The Breakfast of Champions is the well known slogan of Wheaties, or a Kurt Vonnegut novel, depending on the circles you swing in. Brand Thunder is laying its claim as “the Maker of Champions.” It’s an easy claim when you create your own moniker, and sounds better than reality – “the official new media, affinity marketing tool of the team that wins out.”
Last year, the Stanley Cup Finals pitted the toolbar offering Detroit Redwings with the browser theme supporting Pittsburgh Penguins — and the Penguins prevailed. One W for the browser theme contingent. This year, the technology drama has been left behind as both teams, the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers, are Brand Thunder clients and their fans are avid users of each team’s interactive browser theme. For two consecutive years, Brand Thunder will be a proud partner of the Stanley Cup Champions.
Sure, you can point and say, “well, you’ve not won it all in every sport.” True, but I like our odds. Just look at the past year in sports. One hundred percent of our clients from BCS schools wound up in a BCS Bowl Game (things are looking up for the Duke football team this season!). Brand Thunder clients made it to the NBA finals last year (Orlando Magic) and are contending again this year (Magic and Phoenix Suns). The Superbowl featured a Brand Thunder client (Indianapolis Colts) and the Major League Soccer Champions (Real Salt Lake) are clients as well.
I love pointing out how well our clients are doing. I think it’s great that we’re in such good company. Do I think there’s truth to the claim a Brand Thunder browser theme can make a sports team perform better? To borrow from Bull Durham: “A player on a streak has to respect the streak. If you believe you’re playing well because you’re getting laid, or because you’re not getting laid, or because you wear women’s underwear, then you are!”
Help us respect the streak. If you want to see how Brand Thunder and an interactive browser theme can keep you at the top of your game, give us a shout.
The growth chart is text book. Brand Thunder’s doubling its size in half the time. It took us 18 months to reach the 500,000 download mark. Nine months later, we reached the million download mark. Four and a half months after that, we’re over two million downloads. Nice momentum.
It’s easy to see the caliber of brand that we’re fortunate enough to work with, our client list is full of great names from around the globe. Leveraging the power of the brand and their consumer touch points is common practice for affinity products. We try to bring a little more.
The web has splintered audiences. Think about how a sports fan may follow their favorite team. A fan may go to the team’s site, or they may go to a leading sports site, or they may participate in a blog or community focused on a team or sport. Limiting distribution through team channels limits the reach of the product. (As an aside, if you really want to learn about how teams can keep up with their fans, follow Sports Networker.)
Brand Thunder leverages distribution opportunities beyond the client site. We interact with communities where fans are gathering (always in a respectful way). We go through download sites where users are already looking for ways to personalize their experience. We look for other means to message the availability of the browser theme and get it to fans. We’ve seen a material benefit to our partners with this approach.
We love our client list and helping our clients connect with their fans is our biggest priority. But that’s not are only product. We also build interactive browser themes for the generalist or people that like stuff not represented by our client list. In the world of affinity credit cards, the NFL card is in the top 3 (don’t quote me on the exact number). Data accuracy aside, the illustration holds – most fans choose the NFL over their favorite team.
That’s why we have a Basketball theme, in addition to the NBA teams we work with like the Cavaliers, Magic, Sixers and Suns.
These product extensions help us reach the broader audience and grow our business. We continue to look for ways to meet the end user where they are and where their interests lie. We’ll continue to strive for that while we work our way toward the four million download mark.
As we kick-off Super Bowl week, I thought I’d take the less than humble approach of mentioning how, yet again, a team that has chosen an interactive browser theme from Brand Thunder is vying for the championship of its sport. The AFC champion Indianapolis Colts go for it all Sunday night. We’ve been here before.
During the Stanley Cup Playoffs last year, Brand Thunder clients had an outstanding representation. The Pittsburgh Penguins won a well played series and the Cup over a team that only offered their fans a toolbar. An interesting data point.
That celebration was extended to the MLS Cup where another Brand Thunder client, the Real Salt Lake, defeated the LA Galaxy – who also offer their fans an interactive browser theme. You might say we cheated, because we signed the entire MLS and we’d lay claim to any champion heralding from the soccer league. To that I’d say… you’re right.
Yet we also enjoyed having the Orlando Magic, the NBA Eastern Conference Champions, as a client. You see the trend here. It’s a pretty compelling story. Partner with Brand Thunder and find yourself competing among the elite of your league and playing for the championship.
That’s why on Super Bowl Sunday, we’ll be rooting for our favorite NFL client – the Indianapolis Colts. On Super Bowl Monday, we’ll be looking to help more teams. And for Major League Baseball teams getting geared up for Spring Training, we’d love to have our first MLB client. Give us a call.
You’d think a team heading to the NBA Finals would have only one thing on their mind. That may be true of the players and coaches, but the front office is still thinking about the fans in this stellar 20th season for the Magic.
That’s why, starting today, you can download the latest Brand Thunder Boom! from the NBA’s Eastern Conference champions. It’s a special “NBA Finals” edition that’ll have fans saying “Go Magic!”
Seriously, this is one project that’s been GO from the beginning. It’s probably one of the fastest turnarounds we’ve seen from agreement to design, build and launch. Motivation can do that for you. But it’s only part of the equation. For those in the development field, you know it’s also about clear definition and deadlines met by anyone who plays a role. That’s not always easy.
Neither is playing in the NBA Finals. Two motivated teams reached the Finals, but now it’s about offense, defense and simply whether or not shots are going to fall. Or, it could just take a little Magic.