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What Sports Radio Can Gain From Ben and Jerry’s Example

Jason Barrett

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Inspiration can sometimes be found in the strangest places. It happened to me last month during a three-day getaway to Burlington, Vermont.

The purpose of the trip was to provide an opportunity for my girlfriend Stephanie to see her old high school classmates and show me the neighborhood where she spent her teenage years. I had never been to Vermont and I enjoy exploring new places so I figured I’d take advantage of an opportunity to experience something new.

But while the personal mini-vacation was nice, and the peace and quiet provided a much needed mental timeout, there was one stop along the way that got my wheels spinning.

bj4During our trek to Burlington, we made a stop at the Ben and Jerry’s factory in Waterbury. Stephanie wanted me to see one of Vermont’s most famous operations and I’m never one to pass up an excuse to enjoy a cup of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream so it seemed like a perfect match. But what I didn’t expect was that a trip to an ice cream factory would offer a lesson that could be helpful to the sports radio business.

When we began our tour, the folks at Ben and Jerry’s started things off by playing a video that gave everyone in attendance a peak into what the company stood for. We were shown how Ben and Jerry’s started in 1978 with a $12,000 investment ($4,000 of it borrowed) to open up their first ice cream scoop shop in a renovated gas station in Burlington. After one year of business, the duo celebrated by holding their first annual Free Cone Day, a tradition that continues nearly forty years later.

bj9With each passing year the Ben and Jerry’s brand grew more popular in Vermont, eventually leading to a bigger location in Burlington, a Vermont-only public stock option which would be utilized to build a larger manufacturing plant, and by 1986 Ben and Jerry introduced the Cowmobile, a modified mobile home used to distribute free scoops of ice cream. The two men would take the vehicle on a unique, cross-country marketing drive to further expose the Ben and Jerry’s brand but unfortunately during the return trip, the Cowmobile burned to the ground outside of Cleveland, Ohio.

From there, Ben and Jerry’s began creating new flavors (Cherry Garcia, Phish Food, etc.) which drew mainstream media attention, rallying around numerous local and national social causes, and with their increased popularity, franchises started to pop up all across the nation. Once the internet came into existence, the Ben and Jerry’s brand started to reach people all over the world, and today it has become the world’s most famous ice cream brand.

To the consumer at a local supermarket, they simply know the flavor of the ice cream they’re purchasing and the way it makes them feel when they eat it. But when you go beyond the surface, you find out that there’s a strategy to Ben and Jerry’s success and a deeper meaning to what they stand for.

bj11For starters, Ben and Jerry’s have a three part Mission which guides their decision making. Those three parts include their Product, Economic, and Social Missions. The company’s aim is to create linked prosperity for everyone that’s connected to their business: suppliers, employees, farmers, franchisees, customers, and neighbors alike.

The Product Mission is to make, distribute and sell the finest quality all natural ice cream and euphoric concoctions with a continued commitment to incorporating wholesome, natural ingredients and promoting business practices that respect the Earth and the Environment.

The Economic Mission is to operate the Company on a sustainable financial basis of profitable growth, increasing value for our stakeholders and expanding opportunities for development and career growth for our employees.

And the Social Mission is to operate the company in a way that actively recognizes the central role that business plays in society by initiating innovative ways to improve the quality of life locally, nationally and internationally.

Everything Ben and Jerry’s does comes back to meeting the objectives of all three of those categories. They know what their brand represents and they expect their people to satisfy those expectations and be unwilling to compromise the core values of their business. Check out this video to get a better understanding of what I’m talking about.

After you move past the three part mission, you find that Ben and Jerry’s also throw their support behind a number of different causes. Although some people may prefer that the company focus on making ice cream and keeping their opinions of social issues private, this is how they believe in operating and they’ve consistently done so throughout their history.

issues

When you step back and think about how their business model relates to sports radio, it starts with the mission, a clear identity of who they are as a brand, and what they want to be known for. When you watch the video above, browse their website, or read over the descriptions of each of their missions, you can fully understand what they represent as a company.

