Too much of a good thing


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The Olympic gold medal hockey game last week between Canada and the United States was among the most entertaining sporting events I’ve experienced in a very long time.  In fact, the entire tournament was highly enjoyable. What made it such an amazing experience were the very things that are missing from the major professional sports leagues, with the exception of the NFL and PGA.

As a customer experience, the Olympic tournament excelled because it put the absolute best product in front of the fan every game.  Every game meant something.  And there there was a highly emotional connection between the fan and the experience.

Pro sports leagues, on the other hand, have largely lost that emotional connection with their fans that is at the root of any superior customer experience.  Sure, there are meaningful games.  And, fans are generally loyal to their team.  But, business decisions over the past twenty years in baseball, basketball and hockey have focused less on connecting with fans and more on short-sighted profit motives.  Product lines have been overextended and the quality of the product has been degraded through geographic over expansion, lengthening of the season and playoff systems where it seems every team makes the post season.  New features like billion dollar stadiums, fancy food and luxury boxes simply distract from the fact that the core value proposition, the game, has been diluted. Now even the NCAA is contemplating devaluing its most valuable asset, its tournament, by expanding to 96 teams.

Compare this approach to that of Apple; a company that has an uncanny ability to connect at a visceral level with its customers, while offering an intentionally limited product portfolio.

It’s an experience economy.  People buy experiences.  So, when your product is the experience, too much of a good thing is never a model for sustainable success.

(Photo: Multiplicity c/o Columbia Pictures Corp)

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Barry Dalton
Telerx Marketing
Consumed by the pursuit of delightful service. Into all things customer loyalty and technology. My current mission is developing new service channels and the vision of the contact center of the future.


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