Chicago Cubs, a winning franchise model

No, we aren’t referring to the recent cubs World Series win, taking home the crown one time every hundred years doesn’t qualify a franchise as a winner, what qualifies a winning franchise is a brand that has won everywhere else but the field.

At some point in history, the cubs figured it out.  Build a brand around fun loving culture, happy go lucky sports personalities and sell an experience. Put a product in front of the customer that is average at best, but is always consistent…at being average.  Market the relationship with the brand, the history behind the organization.  After some time, your greatest marketing allies will be the customers themselves as generations of them convince others that your brand is the best choice.  

After walking through the cubs franchise formula for success, it sounds a lot like McDonalds, the franchise kings…average products, strong brand ambassador customers, great branding and fun loving experience.  The Cubs Harry Carey might be McDonald’s Ronald McDonald, Mark Grace could be the hamburglar and so on.  Make no mistake, the Cubs are a business.  It doesn’t feel like you are being sold when you sit in Wrigley’s bleachers drinking a $12 beer and eating your $10.50 hot dog, but you are being sold.  The Cubs franchise has perfected the art of selling the experience which once again rings true of the hamburger franchise kings.  

The Cubs World Series win is certainly a big deal and finally we can say goodbye to the goat and so many disappointing years.  What we don’t comprehend as a gullible Cubs customer is that this win represents the latest move of a wonderfully strategic ownership team who has probably figured out that 108 years was the limit.  This World Series win represents another hundred eight years of memorabilia sales, royalty income and excellent ticket sales. 

In the end, while the Cubs may not represent the best sports franchise, they are the epitome of a solid business franchise.

Christopher Conner 


Franchise Marketing Systems

[email protected]