***This content was never intended for public viewing. What you’re about to experience is 100% real.***
In 2015, we were gearing up to host our first ever 3four3 Coaching Summit in Las Vegas.
Gary’s longtime friend, Arvel, was set to help capture the entire event in video and audio format as a favor to us. (To give you an idea of who Arvel is and what he does… he’s an engineer, he’s a filmmaker, and he sits on the upper end of the Warner Bros. food chain. Needless to say, this was a very, very generous favor.) But before working with us on our little project, he had some questions. Great questions actually.
Arvel decided to send those questions to Gary. The response Arvel triggered is, in my opinion, the best collection of thoughts describing 3four3 and everything we stand for that I have seen or heard to date. Keep in mind, I have been following Gary’s work since 2009 and I have dinner with him at least twice a month these days.
Recently, I started shopping around for a graphic designer to help create a logo that better represents what 3four3 really is. Because it isn’t a soccer formation. It’s more than just a blog and some tweets. We aren’t just youth soccer coaches. And I hate that some people even think to limit the brand to those things.
It’s so much more.
During talks with graphic designers, I found myself struggling to get some of the little details to make sense to them. The details were the most important part, though. To their credit, they weren’t necessarily soccer people. Great guys, but not soccer people. So, I really needed to dial in my approach if I wanted to get exactly what I wanted.
And then it hit me. The Arvel email!
I went to my inbox and traveled back in time to find the email exchange between Arvel and Gary.
The Arvel email sparked the words I needed to describe the ideas that were bouncing around my brain. It was perfect. And the next designer I worked with hit the nail on the head!
The new design will begin to accompany our traditional 3four3 lettering that you’ve seen on the blog, the podcast, and the t-shirts that Gary and I frequently post pictures of. We’re well aware of the demand for our shirts. And I can tell you now that we’ll be debuting our new shirts along with the new design in the near future.
But aside from the shirts, I want to give you access to the words and ideas that have helped mold 3four3 into what it currently is. This will surely give you a better understanding of what we do and why we do it. And as you’ll see… these words will also serve as a guide as 3four3 moves into the future.
So, here it is, word for word.
See answers in (bold).
I’ve cc’d the whole team, because I think it’s that important.
Thank you again,
Just checking in. How are things? What’s the status of the conference? I came across some questions the other day while at a branding conference that may help you guys get to a theme. They’re attached below.
Here are the questions I’d like you guys to answer. It will help guide the design of the website.
1. What is the long-term vision for 343?
- Be the brand that is widely considered to represent, and be the authority in, the pinnacle of soccer in America.
- Have profitable products & services that together provide “cradle to grave” solutions for our customers in the soccer community.
2. What are the core values of the business (organizational/Brand)?
- We don’t pander to gain mass market adoption.
- We want to work towards truly representing who we are to the world (authenticity), and serve the niche we resonate with.
- We want to methodically, over a long period of time, educate the market we reach.
- We’re playing the long game, and are not in it for a quick buck, but rather the accumulation of “know, like, & trust” equity from our audience over many years. It is from tapping that equity that our business will grow and profit.
3. What words would you use to describe your business & brand?
- Authentic, transparent but mysterious, hardcore, a change agent, instigator of ideas, anti-establishment, the pinnacle of the sport in America, educators, brash, blunt, freedom fighters, persistent, consistent.
4. What are your branding priorities? Awareness? Sells? Service offerings?
- Thought leadership & education.
- Premium product & service offerings.
5. What do you want your business to be known for?
- Leadership. An agent of change.
6. What is the brand vision? Who are the customers and what motivates them to use the service? What do they do? Where do they live and what is their lifestyle? What do they enjoy doing?
- Brand vision? (See above)
- The customers are currently soccer coaches and soccer parents.
- For coaches, what motivates them is getting a recipe that will enable them to have their teams dominate the opposition with the style of play exhibited by ours.
- These coaches range from volunteers to club directors. Most have day jobs, and soccer is a complementary income.
They mostly live in the US, probably range across the suburban middle-class stratum in terms of lifestyle, but probably not traditional 9-5 sort of factory workers.
- Enjoy soccer
- For parents, what motivates them is imagining their kids receiving an education that will enable them to develop into players like ours and beyond.
Affluent suburban white collar.
Additional customers in the future?
- Clubs, both youth, and pro, that want coaching & marketing expertise.
- Players that want representation through marketing and contract negotiations (an agency).
7. What need are you fulfilling in the marketplace?
- Possession-based youth soccer education from a source that has demonstrated expertise and operates at the pinnacle of the American youth soccer market.
8. Who are your competitors and what is their branding presence?
- US Soccer
Mass market adoption. Provides the array of nationally recognized coaching credentials. The mass market accepts them as authoritative, while a niche comprised of truly elite coaches and anti-establishment consumers don’t.
Mass market adoption
Provides an array of nationally recognized, although considered 2nd tier to US Soccer, coaching credentials. Considered the best nationwide network of coaches. The enormous yearly conference that congregates thousands of coaches.
- I don’t have much awareness of niche businesses like ours.
9. The last question is the mission statement. Who is the company? What do you do and why?
- The company is an anti-establishment thought leader and educator on what it takes, and how to execute, global standard soccer in the American environment.
- We write articles, publish videos, connect daily through social media and other online and offline channels, provide premium coaching and player education services.
- We do this because we’re fucking addicted to the game and can’t stand the shit that is the status quo.
What does the company do?
- See above
What services do you offer?
- An online membership program that provides multimedia coaching education (video, audio, ebooks, etc ..)
- In person coaching clinics to individual clubs
- Player camps
- Coaching conferences
What group of people do you serve?
- See above
What benefits do you promise to your clients?
- Education that will progress your current standing in the soccer market
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