Root, root, root for the home team

This week, the Detroit Tigers are facing the New York Yankees in the American League Conference Series. Just one more win separates the Tigers from a chance to win the World Series, which they last won in 1984 and last attempted in 2006.

I’m not a baseball fan, but it’s hard not to get swept up in the excitement of the game in times like these. Why? Because sports is one of the few positive ways to bring people together. During World Cup soccer or the Olympics, countries that are fighting civil wars or racism or economic hardship unite to cheer on their country to victory. Differences are forgotten because it’s all about the game.

Locally, it has the same impact. On Saturday, Michigan State University takes on the University of Michigan in football. Families are divided all over town as sides are taken (Go Green!), smack is being talked on Facebook and in bars, parties are planned and bets are made as this interstate rivalry heats up and the game gets closer. Yet, amid all that, we take a moment to say “But what about them Tigers?” and smile.

Rooting for the home team has another impact: economics. Store owners, restaurants and bars all over the state see an increase in sales as people stock up or settle in to watch the game. Some retail stores also get in on the action and offer special discounts or freebies if the team wins by so many points or in so many games.

Let’s not forget the advertising opportunities. With additional games come additional opportunities to buy television and online advertising. Oftentimes, television stations and online newspapers will run specials for playoffs or special events; take advantage of them! And don’t forget to increase your staff and promotions during peak times.  Run that wacky commercial you’ve been thinking about or hold a contest via social media or even throw a community party to watch the championship game. After all, wouldn’t you want to be associated with a winning team?

Nadia Zerka is a client relations manager at Imagine Communications and a diehard Spartan.

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