A Fan, A Hall of Famer, and A Wink… Business Lessons from the Ballpark


Marketing master Gary Vaynerchuk shared a story on LinkedIn the other day that I have to share with you.

He describes going to his first baseball game with his mom and uncle in 1985 when he was a kid.

Superstar outfielder Rickey Henderson catches a fly ball to end an inning and (Gary V takes it from here):

“…as he ran into the dugout, he looked me directly in the face and he winked!

“And that’s it.

“That wink took Rickey a second of effort, but over the next five years, my mom bought me a Rickey Henderson jersey and baseball cards, I forced my friends to become his fans, thus they bought his jerseys, went to the baseball card convention where he was giving autographs, and they paid their $50 to get a signed ball. Rickey got a piece of all that action, guys.

“Taking a moment to acknowledge another human being has more ROI than everyone understands. Human characteristics matter.

Talk about Story Power! That’s some powerful stuff.

Three quick takeaways from this:

  1. Personality is powerful. Gary V’s storytelling reveals his personality. Reveal yourself. This attracts readers. This builds bonds. This builds trust. He could have posted some treatise about the importance of acknowledging fans and customers. Instead, he told a story with personality. Much better.
  2. Powerful stories don’t have to be novellas or screenplays. No seven-part structure here. Just a simple, very short story with a powerful lesson.
  3. (Repeating Gary V’s) point: Don’t take for granted your fans, followers, or customers. Show them love. Express gratitude. Share a joke with them. Tell them a story. Thank them. Wink at them. They’ll like and trust you more if you do.

Whenever you’re ready…here are a few ways we can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you’ll land more clients:

1) Follow Tom Ruwitch on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Attend our free training: “How to Harness the Magnetic Power of Storytelling…” Discover how to transform marketing from a confusing, resource-draining hassle into something that’s simple, fun AND productive. Details and registration here.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.