You’ve heard many pundits over the years talk about their views on how defense wins championships, or how offense or teamwork wins championships. Everyone has their own formula on what one element is the most important to team success.
But it’s hard for anyone to argue that if you combine all of the right elements together – teamwork, efficiency, speed, and reliability – that teams that perform at the highest levels across all facets of the game will win more often than those that do not.
For a basketball junkie like me, the draft is one of the most entertaining nights of the year. It includes anticipation, suspense, dreams coming true – all the elements of a compelling story.
Last night’s draft was of particular interest to me, because UPS delivered the 2012 NCAA® Men’s Final Four® court to New Orleans back in March, where some of the players that were drafted performed brilliantly in front of a worldwide audience.
For sports fans it’s a great week – from March Madness to the tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club. Kentucky won the Madness and now the world will be watching as Tiger Woods chases Jack Nicklaus’ record and battles with newcomer Rory McIlroy for that prestigious green jacket.
It’s also been a great week for UPS. Every year, The Business Journals conducts a very special survey to determine the brands that best meet the needs of small- and mid-sized businesses. More than 2,000 leaders in that arena were surveyed this year regarding almost 300 brands and UPS came out a double-winner. UPS was named the best brand in the Business Services category, and The UPS Store was named the best brand in the Retail category — 2012 American Brand Excellence Awards.
UPS pays a great deal of attention to its small- and mid-sized customers because they’re the backbone of the U.S. economy . . . and we know we can help small companies become big companies. Take BudgetGolf.com, where you can find great deals on clubs, clothes and bags. Todd Messineo started out in a small Illinois store in 1999 with just five employees. Since then, he’s grown the business into a multi-million dollar company and with UPS on his side, is able to deliver on the store’s promise of rapid, top-of-the-line service with same-day shipping.
Like many other small business owners, Messineo prepared for big losses during the 2009 recession. But he also worked closely with UPS Business Solutions and devised a strategy to bolster e-commerce sales. His bottom line – he grew 205%! He also followed mobile commerce trends and enabled golfers to shop right from their phones. Today, about 10% of the company’s sales are administered with a mobile device.
Messineo is working hard to stay current with retail trends by offering free shipping. He’s also looking to UPS to automate his delivery systems and identify a reasonable flat rate on international shipping that will increase sales in Canada. Another goal is to increase efficiency even more without sacrificing the customer service that is the cornerstone of his business.
Helping Messineo and other entrepreneurs with the tools needed to make shipping, visibility and easy returns more efficient represents the power of logistics. And it’s doubly nice when it helps small companies grow.
That UPS commitment to small business also is why The UPS Store is sponsoring “Entrepreneur” magazine’s “Entrepreneur of 2012” contest. For the fifth consecutive year, the magazine is searching nationwide for exceptionally inspired entrepreneurs to share their story of how they have revolutionized their industry, employees and community. Entrepreneurs can submit their entries at http://entrepreneur.com/e2012.
When it comes to March Madness®, everyone loves a Cinderella story. Last year, Butler University was a Cinderella repeat – advancing to the finals during the 2010 and 2011 tournaments. And this year, Norfolk State, Lehigh and Ohio achieved “David vs. Goliath” glory in the first round.
At UPS, we love Cinderella stories too. Especially in business. Our “Game Changers” campaign celebrates the story of people who see opportunities and solutions that others overlook. And in the process, achieve success. Companies like Southwest Airlines and UPS customer Zappos were one-time upstarts who reached success with ingenuity, teamwork, vision and smart planning. We call that logistics at UPS.
Recently UPS launched some new television ads in conjunction with the start of NCAA March Madness. One of these commercials features footage from the 1992 East Regional Finals in which the Duke Blue Devils beat the University of Kentucky Wildcats in overtime with just 2.6 seconds left on the clock.
I remember that game very well. UK was still feeling the sting from being on NCAA probation that kept them out of post-season play for two years and the team’s four seniors – Richie Farmer, Sean Woods, John Pelphrey and Deron Feldhaus along with sophomore Jamal Mashburn – gave everyone in the Big Blue Nation a much needed shot of hope. Had there been a little more time on the clock that night in Philadelphia, fate might have been kinder to the Wildcats – but it just didn’t happen.
Around mid-March every year, a chronic and widespread delirium spreads across the U.S.that often results in a substantial loss of productivity in the workplace – or so I’ve heard. The cause, of course, is the NCAA basketball tournament, which gets underway March 13.
The championship series will be especially exciting for me this year because UPS is playing a very important behind-the-scenes role in delivering the tournament to college basketball fans.
On March 16, the court flooring that will be used in the 2012 NCAA Final Four will begin a seven-city tour via UPS Freight. The court, which was manufactured by Connor Sport Court, will stop at select college campuses and UPS facilities to generate excitement about the tournament before finally making its way to the Superdome in New Orleans on March 23, just in time for the national semifinals.
Coming out on top during NCAA® March Madness® requires everything coming together at the right time, in the right place. The game changes quickly. When it does, the teams that have planned, prepared and can execute with precision distinguish themselves from the competition. That’s logistics.
In business, it’s not really that different. Logistics can help your business get to the next level, too.
That’s the idea behind UPS’s new “Game Changers” communications campaign that you’ll see throughout March Madness.
One of the objectives of UPS’s new “We Love Logistics” advertising campaign is to get people to understand how logistics plays an important role in everyone’s lives. Even simple, mundane tasks such as getting a child off to school in the morning, running personal errands or preparing a family meal are examples of logistics in action.
Logistics even plays a big role in the world of sports, a point driven home in a series of new UPS video spots created for the NCAA® Men’s Division I Basketball Championship, which begins today in Dayton, Ohio.
The series will feature notable NCAA figures such as Mike Brey, head coach of the men’s basketball team at the University of Notre Dame. In each spot, the coaches speak about how logistics can make the difference between winning and losing in both the world of athletics as well as business.
I am a sports fan.Yes, I am a loyal fan to a handful of particular teams but overall, I am just a fan. I love a close game. I love the players’ passion. I love the camaraderie of the fan base. I am a sports fan.
A couple of years ago, I got to attend the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio, which is one of the hardest tickets to get in sports. In the Final Four, Memphis beat UCLA and Kansas beat North Carolina. I just happened to be sitting in the Kansas section. The Jayhawk fans’ energy and love of the team was infectious. I found myself chanting their cheers and pulling for their team. I became a Jayhawks fan for that weekend.