Chief Executive Officer of 919 Marketing Company, David Chapman, recently interviewed with Frank Vinluan of American City Business Journals to discuss the Carolina Hurricanes and what makes a successful sports brand.

‘The first step is to get past the common perception that a brand is created solely through a logo and the graphics that surrounds the brand,’ said Chapman. ‘They support it and accelerate recognition and the branding process but do not create the brand.’

In referring to the Hurricanes, Chapman explained to Vinluan that branding is the process of taking a sports team and transforming it into an emotional experience that pulls us in, makes us believe, inspires us to buy tickets and merchandise. A strong brand captures, compresses and conveys a team’s values, the promise of its products and the guarantee of a consistent fan experience.

Fan loyalty starts with a connection to the fan base. It’s no surprise the Hurricane’s brand was rated No. 20 out of 122 North American major league sports teams by Turnkey Sports & Entertainment.

‘We aren’t necessarily looking for brands to help us become something or someone else or prove who we are to the world, or even befriend us,’ says Chapman.’ We want brands that say, I am the brand, the brand is me.’