Sunday, July 02, 2006

Tony Stewart Creates Brand-Loyal Fans in Daytona

A few weeks back Michael Wagner had an interesting post about a brand-loyal, rabid fans - the one-percenters. This is part of that post:

"What makes them love your brand? What makes them “talk up” your brand? What makes them tattoo your brand on their arm, proudly wear your logo on the gear you sell them, or put your slogans on their car bumper? Their enthusiasm powers conversations and widespread interaction with both your current customers and others not yet convinced. They are alive to your brand and often contagious."

Last night NASCAR driver Tony Stewart took those questions to heart and created a whole bunch of new one-percenters after his win at the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. About a year ago any time Tony won a race he brought his car not to victory lane but to the start/finish line, got out and climbed the fence to be right there with the fans. After a couple of climbs he started to get into the flag man's perch and take the flag. Fans loved it.

Last night he took it to a whole new level. Not only did he climb the fence a mere few weeks after breaking a bone in his shoulder, he got the checkered flag and then climbed down into the crowd! In an interview afterwards, when he got to victory lane, he said that people really enjoyed that no matter what shirt or hat they had on (representing their favorite drivers that may not have been Tony). He was high-fiving people, jumping around and, in general, just celebrating with hundreds of excited fans. He didn't seem to be in a rush to leave either, only going when his crew came to the other side of the fence and created a path for him to get back to the car to take it to victory lane.

"What makes them (1%ers) love your brand"? I think Tony Stewart has that answer - at least he's got part of it. Those folks will be talking about their 'time with Tony' and showing their camera phone photos to people for weeks. Not only that, I'll bet that more than a few of them bought some Tony Stewart/Home Depot Team merchandise on their way out of the track last night.

Congratulations to the whole Home Depot team on their win last night, and on creating some new 'rabid' fans.

Just a non-cycling tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.

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