Coach Brad Stevens’ Unexpected Move is Your Power-Move

Celtics Coach Brad Stevens' Brand-Boosting Move

It’s May 10th at the very end of the 3rd quarter of Celtics Game 5 in Boston when Washington Wizard Kelly Oubre Jr. finds himself at the free throw line – and MISSES.

Even if you’re not an NBA fan, let alone how *enthusiastic* Boston fans can be, you probably know unsportsmanlike conduct can get ugly. And the well-documented charge by Oubre of Boston's (undeserving) Olynyk two games earlier in the Playoff series was a textbook example.

It's now Game 5, tied at 2-2. The Celtics have returned home and are ready to prove themselves. They do so immediately, establishing a +/- 20 point lead in the first few minutes of the game.

Celtics fans had been charged up from the get-go, anti-Oubre chants further amplifying things well before he was even put into the game in the 2nd half.

It’s easy to argue it wasn’t necessary for Brad Stevens to make a lineup change right after Oubre misses that first free throw. But without missing a beat, right as the Garden explodes with joy over Oubre’s miss, Stevens sends Kelly Olynyk in.

The place detonates.

Timing is often an important part of the equation. You must also know your audience, which Stevens clearly does. There’s also something big to be said for giving people even more of the same (e.g. what they expect or crave from your product) – in this case, another intense emotional charge.

And – newsflash Event Managers! – nailing the timing doesn’t mean you have to be 100% planned. You can’t be afraid to be spontaneous when the opportunity presents itself.

[Rebecca S.] I know all too well that that lesson can go against the grain. I shocked myself, in fact, at the revelation as I caught my breath and sat back down at TD Garden. The event planning niche my team and I occupy is one that celebrates customization; Pour Favor Wine Events is not the bento-box of wine tasting events. 90% of what we do is carefully orchestrated to reinforce our client’s brand or culture. That takes even more planning.

At the same time, I couldn't help but pause... We’ve been at this for 9+ years. We have an incredible roster of partners, a rich skill-set among our staff members (beyond the obvious wine knowledge required) and have curated myriad events – we have a lot of inspiration to draw from. We could develop and implement a still-customized event pretty quickly.

It seems then, if you:

1)      Know your audience and

2)      Have a great supporting cast, whether your planning team or network of partners, and

3)      Are clear on your brand identity and/or event goals, you are in a clutch position.


The Stevens Take-Away?   Don’t hesitate to take advantage of the moment, and strike while the iron is hot to super-charge your own “fan base”, aka customers or guests, with a memorable event. Otherwise, the opportunity might pass you by.

We’re HERE when you need us.