Now compare that to your local sports radio station.

bj6If I walked inside the halls of your radio station today, could I tell what your brand values are? What your product focus is? How you connect and give back to your community? Could I see how you celebrate success and which goals you’re presently chasing?

You may think that’s not important in the grand scheme of what you do on a daily basis, but just as imaging is vital to pounding a message in the audience’s brains so they remember your key messages, so is reinforcing the identity of your brand to your own staff and audience, and creating a vision that everyone can follow.

If you want your talent to present content in a specific way or your company to make a larger impact inside your community, it starts with beating the drum consistently inside your own office. Then it comes down to execution and holding people accountable to bring the vision to life.

brandIf you say you’re going to be your market’s undisputed leader in football discussion, then your talent have to understand that approach and make sure it’s delivered on the air, online, and on social on a daily basis. If you say your brand is going to get behind social causes and show how radio can make a difference in the local community, then you need to be present for important events and identify key causes that you’re comfortable attaching your brand’s reputation to.

Regardless of what you consider most important, it’s imperative to create an identity, set expectations, and be true to what you say you are. The listener and your advertisers will take notice and appreciate it but they will also expect you to deliver on your brand promises.

pointIf I can make one suggestion, when deciding what your brand focus is going to be, brainstorm with your key people to develop a strong mission statement, and then put it on paper. Keep it short, sweet, and straight to the point, and then step away from it for a few days.

When you pick it back up, make sure you still feel great about it before presenting it to the rest of the group. If you don’t feel good enough to place it on the window of your studio or see it appear in your local newspaper, then go back to the drawing board. The way you define your brand and sell it to people inside and outside of your radio station is important so make sure it captures exactly what you want.

After you’ve created your mission statement and have delivered and communicated what it means to your staff, it will make a lot of things easier. You’ll be able to identify which clients do or don’t fit the brand. Which content does and doesn’t belong on the radio station. Which community events you should and shouldn’t appear at. And more important than all of it, you’ll share a collective vision inside the walls of your company, and that type of togetherness is what produces a winning atmosphere, one which many on the outside will want to be a part of.

bj1When you stop to think about it, Ben and Jerry’s are ice cream makers. But other companies make ice cream too. So why does their brand stand head and shoulders above the competition?

It starts with their three part mission and the way they inspire their employees. Because their vision is understood internally and communicated externally, consumers recognize Ben and Jerry’s for being much more than an ice cream company. Its that type of brand understanding that breeds long-term loyalty, which in turn catapults you to the top of your business.

Barrett Blogs

Barrett Sports Media’s Top 20 Major Market Sports Radio Morning Shows of 2022

“A total of 31 shows were eligible for voting consideration in the Major Market Sports Radio Morning Shows category.”

Jason Barrett

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The 8th annual BSM Top 20 series continues with a look at the Top 20 Major Market Sports Radio Morning Shows of 2022. As you review this year’s selections, please remember that the results represent the collective opinions of forty six (46) industry executives. I’d like to thank Alex Reynolds, Stephanie Eads, and Dylan Barrett for helping with the Top 20 process, and Steve Kamer Voiceovers for being our exclusive sponsor for this year’s Top 20 series. Steve’s voice is heard across the nation on many top shows, stations, and networks, and if you’re not familiar with his work, take a second to learn what makes him stellar at his craft by clicking here.

As it pertains to the voting, here are a few key things to be aware of.

– These results are based on 2022’s performance. 2023 changes have no effect on the voting.

– Our executive panel consists of forty six (46) program directors and corporate executives from a number of top broadcasting companies including Audacy, iHeart, Cumulus, Beasley, Hubbard, Good Karma Brands, ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, SiriusXM, Spotify, and independently owned and operated radio stations. We involve a large number of people in this process in order to include feedback from all parts of the country, as well as to prevent the results from heavily favoring one company.

 A total of 31 shows were eligible for voting consideration in the Major Market Sports Radio Morning Shows category.

– Voters choose their Top 20 based on a myriad of factors including the ear test, originality, ability to entertain, multi-platform impact, on-air chemistry, and ratings success. Keep in mind that voters live in different cities, have different tastes, and value certain factors higher than others. This isn’t a perfect science, but it’s the best system we’ve been able to come up with to showcase how sports radio’s brain trust view the best in the format.

