I went to Super Bowl 50 this year. Originally from the Carolinas, I’m a die hard Carolina Panthers fan, therefore it was an exhilarating and devastating experience all at once. But the end result was still a win for me because (being a Detroit area resident for 16 years), I represent Detroit.
This led to so many interesting conversations. People are curious about Detroit. When out and about (sporting every piece of Panthers attire I own), I was asked often where I live, where I am from? You see, the Super Bowl brings together people from all over the world – and what an awesome opportunity to spread the love for this city I call home.
The type of people you meet at an event (and all of the surrounding events leading up to the main event) like the Super Bowl are exactly the type of people I want talking about Detroit. I met former and current NFL players, high level executives for stereotypical big companies, tourists and travelers from other countries, entrepreneurs and the like. Everyone has something to say about Detroit, its comeback, its industry changes and its new vibe. I’m thriving off of this upbeat perception!
As an entrepreneur building two businesses in Detroit, I use this to my advantage. A tip I would give to anyone who works in Detroit is simple: Own it. You are part of a great comeback and you have a unique opportunity to embrace it and use it to grow your business.
I have acquired over ten new clients in the last year alone with the destination Detroit dialogue. It opens doors you didn’t even know were there (kind of like Zelda – Bombs away!). I sat next to a man during my most recent flight to San Francisco (for a follow up meeting from my Super Bowl trip) who is VP of operations at an automotive supply company. I’m closing that deal next week. It will be the second largest contract I have ever secured.
Talk to people – talk to everyone. I’ve gained new clients out of the most random connections you could possibly imagine. An Uber driver in Chicago, the man I bought my Super Bowl tickets from in San Francisco, a girl I played volleyball with in San Diego, a girl I asked to take a photo of me in Galveston, TX. The best part of this is that I am bringing business to Detroit and contributing to the success of this city.
Invest in your roots and watch the growth.