Know Your Customer

The NFL seems to be in a downward spiral and thinking about all these NFL players who still find it in them to kneel each Sunday, I am reminded of another story about how Ed Koch got himself in trouble when he ran for governor in 1982.

I was a big fan of Ed Koch. He was a great mayor for the city of New York, but he got himself into trouble when he didn’t know how to talk to his audience. 

Speaking on a potential move to Albany, Koch said, “Have you ever lived in the suburbs? It’s sterile. It’s nothing. It’s wasting your life.” Life in the country meant having to “drive 20 miles to buy a gingham dress or a Sears, Roebuck suit.”

He was a shoe-in to win that governor’s race, but once he said all that, he could not connect with the majority of New York residents who weren’t from the city. His big mouth made him lose the race.

Know your customer (maybe a lesson for NFL players). Be careful with what you say and what you do because the way your customer reacts may have a lasting impact on your business. People don’t forget. It’s critical to know your customer.


5 comments


  • Brandon : These messages of yours are off the charts. What college Did you Attend ? Bob

    bob latkany on

  • GK Chesterton said it best in his book Orthodoxy:
    “But the new rebel is a skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it. . . . As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself. . . . The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts. In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.”

    Rafael Ilarraza on

  • The NFL is a business. Its Sports / Entertainment business. Any socio political concerns that a player might have are real concerns that they are percieving. However, you are only in the spotlight because of the platform that the NFL provides. Undermining the platform that provides you the podium to speak is counterproductive to the cause you are trying to bring change to.

    Rafael Ilarraza on

  • At least one sports agent said that once you become an NFL prospect you become a “business.” Each NFL player is his own brand and his own business. He must choose how to use his brand and grow his business. In doing so, he must know his customers (which includes fans, the league, NFL teams, coaches, other players, etc.). I don’t think this post discourages NFL players from taking stands on social issues. Rather, players should be wise about how they take such stands. If “kneeling” enhances their “business” and their brand, then it may be right for them. If not, then the player should consider a different way to affect change.

    Dan Barham on

  • I often look forward to your newsletters, the lessons and stories are always profound. This is the first time I’ve been taken a back by one. What exactly do you mean by “maybe a lesson for NFL players”? I understand your Koch reference, but do you understand why those players are kneeling? Do you think they’re doing it simply on a whim and ignorant of the risks? The aim is to have a lasting impact that is not easily forgotten. Consumerism should never overtake ethical concerns, and if someone dares to risk their career/reputation to make their voices heard maybe we should listen.

    Rex Belgarde on

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