And that brings us to the rankings for this year’s Major Market Sports Radio Morning Shows. For the first time ever, the award goes to Angelo Cataldi & The Morning Team. Angelo is retiring from WIP next week, and the voters are sending him out on top. The longtime Philadelphia morning man was involved in a tight race for the top spot, and ended up holding off Toucher & Rich by twelve points to score the victory. BSM congratulates Angelo, Al, Rhea, PD Rod Lakin, and the entire morning team on their well deserved recognition, as well as every other show that earned a spot on this year’s list.

Now, here are the full results of “BSM’s Top 20 Major Market Sports Radio Morning Shows of 2022!”

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Additional Notes:

  • Toucher & Rich and Boomer & Gio tied for the most first place votes with seven (7). Angelo Cataldi & The Morning Team were one behind with six (6).
  • 21-25 was occupied by Joe Rose, John & HughSean Salisbury, The Locker Room, and Pat & Aaron.
  • The closest contest saw Moser, Lombardi & Kane hold off Joe Rose by 1 point to claim 20th place.
  • Of the 31 shows eligible for consideration this year, 7 received at least one 1st place vote.

Here is the remaining schedule for the BSM Top 20 of 2022.

  • Wednesday February 8 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Midday Shows of 2022
  • Thursday February 9 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Afternoon Shows of 2022
  • Friday February 10 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Program Directors of 2022
  • Monday February 13 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Stations of 2022

To view prior years of BSM’s Top 20 results, click here.

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Barrett Blogs

Barrett Sports Media’s Top 20 Mid Market Sports Radio Morning Shows of 2022

“A total of 47 shows were eligible for voting consideration in the Mid Market Sports Radio Morning Shows category.”

Jason Barrett

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The 8th annual BSM Top 20 series continues with a look at the Top 20 Mid Market Sports Radio Morning Shows of 2022. As you review this year’s selections, please remember that the results represent the collective opinions of forty six (46) industry executives. I’d like to thank Alex Reynolds, Stephanie Eads, and Dylan Barrett for helping with the Top 20 process, and Steve Kamer Voiceovers for being our exclusive sponsor for this year’s Top 20 series. Steve’s voice is heard across the nation on many top shows, stations, and networks, and if you’re not familiar with his work, take a second to learn what makes him stellar at his craft by clicking here.

As it pertains to the voting, here are a few key things to be aware of.

– These results are based on 2022’s performance. 2023 changes have no effect on the voting.

– Our executive panel consists of forty six (46) program directors and corporate executives from a number of top broadcasting companies including Audacy, iHeart, Cumulus, Beasley, Hubbard, Good Karma Brands, ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, SiriusXM, Spotify, and independently owned and operated radio stations. We involve a large number of people in this process in order to include feedback from all parts of the country, as well as to prevent the results from heavily favoring one company.

 A total of 47 shows were eligible for voting consideration in the Mid Market Sports Radio Morning Shows category.

– Voters choose their Top 20 based on a myriad of factors including the ear test, originality, ability to entertain, multi-platform impact, on-air chemistry, and ratings success. Keep in mind that voters live in different cities, have different tastes, and value certain factors higher than others. This isn’t a perfect science, but it’s the best system we’ve been able to come up with to showcase how sports radio’s brain trust view the best in the format.

And that brings us to the rankings for this year’s Mid Market Sports Radio Morning Shows. We have a new #1. Congratulations is in order for WJOX’s McElroy & Cubelic featuring Greg McElroy and Cole Cubelic. The JOX morning team defeated last year’s winners Ken Carman & Anthony Lima by thirty (30) points to earn this year’s top prize. BSM congratulates Cole, Greg, PD Ryan Haney and the entire WJOX morning team on the well deserved recognition, as well as every other show that appeared on this year’s list.

Now, here are the full results of “BSM’s Top 20 Mid Market Sports Radio Morning Shows of 2022!”

