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Of Branding and Sport

Any team from any sport is a brand. As such, a personality is created around its game and players so that the fans can relate and decide to support it. Once popularity has increased, the team is building its own reputation and therefore positioning itself. When it already has generated a great impact among supporters, image is significant in and out of the pitch since it is reflecting the values and spirits of the group.

So when I read on the newspaper about the nasty comments from New York Jets on New England Patriots, I immediately thought that it was a question of image. On the one hand, the former tried to provoke their rivals by using obscene language and taking advantage of any question made to keep on insulting.

On the other hand, the latter proved to be more intelligent by ignoring those comments and staying focused on the game that took place on Sunday 16th. Tom Brady, as the leader of the Pats, did not even show any sign of fury when finding out that he actually was the target of all of the criticism. 

His reaction was simple and effective: a smile while hinting that he did not have any idea of the opponents’ statements.  That is awareness of the name of the team and what it represents worldwide. Let us recall that football is not a local sports in the United States, it has presence out of the country. If there is any rumor that the Pats are arrogant, Brady’s attitude proves that wrong.

On the day of the game, Wes Welker from New England did not play in the first quarter. He got involved into the quarrel when he was not supposed to be part of it. The punishment he received revealed that there is discipline within the team in all aspects. And what did the Jets coach do about his players’ attitude? Only pointed that the language they used were severe and that it was just their opinion. Is that it? Not a smart move after having issues with their behavior throughout the season.

A day after the Pats’ elimination, Tom Brady declared that he and his mates did not play at their best. He also pointed that New York Jets were superior and got to establish a better rhythm on the game. Once again, these words reflect that the team recognizes its mistakes and praises the rival’s performance. It is a positive point for the New England Patriots brand image. Humility is a remarkable value, especially coming from this dynasty in the football league.

In the meantime, Jets still have to work a lot on their projection in public. Discipline and order can be questionable because of all the ‘incidents’ that have taken place. Issues coming from the inside can highly affect the outside, and they know it.

Beware. Every single action is one step in revealing your true self.

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