What cities can learn from sports teams about branding

2 min read

The following article was inspired by a podcast conversation we recently had with Lev Kushner from the Department of Here. It’s something both Lev and our team here at CivicBrand had both thought a good amount about and that is how cities should look to sports teams as an example of how branding, pride, and life experiences all work together.

Sports teams have a unique ability to unite people and create a strong sense of community. Fans are passionate about their teams and will go to great lengths to show their support. This level of passion is something that cities can learn from to build their brand and foster civic pride.

At the heart of this passion is not just the team colors or logo, but the experiences that fans have when they come together to cheer on their team. Whether it’s the thrill of a last-second victory, the camaraderie of tailgating with friends, or the shared sense of pride that comes with being part of a community that supports its team, these experiences create an emotional connection that runs deep. That logo and the team colors simply become tools to express that passion.

Cities that want to build a strong brand need to recognize the importance of these experiences and not just create the logos and colors but first create more opportunities for people to come together and feel that sense of connection. This can be done through things like community events, activating public spaces that encourage social interaction, and cultural initiatives that celebrate the unique character of the city.

At CivicBrand, we understand the power of these experiences and the role that branding plays in bringing them to life. For example, we created a pedestrian plaza in Downtown Waco that quickly became a hub for social activity and community connection. This plaza wasn’t just a space for people to gather, it was also well-branded and had a distinct visual identity that residents could connect with and share.

The result was a space that became the backdrop for countless life experiences, from engagement photos to senior portraits to concerts and community events. Because the plaza was branded, in an organic way, it gave people the tools they needed to express their pride and share their experiences with others.

This is the power of branding in creating a strong sense of community and connection. When people feel connected to a city and have positive experiences there, they are more likely to become advocates for that city and help spread the word to others. By creating spaces and experiences that are well-branded and designed to foster community connection, cities can build a powerful brand that resonates with residents and visitors alike.

In the end, it’s not just about the city or the space, but about the people who make up that community. By building a strong sense of connection and providing the tools to express that connection, cities can create a powerful brand that is rooted in the experiences and emotions of its residents.


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