PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles fans are drawing business lessons from the team's remarkable run to the Super Bowl on Sunday. We asked Matt Britton, internet entrepreneur, marketing expert, and Philly native, to share some of his insights about the team's success for business:
Expect the best, but prepare for the unthinkable. During a critical late-season game against the Los Angeles Rams, superstar quarterback Carson Wentz tore a ligament in his knee and was suddenly declared out for the season. Yet this was a moment the Eagles and general manager Howie Roseman were ready for all along: an experienced backup named Nick Foles waited in the wings and had been preparing every day.
"Roseman and the owners spent a lot of money to get Nick Foles. He was an expensive backup plan," said Britton, 43, who grew up in Lafayette Hill and attended Plymouth Whitemarsh High School. "The Eagles invested in a backup plan, which other teams did not."
Strategy and coaching behind the scenes. In addition to losing Wentz, head coach Doug Pederson contended with a slew of injuries to key players including Jason Peters, Darren Sproles, and Jordan Hicks. Instead of panicking or making excuses, Pederson and his team spent hours in the film room, figuring out how to leverage the talents of backup players thrust into starting roles and how to exploit the varying weaknesses of their opponents. "They found themselves overmatched, as do many businesses, but the Eagles are very thoughtful and prescriptive about compensating for their weaknesses," Britton said.
Let the haters fuel your success. Nobody gave the Eagles a chance after Wentz was injured. The Eagles and Foles were laughed off by competitors and became a national punchline as a desperate team. The Eagles used that underdog role as a rallying cry, even wearing dog masks after their first playoff win. "Let the current of criticism propel you to prove everyone wrong. Especially after Wentz's injury, they had to galvanize," said Britton.
Persistence above all else: During the 2017 NFL draft, standout running back Corey Clement did not hear his name called. Not one of the 32 NFL teams was willing to take a chance on the Glassboro native. Undeterred, Clement pursued an unlikely "walk-on" role in the NFL open tryouts. Apparently, Clement always knew he would one day be an Eagle and simply did not give up on his dream. It was the Eagles who decided Clement deserved a shot and allowed him to try out for the team during the preseason. "Clement miraculously made the team in August and has since made the most of it, turning into a critical contributor who now has a bright future in the NFL. At times, it will feel like everyone is saying no or hanging up on you. He's my favorite Eagle because he didn't give up on his dream," Britton said.
Britton, author of Youth Nation and CEO of the Crowdtap marketing firm, said he and his 10-year-old son are en route to the Super Bowl.
"No comment on how much those tickets cost," he said ruefully. "I'm a lifelong fan, I couldn't not go."
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