How Kobe Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality” Inspired Game-Changing Marketing Technology

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How Kobe Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality” Inspired Game-Changing Marketing Technology

April 4, 2021

At 9:45 a.m. on January 26, 2020, a helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven other people crashed near Los Angeles, killing all on board. Millions of fans around the world were stunned by the news, including Sightly’s CRO and GM, Adam Katz, who had grown up watching Bryant’s entire career from beginning to end. 

During the days following the tragedy, Katz was struck by the outpouring of positive sentiment for Bryant. Here was a player who at one point early in his career was considered toxic by most brand sponsors. Now, many years later upon his death, he was being widely revered and remembered for how he’d reformed himself with a mindset he’d adopted and called the ‘Mamba Mentality.’

The perfect marketing and media storm

Fast-forward a couple months to the sudden onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic—quarantines, lockdowns, panic reactions, etc. Brands struggled to pivot, especially those with money locked into upfront agreements.

Fast-forward a couple more months to the BLM protests and marches across the country. Brands again witnessed the need for nimble messaging and media placement in the face of dynamically shifting sentiment.

While making continuous adjustments to keep customers’ brands safe and suitable in their digital media campaigns, the Sightly team noted an explosion in the amount and pace of news.

Every day, every hour, even every moment, there was something new happening digitally, socially, culturally that needed responding to on behalf of each agency and brand customer.

Most of the events and viral trends also had become more complex and nuanced as they ebbed and flowed. Reactions to them evolved over a matter of hours or days, sometimes changing focus and sentiment.

No wonder a survey conducted in May showed that brand CMOs in the US felt their biggest challenge going forward was ‘understanding consumer behavior changes,’ and number three was ‘aligning with new/changing customer sentiment.’1

Brand CMOs challenged by change

Polarizing moment leads to aha moment

An eye-popping moment occurred when the CEO of a client‘s competitor came out backing one of the political parties. The strong reaction in the market to this CEO’s statements suddenly highlighted how polarizing politics and cultural moments like these had become. Sightly was able to leverage the controversy for its customer—but the opportunity went away as quickly as it had arisen.

And this is where Kobe came back into play…

Photo by Alexandra Walt - Kobe Bryant and Mamba Mentality

“I went back to his ‘mentality’ concept and I realized that every brand would react differently to all these moments based on their mindsets,” Katz explained. 

It became obvious that brands needed a wider lens—one that could help them define what was truly suitable and safe, yes—but also one that could identify the opportunities.

Sightly had been developing products that incorporated industry brand safety standards from GARM, IAB, the 4As, etc. “Based on what was happening, we felt we wanted to expand on that and create a platform that gave brands the ability to put their own opinions in market as they see fit, to respond with speed to scenarios the way they feel,” Katz added. “We call it Brand Mentality™.”

Kobe Bryant’s mentality came from the Black Mamba persona he adopted, named after a deadly snake assassin in a Quentin Tarantino film.2 Over time, his Mamba Mentality grew to signify the total focus and dedication to his craft, a mindset that drove him to become one of the greatest and most admired players in the history of the game.

How Mamba Mentality informs Brand Mentality™

In his 2018 book, The Mamba Mentality: How I Play, Bryant wrote:

“The mindset isn’t about seeking a result—it’s more about the process of getting to that result. It’s about the journey and the approach. It’s a way of life. I do think that it’s important, in all endeavors, to have that mentality.”

In another section of the book, he added this:

“Keep it real. When I was young, my mindset was image, image, image. As I became more experienced I realized: No matter what, people are going to like you or not like you. So be authentic, and let them like you for who you actually are.”3

“What you see from Kobe is the excellence in the details, and continuous refinement,” observed Albert Thompson, Managing Director of Digital at Walton Issacson. “The whole notion of Brand Mentality is it changes as the story changes. And that is very much how the human mind works. Nothing lives on absolute terms anymore. It’s in and out and then moves to a new narrative or just goes away all together.”

Defining its Brand Mentality helps a brand establish its unique mindset and approach in market. It humanizes a brand so it can move with speed to drive outcomes and respond in real time to events, threats and opportunities that arise moment to moment. 

Listen to the full discussion of Brand Mentality in this recent episode of eMarketer’s popular Behind the Numbers podcast.

Notes

  1. Biggest Challenge for CMOs? Understanding Consumer Behavior Changes https://www.marketingcharts.com/demographics-and-audiences-115274
  2. How Kobe Bryant’s ‘Mamba Mentality’ changed the NBA, by James Herbert, Jan 29, 2020 https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/how-kobe-bryants-mamba-mentality-changed-the-nba/
  3. The Mamba Mentality—How I Play, by Kobe Bryant, text ©2018 Kobe, Inc. https://www.amazon.com/Mamba-Mentality-How-Play/dp/0374201234

Sightly Announces Tech Industry Veteran Stefan Papp as CTO to Accelerate Technological Growth

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Sightly Announces Tech Industry Veteran Stefan Papp as CTO
to Accelerate Technological Growth

February 11, 2021

Former Deloitte Digital and Blab Exec to Drive Brand Mentality™ Expansion

Brand Mentality™ anticipate the unexpected

NEW YORKFeb. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ –Sightly, a leading media services and technology company, today announced the appointment of 30-year tech industry veteran Stefan Papp as Chief Technology Officer to lead growth of the company’s technology and innovative Brand Mentality™ solution. Papp joins Sightly’s executive team with a wealth of tech and business experience.

Papp will lead the vision and strategy for Sightly technology, closely collaborating with business units to craft advanced systems and architecture that facilitate and drive the company’s objectives, especially the rapid expansion of its disruptive Brand Mentality™ platform.

“Marketers rely on us for our data, speed and solutions to expertly react and drive business outcomes reliably and expediently, given the warp speed of today’s world,” said Ralph Mack, Sightly CEO. “As an organization, we’re in an exciting place of innovation and growth right now. Stefan’s extensive experience with real-time analytics at a big-data scale will be a crucial part of our success as we spread Brand Mentality™ throughout the market to broad industry adoption.”

Sightly’s Brand Mentality™ platform combines emotional and social intelligence with Anticipation Software™ to respond moment to moment with true future-forward marketing.

“In today’s turbulent world where information and events happen at an unprecedented pace, Sightly’s technology is fundamentally transforming the way that marketers react and plan,” said Papp. “Our Brand Mentality™ methodology taps into the fire-hose of public discourse, leveraging advanced technologies, to provide brands with the unique and extremely necessary capability to act on real-time insights at speed, while trends still resonate.”

Papp joins Sightly after serving as the senior vice president of advertising technology for Deloitte Digital. Previously, he was the CTO at the pioneering predictive social intelligence platform, Blab. He also held leadership positions at technology companies including AdReady, Intelligent Effects and Solutions IQ.

rapid changes met with speed

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