It’s like St. Patrick’s Day has come very early to Philadelphia. All you see is green. The city’s notorious fair-weather fans actually have committed their hearts and souls and have become true die-hard fans to help the Eagles dance into the limelight for their first Super Bowl win ever (fingers crossed, knock wood). Buildings are green, dogs are wearing Eagles sweaters, the Eagles green nail polish manicure has become a must. Even staunch blue-blood institutions are covered with green Go Eagles! signs, as are the hipster bars that attract our city’s mighty Millennials. Philly has come together to support the “Underdogs.”
Seriously, I think the city is unconditionally supporting the Eagles – it could be a first for Philly and hopefully, that will lead to a first Super Bowl championship. Brands small and large are capitalizing on the Eagles momentum. A great marketing example is the relationship between the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Eagles’ brand. When sports and brands join the same team, it is usually a perfect partnership, as has happened with these two unlikely entities. When a (formerly fair-weathered) Philly fan back in December posted on Facebook that the Eagles had played like “they were wearing tutus,” the PA Ballet annihilated him on social media with this quick pertinent response that went viral:
“With all due respect to the Eagles, let’s take a minute to look at what our ’tutu-wearing women’ have done this month.”
The pointed response continued:
“By tomorrow afternoon, the ballerinas that wear tutus at Pennsylvania Ballet will have performed The Nutcracker 27 times in 21 days. Some of those women have performed the Snow scene and the ‘Waltz of the Flowers’ without an understudy or second cast. No ‘second string’ to come in and spell them when they needed a break. When they have been sick they have come to the theater, put on makeup and costume, smiled and performed. When they have felt an injury in the middle of a show there have been no injury timeouts. They have kept smiling, finished their job, bowed, left the stage, and then dealt with what hurts. Some of these tutu wearers have been tossed into a new position with only a moment’s notice. That’s like a cornerback being told at halftime that they’re going to play wide receiver for the second half, but they need to make sure that no one can tell they’ve never played wide receiver before. They have done all of this with such artistry and grace that audience after audience has clapped and cheered incessantly.”
Then recently, the PA Ballet posted this video of its company’s gracefully created dance to our rallying song Fly, Eagles, Fly to show their unconditional support.
While ballet is not a totally foreign entity to pro football (Herschel Walker once performed with the Fort Worth Ballet), I think the PA Ballet’s embracing of opportunities to cross-promote with the Eagles in the digital age is an effective, cost-efficient means of promoting its brand to the elusive male-dominated audience. After all, the net impression is that the stars of the PA Ballet and the stars of the Philadelphia Eagles are equally dedicated, equally tough as nails and winners all around. I’m guessing some Eagles fans will be attending their first ballet this year, and some ballet aficionados will be watching the Eagles on Sunday for the first time: Score for both brands!
So, Eagles, this lifelong fan wonders, when you win the first Philly Super Bowl championship this Sunday (I believe!), would you perform with the PA Ballet to Fly, Eagles, Fly for what may become the most watched video in sports history?
What do you think? Should the Eagles dance with the PA Ballet?
Betty Tuppeny, Chairman/CEO, Domus, a Philadelphia-based marketing services organization that provides employee engagement strategies for global brands across the healthcare, technology, CPG and beverage categories.