#11 People as Brands

It’s interesting how people brand themselves. How they create their persona, for the public eye. It’s most often seen with athletes but it is important for everyone to brand their self. I decided to look at three basketball players (yes I’m still thinking about basketball) and look how they branded themselves based on their website.

1) Kobe Bryant www.kb24.com
Ok, so first of all, his URL is a way for him to make himself be seen post-rape accusations. Once getting on the site, it is really elegant and simple. His background is black snake skin, which reminds people of his self given nick name of black mamba. After exploring the blog, you find out that it is a lot of PR material, blog posts, and news about Kobe’s Basketball Academy. Overall, I like the design and feel of the page, but the content leaves something to be desired.

2) LeBron James www.lebronjames.com
First thing I noticed about this website was the cartoon caricatures of Lebron himself. The website also shows his athletic training, nutrition, bio, lifestyle, fashion and music. I really like this because it creates a bond between Lebron and his fans. It really brings his image down to earth. Overall, his page rocks. I liked Lebron before this, but after I loved Lebron.

3) Derrick Rose www.drosehoops.com
This page looks like a blog. I feel like it may even be one of the default layouts on WordPress. It looks like it could be maintained by Derrick Rose himself, but after reading the posts, it’s clear that he doesn’t. Unless he refers to himself in the third person in writing. Overall, the design lacks professionalism, and the content is mediocre.

After this I’ve realized that creating a website is all about showing your personality. Show what you do, but make sure your personality shines through.

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#1 Oregon Football uses a Brand Story too!

So a couple weeks ago, I came upon the following article.

How does Oregon Football keep Winning?

This article asks the question of how Oregon became a top caliber football program. They are no where near a major market, are not located in a heavily talented area of high schools, and were, well let’s face it, pretty much terrible on the field. However, the article has a great quote.

The football Ducks of Oregon are something new. They didn’t get people to watch because they got good. They got good because they got people to watch. They are college sports’ undisputed champions of the 21st century’s attention economy.

It goes on to talk about how sporting events is a huge area filled with possibilities for advertising. Sports is in the center of consumerism and so called “attention economy.” Nike understood this and took off with it. Starting in 1994, Nike has used Oregon to advertise all of its products, and more so, its BRAND.

Maryland's New Uniforms by Under Armour take Nike's philosophy to a whole new level. Taken from International Business Times.

“Nike is not a production company,” Robert Goldman and Stephen Papson wrote in Nike Culture: The Sign of the Swoosh. It “designs, develops and markets the branded goods.”

And now it’s 2011, and Under Armour has just started to understand this, launching eye catching and conversation starter uniforms.

I’m not sure if Adidas is slow to the party, or if they’ve decided to take a different approach. They are the more traditional brand. Letting their equipment’s abilities speak for themselves.

But back to the Ducks. The brand created by the uniforms and new culture of the Ducks has attracted top notch players from somewhere as different as Texas and Florida.

“The uniforms are awesome,” he said in 2008 when he was asked why he wanted to go all the way to the Pacific Northwest to play football.

Like LeGarrette Blount, from Perry, Florida

“I loved the uniforms,” he said before the 2010 Rose Bowl, “and then I got to know more about Oregon.”

OR LaMichael James, from Texarkana, Texas.

Somebody at Nike should be patted on the back, and of course Uncle Phil.