Back in 2006 while scrolling through the new multi-channel broadcast of the Olympics I landed on the shuffleboard-on-ice that turned out to be curling. My whole family became fascinated by this simple looking sport that completely confounded us.
Every 4 years I have gotten excited for Olympic curling while still having no idea what was going on. It’s mesmerizing. All the yelling in Nordic languages. The crazy sweeping. And The Pants.
The Norwegian curling team debuted wild pants in their national colors in 2010. Now, two Olympics later, The Pants have their own Facebook page with nearly half a million fans. For PyeongChang, the team packed a different pair for each day — and pants with hearts for Valentine’s Day play.
Here’s the thing: The Pants are not their brand. Just like your logo isn’t your brand. But who they are led them to express themselves in a way that shows the world what they are about. They are a TEAM. Everyone wears the Pants. I heard another Skip (captain) interviewed who said he could never get his guys to do that. I think that says something about their unity.
And how they choose to do it shows their personality. Not that they are different but how they are different. It leaps over language and game rules. Just like how the New Zealand Rugby Team the All Blacks, pre-game ritual Haka, has helped attract a global fan base.
I mean, do you know anything about any other curling team? But I bet 4 years from now, you’ll be saying “The Pants are back”. And who knows – you might even start Googling to learn the rules and see where curling is played in your town.
Brand isn’t a static thing. It’s a process that builds over time.