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Hail Mary Marketing: Establishing a Winning Streak

14 Sep, 2015 McKell Naegle

Did you think last week was an exciting start to the football season for the BYU Cougars? Did you think it would be impossible to top after the crazy finish to the Nebraska game? Think again.

BYU had their first home game of the season against the Boise State Broncos, a team with a rich recent history of success, going to several BCS bowls and finishing ranked 7 of the past 10 seasons. This season was no different. Boise State came in ranked 20th in the nation, fresh off a convincing defensive win over former coach Chris Petersen’s Washington Huskies. This game looked to be a real challenge for BYU and Tanner Mangum.

Luckily for BYU, Mangum picked up right where he left off. On the third play of the game Mangum bombed a 84 yard touchdown pass to Mitchell Jurgens. BYU looked ready to go. However, Boise State wasn’t about to give up that easily. They applied defensive pressure, completely bottling up BYU’s run game and capitalizing on freshman Mangum’s inexperience leading to two costly interceptions. The first half ended up being a defensive struggle, with Boise State holding a narrow 10-7 lead.

Both teams played hard throughout the second half, but BYU found themselves in a hole once again. BYU was down 24-21, facing 4th-and-long, with 45 seconds left in the 4th quarter. Mangum then did what he does best. He launched a pass 35 yards to the end zone, connecting with Jurgens amid a sea of Boise State defenders. Somehow, someway, he pulled off another Hail Mary pass to win the game.


Can we learn something again from this BYU quarterback with two improbable wins under his belt? Yes we can. How can we establish a winning streak as part of a content marketing strategy?

  1. Play to your strengths. Mangum has found what works. He’s confident, willing to take chances and he has a strong arm. Find your strengths as a marketer, use them and create a sustainable plan for the future that will lead to consistent success.
  2. Remain positive, even throughout disappointment. BYU struggled throughout the game, and Magnum made some costly mistakes. However, it didn’t change the final outcome. Though we might go through mistakes or disappointments, the key is to learn from our mistakes and keep going forward.
  3. Don’t let inexperience stop you. Mangum may act like a veteran quarterback, but in reality, he’s only a freshman. Just because you’re lacking experience doesn’t mean you can’t get the job done. Whether you’re starting a new role or your marketing team is testing out a new campaign, there’s no reason you can’t be successful.

This is a follow-up to the article: Hail Mary Marketing, chronicling the strategy that explains the Hail Mary play and how it can be applied to marketing.

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