My Take-Aways From The Book This Pats Year

By Mike Maddaloni on Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 04:00 AM with 0 comments

It would come as no surprise to my loyal readers that my favorite football team is the New England Patriots. My first book read this year was Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi’s autobiography. As the Pats moved through the playoffs, I thought it would be appropriate to read the book This Pats Year by Sean Glennon.

This Pats Year chronicles the 2002 season as experienced by a variety of Patriots fans each week, as well as the author, who happens to be a fan of the Oakland Raiders, a team that has a storied history with the Pats. This book evolved from a column Glennon wrote for the Boston Phoenix. And yes, I did find a real, business-related takeaway from this book!

My one takeaway is that it may be your product or service, but your customers will experience it in a variety of ways. In This Pats Year, the product is the NFL football games played by the Patriots and their opponents, and the customers are the dozens of fans highlighted in the book. Some are extremely loyal, some are not. Some love everything the team and organization do, some do not. One fan even lost his season ticket account for selling game tickets on eBay, but remains a fan of the team.

A similar product that came to mind after reading the book is music, especially in the light of the record industry’s attempts to hold onto their old business models as the digital age keeps moving forward. When a musician or group creates a song or songs, it can be interpreted in many ways by their fans, in ways they may not have anticipated (listening to individual songs rather than whole albums) or may even want (Charles Manson and the Beatles!). However there is little they can do about it, and in the end they hope to make money while still maintaining their integrity.

This type of scenario doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. Where it can be considered a lack of control by some, to others it can be a huge opportunity. Artists and record labels are slowly moving their catalogs online. A related opportunity to the Patriots is the development of Patriot Place, a retail and entertainment complex currently under construction around Gillette Stadium, where the team plays. Talk about a capitalization on your product!

Where This Pats Year may not be of interest to rabid fans of other football teams, it is a well-written observation of people in their consumption of something they believe in. I recommend people directly involved in the development and marketing of products and services to read the book, as it may help in the analysis of your own target markets. And if you are a Pats fan, I of course recommend it, and you may even know some of the people highlighted.

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