In this season of New Year’s resolutions and planning our lengthy “this is what we need to do to better ourselves” lists, I wanted to offer up something to consider – the role integrity plays in our lives. Integrity by definition relates to sound moral character and honesty, and in my opinion the general level of integrity we see nowadays in society is much lower than it was in the past.
A couple weeks ago I was telling the story about how a few years ago we named our daughter Siri just before Apple’s release of the iPhone 4S. We loved the name due to its uniqueness and Scandinavian meaning (“beautiful victory”), but had no idea one of the world’s most profitable companies would make it a household name. Given the name’s relative obscurity I did some research and found out that the original creator of the Siri software (who is Scandinavian) sold it to Apple for over $200MM (not a bad chunk of change!). While I was rehashing my story someone asked if I would consider selling my daughter for $200MM, and I of course laughed and said no, absolutely not. The funny thing was that even though I gave the answer my friend of 10+ years expected, I got the feeling that he wouldn’t have been surprised to hear me say yes.
This got me to thinking about integrity and its role in the world of sponsorships and entertainment marketing. How often do we see folks (think teams/leagues/individuals/events, etc.) sell just to make a few extra bucks or buy just because they think something is “cool”? Of course it is impossible to say the true percentage without knowing the reasoning for why all deals are done, but I am sure everyone can think of at least one time they engaged in something that was self-serving.