Alexander Ovechkin, exceptional experiences and marketing your business

Hockey is one of the most exciting sports to watch live. If you’ve never been to a game … go … and thank me later.

From 2001 to 2004, Michele and I regularly went to the MCI Center to watch the Washington Capitals. They were underperformers, but the Caps have one hell of an owner in Ted “Teddy E-mail” Leonsis … and we always had a great time.

Then the league went on strike and there was no NHL hockey for the 2004-2005 season.

During the strike, we found other things to fill out our time. We became used to not seeing live hockey games.

Not seeing hockey live was our “new normal.”

And even though hockey came back in 2005, we haven’t been to a Caps game since.

When the strike ended, neither Michele or I thought about going to see a live game again. It wasn’t on the radar the way it once was.

This was true even though the Caps had one of the most exciting players in the league, Alexander Ovechkin. He is not a good player, he is a great one. A goal scorer with amazing quickness who will knock the stuffing out of people much bigger than him.

Anyway, I was aware of the great season he was having. I checked the stats on ESPN every day, I watched the highlights and I read Ted’s blog. But the days of catching every game live or on TV, start to finish, were gone.

Which brings me to yesterday, when Ted wrote:

Sometimes I marvel at what the rest of the world thinks about Alexander Ovechkin. I only hope our fans and the city of DC understand how fortunate we are to have a young superstar right here in DC–blossoming before our own eyes–night in and night out.

And it hit me that I’m missing a chance to watch a great player grow into a legend.

That’s an experience I don’t want to miss.

And, now, Michele and I are going to see the next Caps game we can.

If you are wondering what this has to do with marketing your business, I’ll tell you.

Businesses lose more customers because of apathy than anything else.

You don’t see a regular for a few months, and instead of wondering what happened … they just fade away. A consistent client for several years suddenly stops calling, and, instead of picking up the phone and making sure things are ok, a week passes … then a month … and then they are forgotten. Or something out of your control, like a strike, happens … that turns once loyal fans into fans with a “new normal” about how to behave towards to the team.

If you rely on doing more of what you have always done to get those people back, you will not get them back.

If you make incremental improvements in your business, you will not get them back.

But when you stage an exceptional experience that intrudes on their “new normal” … they can’t stay away.

Alexander Ovechkin is at the heart of an exceptional experience being offered in my hometown. Ted Leonsis has been intruding on my “new normal” for months by writing about Ovechkin, offering highlight videos and talking about the team. And, finally, that post last night was the straw that brought what I’ missing to my attention.

And something tells me the next game we see live won’t be the last.

My questions for you?

  • Are you consistently crafting new experiences to reengage customers and clients who have become bored with you?
  • For past customers and clients who have forgotten you exist?
  • And are you consistently bringing those experiences to the attention of your market?

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Torrent August 24, 2010 at 9:26 am

I know what bad marketing is. I had to learn the tricks of the trade to get some targetted leads.

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2 Anonymous August 13, 2009 at 7:56 am

Many people think that marketing costs & efforts are quite a waste but I honestly disagree. I've always seen sudden increases right after my marketing campaigns. There are tons of products and tons of sites for them. How can you step forward without correct marketing strategies? Viral marketing can't do it all!

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3 Anonymous July 31, 2009 at 11:28 pm

What I like most about hockey is that when I assist a hockey game it totally makes me live the moment. As I see the players I fully concentrate on what is happening. It is like a flow experience, like when you meditate, don’t think, just feel…

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4 Anonymous July 8, 2009 at 5:45 am

Totally agree hockey is amazing but you need to be there to appreciate the speed and dynamics.

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5 Anonymous December 5, 2008 at 1:48 pm

I got my business going and tried to put it on autopilot.  I quit doing the things I was doing to get successful and growth completely stopped.  I am fortunate that I was able to maintain, but I know many aren’t so lucky when they lose their drive to grow their business.

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6 Anonymous December 5, 2008 at 6:48 pm

I got my business going and tried to put it on autopilot.  I quit doing the things I was doing to get successful and growth completely stopped.  I am fortunate that I was able to maintain, but I know many aren’t so lucky when they lose their drive to grow their business.

Reply

7 Anonymous December 3, 2008 at 7:07 am

Great story and a tremendous illustration!

Hockey hasn’t been the same here in Dallas and I haven’t been to a game since the strike.

Never really though about it the way you did, and I wonder how many of us business owners lose customers and never even think about them.

