The painting above was done by my cousin, David Armstrong. He was actually my Dad’s first cousin, so I used to just call him Uncle David. He was a very well-known watercolor artist (Google it!) known mostly for his magnificent Pennsylvania country landscapes. One of his most significant works is called the 3 Bridges of Latrobe. It’s a painting that Arnold Palmer’s wife, Winnie Palmer, had commissioned David to paint as a surprise for Arnie’s 65th birthday. While the picture shows snow on the ground, this is actually the golf course where Arnie learned how to play the game. I have a signed print from David and Arnie – it’s one of my most prized possessions. Both David and Arnie have passed, David way too young in 1998 after a long battle with Cancer at the age of 51. Arnie died in 2016 at the age of 87.
That painting was the inspiration for the name for our company, 3 Bridges Consulting. One of the fundamental tenets of our company is that we help our clients build bridges to their best customer, no matter the age of their business. We focus on 3 different bridges: one for start-ups, one for company’s in 2-4 years, and one for established companies of 4+ years. Our experience allows us to customize marketing strategies for companies of every age and size.
There’s another reason the 3 Bridges painting is a principle to our company. I am an enormous sports fan, and an avid golfer. Arnie was certainly a generational golfer and brought legions of fans to the game. But here’s what’s amazing about his story: Arnie earned 3.6 million on the golf course, but his total lifetime earnings were $875 million. That staggering amount of money he earned off the golf course is because he figuratively built the strongest bridge ever in sports. That bridge was his connection to his fan base (Arnie’s Army), which was a stronger bond than any athlete had ever established. That bridge helped his name become an iconic brand. In some ways, Arnie was the “start-up” business for other athletes after him to follow. He paved the way for athletes in all sports to build a personal brand during and after their careers. Arnie may have died 4 years ago, but his brand is still relevant and will be for many years to come.
Not just athletes, but every company should look to emulate the staying power of Arnie’s brand. The question all businesses need to answer in year 1, 21, or 41: do you have the right bridge to your ideal customer and, as a result, a brand that can stand the test of time? To learn more on this and to read our success stories in helping businesses of all stages grow and develop, please visit our website at www.3bridgesconsulting.co.