In order for your positioning statement to resonate with your audience, you must live by your brand guidelines twenty-four hours a day. That means both on the court (or field or track) as well as off. If your position and persona are completely based on your in-game performance, what are you left with when you can no longer play that sport? Nothing. However, if for the duration of your athletic career you have represented yourself and your brand consistently in all arenas of life, when you walk away from the game, your brand stays intact.
“Your image isn’t your character. Character is what you are as a person.” —Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter sits at the top of the list when it comes to class and professionalism. How do I know? His peers and colleagues said so. In a poll taken by MLB.com in which former players and media members were asked to give one word to describe the man known as “The Captain,” over 40 percent replied with either “class” or “professionalism.” That’s an incredible number that demonstrates the consistently high character Jeter portrayed on and off the field.
Be consistent in telling one focused story. Do that and you’ll not only own a unique position amongst your competition, you’ll do it with less effort, less stress, and less money. By establishing a strategic and authentic positioning statement, you’re setting yourself up to communicate a single, succinct message. This is who you are. This is what you stand for. This is why we should care.