Why Octopi Still Fly: An Expression of Brand Loyalty


A first-timer to a Detroit Red Wings game may be in shock with the new experience of seeing octopi fly onto the ice. However, it is a tradition.  A family tradition to be exact. This brand tradition, among many others, is exactly what makes the Red Wings and its fans stand out among all other NHL teams.

People from all around the world have always felt like they were coming home when they walked into a Detroit hockey arena.  No matter if it was Olympia, Joe Louis or the future Little Caesars Arena, a visitor would and will experience the passion and despite the game’s outcome, would witness an unparalleled brand loyalty. Dedicated fans sneak in octopi to be thrown onto the rink because of how strongly they feel about the Detroit tradition. This demonstrates how loyal they are to supporting the team. Mike Ilitch, former owner of the Red Wings, created his own brand culture by personally taking care of his players and their families by helping them start their lives here in Hockeytown. He treated them like his own family.

So, who are the Red Wings and why are fans so committed to their team? Here are the real reasons why emotional branding works so well:

  • Fans feel like a part of the team. Social media allows fans to know the lives of each player and to feel as though they are sharing in their accomplishments each step of the way. They can experience the players lives on and off the ice and relish in it thanks to social media.
  • Family doesn’t give up on one another. When the fans feel like the players are family, they don’t give up when losses happen because they know that families stay loyal and share in the good times as well as the bad.
  • Generational integration. Red Wings’ brand loyalty becomes ingrained in homes of its fans, who pass the loyalty through generations by sharing the fun and team spirit with their children and grandchildren. This fans the flame for team spirit.

At MCCI, we work together to provide a similar, tight knit team environment for our employees. We integrate our personal lives and our passion for client service together by having activities outside the office environment. We involve our spouses and partners to mingle with coworkers to provide a higher quality life for all the people involved, in any form, at MCCI. To create an integrated life and possibly see octopi fly.