Monday, September 8, 2014

Money Down the Drain - Partnerships, a Cautionary Tale

The news broke yesterday not unlike the lancing of an infected boil - the owner of the Atlanta Hawks will be selling his controlling interest in the team following the disclosure of his less than tactful comments regarding race.  What's that got to do with watches you ask?  Well, as another blogger out there announced at the time, this was a big deal for Audemars Piguet when it was announced that they would be partnering with the Hawks as their "official timekeeper".  It is possible that there might be a bit of "Monday morning regret" in that part of Switzerland this morning.

In fairness, we can't see the future.  We assess opportunity and balance it against risk and we hope for a favorable outcome.  No doubt Hublot had high hopes when they climbed into Jerry Jones's lap (otherwise known as the courtesy suite) in hopes that a partnership with "America's Team" would lead to massive market recognition and brand awareness - because everyone in AMERICA, not just TEXAS LOVES the Dallas Cowboys…  clearly the hometown fans of Dallas did not get that particular memo as the stands for their opening game, in their home stadium were filled with - San Francisco 49ers fans.  Mr. Jones was pretty much indifferent to the situation.  I am sure that the folks at Hublot HQ will be thrilled to hear that.

But it doesn't stop with team partnerships, sometimes your favorite player can inadvertently bite your hand while it's handing him another new watch.  And while I am not 100% certain,  the watch on Kobe Bryant's wrist on the recent cover of Sports Illustrated does NOT appear to be the Hublot King Power Black Mamba

Here's the thing, brands can do as they wish.  It is easy (of course) to sit on the sidelines and "cherry-pick" our critiques about who is smart and who screwed-up.  But perhaps it is time for brands to go back to an earlier model that seemed to work pretty well "back in the day" -


Everything else is just noise, and oftentimes it's noise that you don't want your customers to hear.

No comments:

Post a Comment