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Remember a couple of days ago I wrote about the value of a truly passionate marketing director?
Remember how I said that when you meet someone who is a true fan of their brand – not just their executional process – greater things happen?
Remember how I linked this all to a cab driver I met in Atlanta a few weeks ago who told me was a mad Man Utd fan and that when I’d told my NIKE client, he gave me a signed Wayne Rooney shirt to give him?
What do you mean no?!
Well to remind you, read this.
Have you read it, because if not, none of what I’m about to write will make any sense – or should I say even less sense than normal.
So after my morning meeting, I organized to meet Mr Cabbie – real name Assefa, or ‘Abu’ for short – so he could take me on another magical mystery tour of Atlanta’s best and worst areas.
I don’t really understand why, but we really seemed to hit it off the last time [ie: the first time] we met, so I was happy that as soon as he picked me up, we got straight back into the rhythm of our conversation.
We chatted about what we’d been up to for the past couple of weeks.
We chatted about what had been going on in the World the past couple of weeks.
We chatted about what had been going on in America the past couple of weeks.
And finally, we chatted about the football that had been going on in the past couple of weeks.
Slowly I brought the conversation around to his love of Man Utd.
Slowly I brought the conversation around to his love of Wayne Rooney.
Slowly I brought the conversation around to my NIKE client.
Slowly I brought the conversation around to me having a signed Rooney shirt for him.
I’d love to say when he heard this, he screeched his cab to a halt but that’s not what happened.
There was a pause.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure he’d heard me but then he pulled the cab over to the side and turned his head back to face me.
“Are you kidding me?”
“Nope …” I replied, as I pulled out the package from my bag and handed it over to him.
He took it, sat back in his seat and just looked down at it.
“This is a real Wayne Rooney shirt?”
“Yes.” I said.
“Autographed by him?”
“Yes.” I said again.
“You stupid, lovely, kind man, I cannot believe it. This is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.”
To which he undid his seat belt, turned around and gave me a massive, massive, massive hug before shaking my hand – while shaking his head – and muttering, “My family will never believe this.”
So thank you to Simon at NIKE who made this all possible.
He’s not only made a man in Atlanta a NIKE fan for life, he’s let me feel a real privilege in playing a small part in making it happen.
And Assefa refused to let me pay for my cab ride.
So next time you wonder if your client is truly passionate about their brand, tell them this story and if they don’t say, “Good on them” or “That’s cool”, then start giving their name to headhunter companies because trust me, you’ll be doing both of yourselves a favour.
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