The Blue Jays defeated the Texas Rangers on Sunday night, in what was a sweet score on error after what could have been a double play for Texas.
Amidst the cheering (but no beer can throwing) of Blue Jays fans, you can also hear something else. In fact, you can feel it.
It’s what we call the bandwagon effect. And it’s selling the Blue Jays brand like never before.
This is what captured our minutes this week.
1. Everyone is a Blue Jays fan now.
People who’d previously opt for watching paint dry are donning their blue and white hats to show team spirit. They’re downloading The Score app to get live updates if they can’t watch the game. Bar nights have become lets-go-to-the-bar-to-watch-the-Jays nights.
Ding, ding, ding! This is what conversion looks like, just on a huge scale. How did this happen? The Jays are pulling off amazing wins that are bringing huge recognition to our normally sloughed off city.
It’s not that the Jays don’t have a great fan base. But hey, not everyone can sit for 3+ hours and watch multiple entire innings proceed scoreless.
Now, no one minds.
And better yet, no one minds paying for it.
Sports is still a business after all and it still needs to make the sales. Whether it’s through tickets or merchandise, people are willing to go the extra length in order to share in the winning momentum.
2. The Jays have brought together an entire city.
Continued from our previous point, people are rallying behind the team like never before and seemingly overnight.
Why is this so important? Because it’s a great example of a shared brand experience.
Torontonians from every end of the GTA (and honestly, Canadians from coast to coast) are sharing in a uniting experience that’s breaking down boundaries between strangers and making them believe in something bigger than individual people.
That kind of raw emotion simply can’t be bought and it’s what makes people remember a brand.
3. It has created brand extension opportunities for retailers who aren’t even sports-related.
Peace Collective, the Toronto clothing brand that sells Canadiana-centric pieces that give back to local causes, came out with an entire collection dedicated to the Jays.
It even designed a play-off jacket.
Peace Collective isn’t a stranger to partnering up with local celebrities (IE: Twitter-famous Councillor Norm Kelly) to create capsule collections. But it also hasn’t been one to necessarily sell “sports apparel.”
And this is just one of a several examples.
The point is that everyone wants on this bandwagon because they know it creates new spaces for brands to rock and roll in.
While longevity is always a question when it comes to the bandwagon effect, when done well it undeniably bolsters a brand’s recognition while also generating new interest.
At the end of the day, people engage with content by lending their minutes. Content is successful when its battery is fully charged with attention.
What will win this week?