to success
In order to accomplish your goal, you have to go through multiple strategies and attempts first. Unfortunately, we live in a world where success doesn’t happen overnight, and for the Chicago Cubs, that was definitely the case. This team defeated the odds, and came back from a 3-1 deficit, in order to break their 108 year losing streak. If that isn’t a failure to success story, then I don’t know what is.
3. Never count yourself (or your strategy) out
The Chicago Cubs came back from being down 3-1 against the Cleveland Indians; yet neither team gave up, resulting in the first extra-inning game seven since 1997. Both teams never doubted themselves, or felt as if they didn’t have a chance. Do this with your strategies; no matter if you’re an entry level employee, an intern or a CEO. If you believe your idea or strategy would work, suggest it. Never count yourself out and say that you cannot do something.
4. Be willing to change your “starting roster” if needed
Both the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians made numerous changes to their pitching staffs and starting rotation prior to, and during, the World Series. These changes allowed each team to compete more efficiently. Sometimes we need to do this on our own teams; not everyone can be extremely skilled in all aspects on the field. In fact, people usually have a niche. Next time your client approaches you with a project consider: who do I have that can serve on this team to make this project the most effective? Also, ask yourself: how can I help my team?
5. Don’t forget about the people supporting you, and what their needs and wants are
The Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs both had huge support systems behind them. From lifelong team fans, MLB fans and people that live in the city, the streets were pouring with red and blue support for the entirety of the series. Post World Series, the Chicago Cubs organization greatly included their fans in their post-game celebrations. Though these fans did want their respected team to win the World Series, the Cubs considered their fans even more after the final pitch. This type of commitment boosted moral and connected their brand to more people. It created an opportunity for the fans and the Cubs organization to bridge the gap between company and consumer.
Natalie Gloady is a senior at Waynesburg University, where she is majoring in public relations and sports information. She serves as the public relations director for Waynesburg PRSSA, as well as an account executive for Red Brick Communications. Natalie hopes to pursue a job in the sports industry as a social media coordinator or publications director post graduation. Follow her on Twitter or connect with Natalie on LinkedIn.