The Eagles may not be world champs on the field, but the folks in charge of building their brand can certainly claim “We’re Number One!”
According to the most recent issue of Forbes, the Philadelphia Eagles boast the strongest and most worthy brand in the NFL. Up 113 percent, Forbes writer Peter Schwartz cites that the Birds Nest brand value has reached an all-time high of $90 million. The total net worth of the team is now a whopping $1 billion – fifth amongst NFL clubs. To get these numbers, the magazine surveyed 122 sports teams in the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB and made the rankings based on team revenues from sponsorships, local media, ticket and merchandise sales and naming rights.
As a homegrown Philadelphian, I can confidently say that the Eagles brand taking the number one slot won’t come as a surprise to many of my fellow Eagles fans. Some say we have the harshest fans in the NFL; that’s disputable, but one thing is certain- Birds’ fans are rabid. But, the Philadelphia Eagles have created a brand that emits loyalty, collaboration and a strong core ethic – among team members, Coach Andy Reid, owner Jeff Lurie and fans alike.
Even Forbes makes note of the team’s ethical decisions, highlighting the judgement to terminate Terrell Owens:
“Bad-boy receiver Terrell Owens was shipped out to the Dallas Cowboys before last season, allowing the fans and media to focus on quarterback and team leader Donovan McNabb, one of the league’s best people and images.”
Forbes, as well as the rest of the nation, recognizes the unique differentiator the Eagles brand offers. The team is doing things right by weeding out poisonous players such as Terrell and keeping players of high moral value and good social image like McNabb. Whether or not their marketing and brand tactics are intentional, I’d like to give a nod to the Eagles marketing team. They’re doing things right. They are showing that the organization values team morale and fan loyalty. And that, my friends, is what will take us to Super Bowl XLII.