I just left a sporting goods store called Tad’s Locker Room, here in Wichita, KS. The doors opened at 10:00am and there was a line out front to get in. Why? Well, our local Wichita State Shockers are going the men’s basketball Final Four this weekend in Atlanta. It’s their first trip since 1964, and the town is buzzing with their success. The didn’t have the shirt I wanted, so I’m going back in a little while to check and see if the new shipment has arrived. They are using Facebook to update when this happens, and they are getting three shipments a day, and selling out each time. Well done Tad’s, glad to see local business using social media, and that’s why you share the spotlight in this story.
Not only is this good for local business, but it’s great for our town nationally. The Shockers have done what every company in the world wants to, go viral. As pictured here, they are on this weeks cover of Sports Illustrated. They made the front of the Wheaties cereal box. Newspapers, sports blogs, talk radio, you name it, they’re talking about Wichita St. Coach Marshall and the team are embracing it. He showed up personally at Tad’s earlier this week to thank fans and sign autographs. The players are signing autographs and taking pictures with anyone they see around town, it’s very uplifting.
How did they do it? Simple. They won. They played well enough to get a No. 9 seed in the NCAA tournament, then the won all their games they played. Maybe not as simple as it sounds though, because the big win came against the number one team in the nation, Gonzaga. That’s the game that put them on the map. It also gave them momentum and confidence to beat one of the best programs in recent history, Ohio St., to move on to the Final 4.
They’ve gone above and beyond what coach Greg Marshall has asked of them. Given their all, and worked as a team. Something every company should strive to do. These young men weren’t doing this to receive attention, or to earn money, they simply wanted to win and be part of something bigger than themselves.
Business should relate this type of success with what their work is. Do what you DO. Try to do it the best way you can. Earn customers trust by putting their needs first. Let other people tell the story of how happy they are with your company, and then join the conversation everywhere you can. Train your employees to be professional and to work as though the company belongs to them, because in essence, a small part of it does.
That’s what Coach Marshall has done, and that is what we all can learn from this story. His players have bought in, and worked hard toward a common goal. Now they are off to Atlanta to play the overall number one seed in the tournament, the Louisville Cardinals. Regardless of the outcome in Atlanta, this team has already achieved a success most never see. I’m very proud of our city, and this team. Thank you coach Marshall, and thank you to the entire Shocker team. Good Luck in Atlanta, we are pulling for you!!!