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Additional Notes:

  • Cole & Cubelic and Ken Carman & Anthony Lima tied with a category best four (4) first place votes. 
  • Spots 21-25 were occupied by R&R In The Morning, DJ & PKThe Starting Lineup w/ Tyler & WillThe Deener Show, and Bucky & Erin.
  • The closest contest saw The Drill slip by Robby & Rexrode by 1 point.
  • Of the 47 shows eligible for consideration this year, 13 received at least one 1st place vote.

Here is the remaining schedule for the BSM Top 20 of 2022.

  • Wednesday February 8 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Midday Shows of 2022
  • Thursday February 9 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Afternoon Shows of 2022
  • Friday February 10 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Program Directors of 2022
  • Monday February 13 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Stations of 2022

To view prior years of BSM’s Top 20 results, click here

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Barrett Blogs

Barrett Sports Media’s Top 20 National Sports Radio Shows of 2022

“A total of 101 shows were eligible for voting consideration in the National Sports Radio Shows category.”

Jason Barrett

Published

on

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The 8th annual BSM Top 20 series kicks off with a look at the Top 20 National Sports Radio Shows of 2022. These shows have the largest reach in America, and are distributed by the largest networks in the industry, airing across hundreds of radio stations, as well as on various digital and television outlets.

As you review this year’s selections, please remember that the results represent the collective opinions of forty six (46) industry executives. I’d like to thank Alex Reynolds, Stephanie Eads, and Dylan Barrett for helping with the Top 20 process, and Steve Kamer Voiceovers for being our exclusive sponsor for this year’s Top 20 series. Steve’s voice is heard across the nation on many top shows, stations, and networks, and if you’re not familiar with his work, take a second to learn what makes him stellar at his craft by clicking here.

As it pertains to the voting, here are a few key things to be aware of.

– These results are based on 2022’s performance. 2023 changes have no effect on the voting.

– Our executive panel consists of forty six (46) program directors and corporate executives from a number of top broadcasting companies including Audacy, iHeart, Cumulus, Beasley, Hubbard, Good Karma Brands, ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, SiriusXM, Spotify, and independently owned and operated radio stations. We involve a large number of people in this process in order to include feedback from all parts of the country, as well as to prevent the results from heavily favoring one company.

 A total of 101 shows were eligible for voting consideration in the National Sports Radio Shows category.

– Voters choose their Top 20 based on a myriad of factors including the ear test, originality, ability to entertain, multi-platform impact, on-air chemistry, and ratings success. Keep in mind that voters live in different cities, have different tastes, and value certain factors higher than others. This isn’t a perfect science, but it’s the best system we’ve been able to come up with to showcase how sports radio’s brain trust view the best in the format.

And that brings us to the rankings for this year’s National Sports Radio Shows. For only the 2nd time in 8 years, we have someone at the top other than Colin Cowherd. The winner this year for best National Sports Talk Show of 2022 is The Pat McAfee Show. It was a close race, which saw Cowherd earn more first place votes, eighteen (18) to McAfee’s twelve (12), but Pat scored more total votes including seven more votes in the 2-5 range, allowing him to prevail by seventeen points. McAfee’s show is now consumed through podcasts, YouTube, and social media but 2022 did include eight months of distribution on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio. We congratulate Pat, AJ, and the entire crew on earning this year’s top honor, as well as every other show which appeared on this year’s list.

Now, here are the full results of “BSM’s Top 20 National Sports Radio Shows of 2022!”

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Additional Notes:

  • The Herd w/ Colin Cowherd earned a category best eighteen (18) first place votes. The Pat McAfee Show was second with twelve (12).
  • 21-25 was occupied by Outkick 3602 Pros & a Cup of Joe, The Zach Gelb Show, Spain & Fitz, and Bart & Hahn.
  • The closest contest saw You Better You Bet edge Ben Maller by 4 points.
  • Of the 101 shows eligible for consideration this year, 9 received at least one 1st place vote.

Here is the remaining schedule for the BSM Top 20 of 2022.

  • Tuesday February 7 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Morning Shows of 2022
  • Wednesday February 8 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Midday Shows of 2022
  • Thursday February 9 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Afternoon Shows of 2022
  • Friday February 10 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Program Directors of 2022
  • Monday February 13 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Stations of 2022

To view prior years of BSM’s Top 20 results, click here.

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