What the Kansas City Royals Can Teach Brands about Connecting with Their Customers


The Kansas City Royals are in the playoffs for the first time in 29 years, and not only won a game, but have advanced to the World Series against the San Francisco Giants. In fact, they’ve won 11 straight playoff games dating back to that magical 1985 season, the last time they were not only in the playoffs, but won the World Series.

Sure, a World Series run usually excites a city, but what has made Kansas City click so well with the 2014 version of the Royals? Simply, it has been a connection between an organization, its players and its fans that any brand should emulate. So before the Series’ first pitch tonight at Kauffman Stadium, here are three tips on how a company can “Royally” connect with its customers, or rather its biggest fans, and it’s all about inclusion:

Embrace Enthusiasm:

  • Royal Example: The team held an old-school pep rally for the team before the Wild Card game in Kauffman Stadium, which fueled a feeling of inclusion and enthusiasm before the team turned in an extra-inning thriller vs. the Oakland A’s.
  • Company Style: Not everyone may be able to go to the “big game,” so provide an opportunity for them to have access and share their enthusiasm for your brand’s big event. Brand ambassadors can travel anywhere.

Acknowledge the Assist:

  • Royal Example: Third baseman Mike Moustakas launched over a railing to catch a ball and was held up and helped out by the fans. Rather than take sole credit, he pointed to them as he received an ovation in the stadium and called out the fans for keeping him safe in post-game comments.
  • Company Style: If your customers help to “catch” you from a potentially missed opportunity, recognize them for it. It aids in feeling they are truly a part of your “team,” and will encourage the same brand-friendly behavior in the future.

Connect with the People:

  • Royal Example: The players took to celebrating with the fans in K.C.’s Power and Light Entertainment District after the division and league series wins…even picking up the bar tab. It also helps that their play resembles those folks in the city they represent: hard working, crafty, and may not be the highest-touted players in the game, but they work together as a team.
  • Company Style: Ensure your company interacts with your “fans” where they are; it not only humanizes your brand, but lets your customers know you are “one of them.” There’s nothing better when your favorite [fill in product name here] totally “gets you.”

Around K.C., they have a slogan this year, which is “Be Royal.” Apparently following that advice is a good thing, whether you’re chasing a World Series title or helping to engage your fans off the field as well.