Marketing our business on the internet we give freebies and unannounced gifts to the people on our list to let them know we value our relationship with them.

Scott Miller
http://www.zurvitablog.com

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8 Anonymous December 3, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Great story and a tremendous illustration!
Hockey hasn’t been the same here in Dallas and I haven’t been to a game since the strike.
Never really though about it the way you did, and I wonder how many of us business owners lose customers and never even think about them.
Marketing our business on the internet we give freebies and unannounced gifts to the people on our list to let them know we value our relationship with them.
Scott Miller
http://www.zurvitablog.com

Reply

9 Anonymous November 17, 2008 at 6:00 am

Your 3rd question “And are you consistently bringing those experiences to the attention of your market?” is great and need suitable answer for the marketing and business.

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10 Anonymous November 17, 2008 at 11:00 am

Your 3rd question “And are you consistently bringing those experiences to the attention of your market?” is great and need suitable answer for the marketing and business.

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11 Anonymous November 4, 2008 at 8:42 pm

i just wanted to say i love hockey too, i live in houston but I am a huge stars fan, we drive up regularly every year and are usually disappointed, we almost had detroit but they have the best talent in the league

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12 Anonymous November 5, 2008 at 1:42 am

i just wanted to say i love hockey too, i live in houston but I am a huge stars fan, we drive up regularly every year and are usually disappointed, we almost had detroit but they have the best talent in the league

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13 Anonymous November 1, 2008 at 7:22 pm

Tell me about it. I know what bad marketing is. I had to learn the tricks of the trade to get some targetted leads.

Reply

14 Anonymous November 2, 2008 at 12:22 am

Tell me about it. I know what bad marketing is. I had to learn the tricks of the trade to get some targetted leads.

Reply

15 Anonymous August 23, 2008 at 5:06 am

Great post.  Combining 2 things I have a great interest in.  Sports and business.

On the sports side, it is absolutely true about live hockey.  I am not a fan per say, but I have been to games and it is a great experience.

As far as business, I am experiencing the loss from apathy.  I got my business going and tried to put it on autopilot.  I quit doing the things I was doing to get successful and growth completely stopped.  I am fortunate that I was able to maintain, but I know many aren’t so lucky when they lose their drive to grow their business.

More articles tomorrow.  Thanks for all your work!

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16 Anonymous August 23, 2008 at 10:06 am

Great post.  Combining 2 things I have a great interest in.  Sports and business.
On the sports side, it is absolutely true about live hockey.  I am not a fan per say, but I have been to games and it is a great experience.
As far as business, I am experiencing the loss from apathy.  I got my business going and tried to put it on autopilot.  I quit doing the things I was doing to get successful and growth completely stopped.  I am fortunate that I was able to maintain, but I know many aren’t so lucky when they lose their drive to grow their business.
More articles tomorrow.  Thanks for all your work!

Reply

17 Anonymous July 27, 2008 at 5:49 pm

Marketing is the key to business and their success. I do not care how strong your business is today without good marketing tomorrow everything could be gone.

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18 Anonymous July 27, 2008 at 10:49 pm

Marketing is the key to business and their success. I do not care how strong your business is today without good marketing tomorrow everything could be gone.

Reply

19 Anonymous March 26, 2008 at 4:29 am

You make such a great point. I run just a small web business and I still know how easy it is to get carried away with “running the business” and forgetting to keep experimenting or marketing to previous customers. So, to answere your questions, I gotto answer a may be to the first two and a no to the third. You reminded me that i need to pull up that list and send them an email! Thanks..

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20 Anonymous March 26, 2008 at 9:29 am

You make such a great point. I run just a small web business and I still know how easy it is to get carried away with “running the business” and forgetting to keep experimenting or marketing to previous customers. So, to answere your questions, I gotto answer a may be to the first two and a no to the third. You reminded me that i need to pull up that list and send them an email! Thanks..

Reply

21 Anonymous February 18, 2008 at 12:57 am

Without marketing you have nothing when it comes to running a business. Good marketing means profits. Bad marketing means bankruptcy!!
Tony Snow.
http://www.ambetenergy.com

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22 Anonymous February 18, 2008 at 5:57 am

Without marketing you have nothing when it comes to running a business. Good marketing means profits. Bad marketing means bankruptcy!!
Tony Snow.
http://www.ambetenergy.com

Reply

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