Branding Secrets from Battle of the Blades

November 17, 2009

Innovative ideas capture our attention. Case in point, or should I say toe pick, is the Battle of the Blades. Reality shows featuring figure skating are not new.  Europe has its own Skating with the Stars similar to Dancing with the Stars but with fewer gay men (you probably think I’m kidding but I’m not). The Battle is different. It coupled world and Olympic ladies champions in pairs and dance, who weigh on average 102 pounds with the bulky, hulky he-men of the National Hockey League who weigh slightly less than Japan’s Sumo wrestling team.

Battle of the Blades  (  is a brand mash up and mash ups are hot. They capture attention and market share. Joanna Hawley from Carnegie Mellon university designed a prosthetic leg based on the Eames Lounge Chair,  a design so inspired (the chair not the leg) that it is in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.  (  Uber cool Magician Criss Angel has partnered with Cirque du Soleil in the Vegas show Believe. Ford released a Harley Truck and Reebok paired with Kool Aid for shoes with scented insoles.  A big hit in Japan, not with the wrestlers apparently.

When Sandra Bezic, Olympian, choreographer to the best skaters in the world, respected TV commentator, award winning producer and creator of Battle (note to self:  write out my to do list) came up with this concept she bridged two distinct sport cultures and two distinct fan bases surprising and enthralling both.

I was at the closing show last night and the place rocked. (Shout out to my new friends from section 220 and a special hello to Marge from New Zealand. We had a ridiculously fabulous time).  Sandra, whose middle name should be cleavage, I mean savvy, leveraged another brand trend when she created a show that gave $25,000 donations to each team’s charity of choice. The winners, which I predicted, Jamie Sale and Craig Simpson are donating $100,000 to the Spinal Cord Treatment Centre.

If you want to fire up your brand, take a lesson from the ice: mash things up and go do some good.


Are you or your business reaching the fullest potential?

If it is not your genius it is not your job.
Louise B. Karch