Posted on: January 26th, 2014 by Jen Mueller

Screen Shot 2014-01-26 at 12.29.31 PMWe’re a week away from the big game and, as I write this, I’m on a plane heading to New York for a week of media coverage and game prep. It’s the start of a busy week of Super Bowl talk for me, but I’m certainly not the only one talking about the Seahawks.  Millions of football fans across the country are gearing up for game day and that works to your favor in getting more done at work.

It might seem counterproductive to talk about football instead of an upcoming deadline, or project. But business opportunities are built on relationships and rapport. Football talk establishes connections that lead to both.  So resist the urge to just get down to business this week.  Plan out conversations and emails that are focused on the Seahawks and the Super Bowl.  Cultivate relationships and your efforts will be repaid in profits.

Identify at least 7 colleagues or clients you want to reach out to and use the following calendar to build business using the Seahawks.

  1. Sunday – Send a countdown message. Keep it simple and football focused.  For example, “The Seahawks left for New York today and now the countdown is really on, only 7 days until the big game.”   Add a personal note about your excitement or anticipation.
  2. Monday- Show your team colors.  Most corporate environments frown on wearing Seahawks jerseys to work, but there’s no reason you can’t add team colors to your wardrobe.  Try wearing a blue shirt and a green tie, or adding a blue scarf to your winter accessories.  You can make a mention to a specific colleague that you’re trying to support the team or wait for the Seahawks fans in the office to notice and strike up a conversation.
  3. Tuesday – Quotable players.  Tuesday is Media Day for the Seahawks and Broncos in New York.  Get ready to hear crazy questions and honest answers from the stage.  The event is covered by sports, news and entertainment outlets so folks everywhere will be exposed to the players. Pick a player to listen to, select a favorite quote and send it to a colleague or client who would appreciate it.  For example, “I heard Richard Sherman was a hit at Media Day.  His quote on ____ made me think of you. Here it is…”
  4. Wednesday – Stretch yourself. More than 108 million people watched the Super Bowl last year. Go outside your current client base and send an introductory email to someone you’d like to meet.  Tie your message into a Super Bowl storyline.  For example,”I’ve been reading a lot about the Seahawks top ranked defense and it reminded me of your company because I know it’s one of the top ranked companies in the industry.  You’ve been on my radar for a while, would you have time to talk after the Super Bowl?”
  5. Thursday – Check in.  Fans get nervous and anxious before big games.  Check in with a known Seahawks fan and ask how he or she is feeling about the Hawks chances.  It’s quick note that’s guaranteed to get a fan talking.
  6. Friday –  Finalize Plans.  Send a note to a different Seahawks fan and ask about their plans for watching the big game.  Are they hosting a party, attending a small gathering, buying a new TV?  Open the door for them to tell you how they’ll be watching the game and make a note to follow up on how it played out on game day.
  7. Saturday – Very Superstitious.  Use social media or a personal note asking at least one contact about his/her game day superstitions. Be willing to share a personal comment about yourself to further that connection.  For example, “I have to get the laundry done so I can wear my lucky sweatshirt tomorrow.  I know you’re a big fan, do you have any game-day rituals?”
  8. Sunday – Good luck.  It’s game day and its the event Seahawks fans have wait for all year long.  Send a quick good luck note to at least five Seahawks fans and include a note about following up after the game.  For example, “Good luck today.  I’m feeling pretty good about this one.  I’ll talk to you next week after the Hawks win.”

Remember, the goal of leveraging the Seahawks in the Super Bowl is to get a foot in the door and set yourself up for another conversation or meeting.  This is about making a connection and building rapport.  Make sure you have a follow up plan in place that includes a note of phone call the week after the Super Bowl to recap the game and turn the conversation back to business.  Also keep in mind that fans don’t all respond the same way. Pick and choose the above strategies that work best for your contacts.

Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, is heading to the Super Bowl as the Seattle Seahawks sideline reporter.  Look for more posts on how to talk about the big game over the next two weeks.  She’s also the author of Game Time: Learn to Talk Sports in 5 Minutes a Day for Business..  Her step-by-step process makes sports accessible and practical for relationship building in business.  The book is available through Amazon.