SBD/Issue 56/Franchises

Packers Rank No. 1 In Turnkey Team Brand Index For Fan Loyalty

Turnkey Sports & Entertainment has released its '08 Team Brand Index, and like last year's edition which was "populated heavily by winners at the top and losers at the bottom," this year 15 of the 20 highest-rated franchises made the playoffs in their respective leagues, according to Bill King of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The index "shows how quickly a team can rise or fall based on its fate on the field, floor or ice." Only 15 of the 122 franchises "saw their overall brand index scores improve by double digits this year," and all but two of those "improved their winning percentages and/or went deeper into the playoffs than they had the previous season." The Celtics, who finished No. 9 in the index after finishing No. 104 last year, had the "largest gain of any team" in their index score. All but one of the 15 teams that showed a double-digit decline in the index were teams that "slid from the year before, either by winning fewer games or by not getting as far in the playoffs." The bottom five teams "all posted poor, and mostly disappointing, years, none more so than the Sonics, who were on their way out of town" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 12/1 issue).

Top 20 Team Brands
'08 Rank
'07 Rank
Team
'08 Rank
'07 Rank
Team
1
10
Packers
11
7
Saints
2
5
Red Sox
12
74
Canadiens
3
1
Steelers
13
4
Sabres
4
2
Patriots
14
79
Hornets
5
3
Colts
15
36
Jaguars
6
8
Red Wings
16
11
Tigers
7
6
Spurs
17
15
Pistons
8
20
Penguins
18
28
Cowboys
9
104
Celtics
19
14
Cavaliers
10
9
Cardinals
20
71
Hurricanes
Bottom Five Team Brands
'08 Rank
'07 Rank
Team
118
111
Islanders
119
112
Pacers
120
108
Nets
121
106
Knicks
122
120
Sonics

BEHIND THE NUMBERS: Turnkey President & CEO Len Perna said of the Packers holding the top spot in the index, "What this is saying is the following the Packers have is more intensely loyal to supporting the Packers than any other team. What this basically says is that all other things being equal, a sponsor gets more value in sponsoring the Packers than any other team. The Packers moved up because they had such an emotional year with [QB] Brett Favre. His popularity. His longevity. They just really cement the relationship between the brand and fans in Green Bay" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 12/2). The AP's Robert Imrie noted the study also measured a "team's following among fans outside the local market." The Yankees ranked No. 1 in this measure, followed by the Packers, Red Sox, Cowboys and Lakers (AP, 12/1). Perna noted the rankings are a "star-driven system," and the company's prediction for next year is that the Jets, due in part to QB Brett Favre, "are going to move way up because Brett is really one of the biggest stars, not only in football, but in all sports” ("America’s Nightly Scoreboard,” Fox Business, 12/3).

STEEL RESOLVE: The Steelers slipped from No. 1 in the index last year to No. 3 this year, and Perna said, "The Steelers didn't do anything wrong. When you're No. 1 you have nowhere to go but down" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 12/2). A PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE editorial states, "One thing for sure is that Pittsburgh is a sports town and fans have the luxury of choices." With the Steelers ranked No. 3 and the Penguins at No. 8, "no other city except Boston has more than one team" in the top 10 (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 12/4).

HOST WITH THE MOST: In Detroit, Krista Jahnke reported Red Wings and Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch has the "most brand power of any owner in professional sports," as he finished No. 1 out of 122 owners for his work with the Red Wings. Ilitch also finished No. 15 as owner of the Tigers. Perna: "It helps to win, but it really helps to win over decades. And it really helps to have an owner like Mr. Ilitch, who comes from Detroit and is very heavily involved in youth hockey in the area and in the turnaround of downtown Detroit with the Fox Theatre." Jahnke noted Pistons Owner Bill Davidson finished No. 10 among owners, and Lions Owner William Clay Ford Sr. finished No. 121, ahead of only Thunder Owner Clay Bennett (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 12/2). Also in Detroit, Jamie Samuelsen wrote Ford's "track record is horrid." His hires are "abysmal," and his "loyalty, while admirable in theory, has meant decades of misery" for the Lions and Detroit. But there is "one thing Ford has never done in Detroit ... other than win." He has "never used the franchise as a pawn," and he has "never held the city hostage to get more money or a new stadium or a sweetheart deal" (FREEP.com, 12/3).

Hurricanes Vault Up Team Brand Index
On Strength Of Efforts In Community
HURRICANE FEVER: The TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL's Frank Vinluan notes the Hurricanes rank No. 20 on the index, which is "way up" from last year's ranking of No. 71. Hurricanes President & GM Jim Rutherford said that the "strengthening of the team's brand is the result of continuing efforts to make the organization a part of the [Raleigh] community." Rutherford: "We reach out to our fans as much as we can" (TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/28 issue).

MIDDLE OF THE PACK: The BUSINESS COURIER OF CINCINNATI's Dan Monk notes the Reds finished No. 46 in this year's index, up from No. 61 last year, while the Bengals finished at No. 60, down from No. 30 in '07. Bengals Owner Mike Brown was "mystified by the public perception of his team as one that maximizes profits." Brown: "Profit is not a bad thing. It's a good thing. It's good for the fans to have a healthy business." The study was conducted in June this year, and Monk notes the Reds were 38-45 at the end of that month. But the team's management "drew higher marks than the Bengals on an overall grade of ownership and on questions related to each team's commitment to winning" (BUSINESS COURIER OF CINCINNATI, 11/28 issue).

PEACH FUZZ: ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE's John Manasso notes the Braves have a "higher-rated brand than Atlanta’s other major sports teams" despite not making the playoffs the past three seasons (ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE, 11/28 issue).

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