Nope, sorry Pistons fans, not that one. See at M.G.T., we respect guys that play hard, not like dirty, cheating sons of Laimbeers. Today we are talking about the 5’8”, 180-pound, poison dart frog running point for the Boston Celtics. To use the parlance of our industry, I.T. is punching so far above his weight it’s insane. So if you’re a challenger brand, forget MJ. Here are 3 ways you can be like IT.

You may never have the same resources as your bigger competitors. But you can play quicker, craftier and more freely. And that can win in the digital age.

1. Aim straight for the big boys. And do it relentlessly.

My man dropped 52 points (52!) on Miami a couple months back. The Heat’s best player is a 7’3” shot blocking freak. Intimated? Not even a little.

“Big guys, they think they can block everything anyway, so my mindset is if I do get blocked, I was supposed to. As a little guy, you’re going to get hit, you’re going to get banged and put on the floor. But I’ve been in the weight room for a while and gotten strong enough to sustain that; to hit the ground and get back up knowing that I’m never going to stop.”

You may never have the same resources as your bigger competitors. But you can play quicker, craftier and more freely. And that can win in the digital age.

2. If you can walk the walk, then talk the talk.

“I’m a killer. I’m a killer.” -Isaiah Thomas

He looks like a 4th grader, but he’s an assassin. And so he acts accordingly. And I am here to tell you, it is a joy to behold. If you’re a challenger brand with a badass product, then carry yourself like that. You’re not here to collect scraps or just hang around. You’re here to compete. If your product is better, tell that story and do it like you mean it. Truth and guts and personality, baby.

(By the way, the short fella picked last in the 2011 NBA Draft is presently leading the Eastern Conference in scoring and a legitimate MVP candidate. Sometimes success comes later for the little guys. Take heed.)

3. Know and respect the culture you play in.

There is no more high-pressure sports town than Boston, and there is no team with more championships than the Celtics. Their fans are some demanding, impatient and prideful sumbitches. (I know, I’m one of them.)  So what’s Isaiah do? The first season after being traded to the team, he pens an article in the Players Tribune simply titled, “Boston.” It included lines like this:

“They say if you win a championship in Boston, you’ll be loved forever. And I want every guy on this team to experience that.”

“Being in Boston has been the best thing that could have ever happened to my career. I can honestly say I feel blessed to be a part of this city and this organization.”

Done. Sold. Gets it. I’m buying a jersey. I’m crying. I’m drinking. There’s Irish step dancing involved. Nothing makes sense, but everything makes sense. And that right there is how you get a couple million guys who look like extras from “The Town” nodding their heads all in unison. Do a little something extra to show your consumers you get them, those cynical consumers become lifelong fans.

Bonus tip: Enjoy the ride and have fun, because you made it to the show.

Now play hard and play to win. Because it doesn’t matter what your game is, winning is the greatest.

Bruce Gray is co-founder and Executive Creative Director at Admirable Devil, a purpose-driven ad agency.

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