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Final Four, Baby!
By: Cindy Wendland
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In Wisconsin we love our cheese, sausage, and Packers. Come March, we rally around our Wisconsin basketball team. For the first time since 2001, Wisconsin is in the final four of the NCAA tournament. Go Wisconsin!

Sports have a way of pulling people together. Few other things can bring people with different interests, education, and nationalities together like their college basketball team. Local businesses are getting in the spirit and wearing Wisconsin Badger clothing from the dentist to the health club. The brackets themselves build such excitement and anticipation. And when you have a local team to cheer on, the whole state gets involved.

Some players are experiencing the tournament for the first time, as in the Kentucky freshmen team. Others have played in the tournament before. The life experience stays with these young men and brings out skills, talent, and teamwork they may not have realized they possessed. Good luck to Kentucky, Florida, Connecticut, and Wisconsin.

Imagine if this were your brand. The publicity, the excitement, the build-up, the support, the loyalty, the buzz surrounding your brand would be amazing. Sports at this level are more real, more intense. That is part of the attraction. The emotions are raw. There are also such great stories of overcoming adversity and admirable life lessons.  The Florida coach told his players that “to get to the end goal, we have to continue to chase greatness every single day and stay in the moment.” Sounds like something Oprah would say. Seems like we all need to hear things like that every day.

The more human we make our brands, the more people can connect with them. The more we share our personal stories, the more people identify with and support the brand. The more we can make the story of our brands parallel getting to the final four, the more we will get customers and businesses to rally behind us!

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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