What John Saunders Taught Us About Connecting with Your Audience


The sports world was shaken to its core last week when legendary ESPN announcer John Saunders died. As a veteran broadcaster, he was extremely well-rounded in his skillset and leaves behind an incredible legacy. Here are a few ways his influence spans beyond any halftime report.

Consistency is gold

Every company has their mission statement. Maybe it’s to empower others through innovation, or to bring about change in a local community. No matter the purpose, consistency is key. John Saunders’ career included a wide array of championship coverages and industry endeavors, but he was always consistent in his messaging and demeanor. The world is changing so rapidly, but if you stay consistent in your presentation, you won’t add to the confusion and the noise; people will always know what to expect from you as an individual and as a brand.

Genuine connections always trump making a dollar

There’s confidence that comes with knowing you’re engaging your audience in a genuine way. If John Saunders was one thing, he was authentic. It’s easy to get lost in the profits and ROI of the daily grind. Be strategic in your communication, but don’t manipulate your customers. Give them a sense that you’re not forcing your own agenda; be their ally. You can still be professional, meet goals, and grow your business, but at the end of the day, the genuine connection is what will bring people back to you.


It’s a simple principle, but can be so hard to put into practice. At the base level of all interaction should be respect. Saunders embodied nothing short of this. Perhaps this is what drew people in and made him so lovable. He was a mentor to many people and saw the value in nurturing the next generation of humanity. The way you treat people has the deepest impact on the well-being of your business and the souls of everyone you encounter. As a brand, no matter your goals, you will not succeed without laying this foundation.

John Saunders was an epic human being. In our professional and personal lives, it is our responsibility to carry out his legacy. And for brands, it’s a good time to reevaluate and make sure you’re are on the right path.