...goes a long way, especially when I'm thinking about brands, brand management and the power of brands to build successful organizations and careers.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Whose brand does Barry Bonds represent?

If the comments attributed to Barry Bonds at a weekend golf tournament are any indication of his ability to represent a brand other than his own, I don’t want him working for me.

When he heard San Francisco manager Felipe Alou was thinking about putting him second in the batting order to give him more at-bats, the seven-time MVP reportedly said “I am going to speak to Felipe because at this point in my career it doesn’t work for me to be second bat.”

Excuse me, but doesn’t the manager do the managing? As long as he’s getting a paycheck, shouldn’t Bonds do whatever the manager tells him to do and learn to represent the San Francisco Giants’ brand, especially when he's in the San Francisco Giants' uniform?

What would happen to the Target employee who said “at this point in my career, it doesn’t work for me to wear a red shirt?” What if the Starbucks barista said “it doesn’t work for me to charge this much for coffee?” Would the nurse who said “it doesn’t work for me to use a clean needle” still have a job?

Yes, Barry Bonds still sells a lot of tickets, and yes, he’s probably going to bat somewhere other than second because of it. But it’s a good – if not over the top – example of what happens when employees don't take ownership of a brand. It’s what happens when the brand doesn’t drive the decisions, but the decisions drive the brand.


Blogger Dan McGowan said...

I think this is interesting. It's going to show who really runs the Giants (i'll bet its bonds).

However, I am thinking that him batting second might not help the team. For the most part, the two hitter is the guy who needs to advance the runner and I don't see him laying down a sac bunt.

I know that they want to get him at bats earlier so they can take him out, but why not just bat him leadoff? He gets on base at a ridiculous rate.

11:18 PM

Blogger Mark true said...

Good point. I'm not a baseball expert by any means, but your analysis seems right on. He'll get what he wants.

But there's an update: today's papers report that Bonds has backed out of a committment to play in the World Baseball Classic "for his team." He obviously doesn't want to hurt himself - and other players have also expressed the same concern - but it doesn't ring true in light of his past history.

So not only doesn't he own the Giant's brand, he isn't very truthful about it when he tries.

10:27 AM


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