Some might hear the name “New York Yankees” and think of the Bronx Bombers as a sports team, forgetting they’re a (successful) business. So, other than their history and success on the field, why are the Yankees seen as more than just another Major League Baseball Team? Excellent Branding!
Let’s look at a few traits that set the Yankees apart from their competitors:
History and Success
After changing their name from the New York Highlanders to the New York Yankees in 1913, history was made, even if it wasn’t known yet. The Yankees signed Babe Ruth in 1919, who was said to have ‘saved baseball’ after the sport struggled following the scandal over the “fixed” 1919 World Series. This is why they called the original Yankee Stadium “The House that Ruth Built”.
Over the brand’s 104-year legacy, The Yanks have accumulated 27 World Championships, 40 pennants, and 24 Hall-of-Fame inductees (each an all-time record).
Traditions and Professionalism
As we now know, the New York Yankees are a storied franchise, but the brand goes far beyond winning ballgames. The team perpetuates class and they maintain their beloved and storied franchise through tradition. Some famous Yankee traditions are:
- The interlocked “NY” and “Bat in the Hat” have been staples for years, which tell the story of the Yankees from the days of past legends to the stars of today
While most teams change their uniforms to adapt to the times, the Yankees have not
- Yankees wear Pinstripes for home games and Gray for away games
- Yankees uniforms do not show last names on the back of their jerseys
Members of the New York Yankees are not allowed to wear any facial hair (side burns and mustaches being the exceptions) as per their tradition. While this was enacted by past owner George Steinbrenner in 1973, it has become part of the Yankees legacy.
As said, the New York Yankees are unlike any other team in professional sports. George Steinbrenner compared his ownership of the team to owning the Mona Lisa. Many players would and do consider it an honor to put on the Pinstripes because they share a role in the winningest team in professional sports.
How can your business learn from this? You’ve been admiring passion and story-telling at its finest and you probably didn’t even realize it.
As we’ve mentioned, the Yankees are more than just a baseball team, which is why their story extends past the field. The Yankees have their own culture and customs, they carry the expectation that second place just isn’t good enough. Your business can take that very same approach with these steps.
What can Your Brand Do?
Set Yourself Apart
What do you want to be known for, beyond your craft? How can you be distinguished from your competition?
Establish a set of Brand Guidelines
What does your brand stand for? What are your values? Customers want to identify with your brand as more than a useful product or service. After all, a brand is more than a label; it’s an idea to associate with.
Set a standard
You’re not just another company, are you? It’s up to you to tell your customers why. Tell a story, be creative and stand out from the pack.
Have Pride in Your Business
Establish yourself as the best, set your standard and be the Yankees of your industry!
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