Over the past few months, I have seen a commercial running on TV for a new board game called The Logo Board Game. It is a trivia-based game that tests a player’s knowledge of some of the best-known brands and the logos we associate with them. I’ve never played the game beyond the one or two questions posed in the commercial, but it seems like it would be a fun challenge.
At the same time I was seeing this commercial, the Pittsburgh Business Times started a voting-based competition for the best brands in Pittsburgh called Brand Madness, modeled after March Madness. As Smart Business’ editor for Pittsburgh, a student of business, and a sports fan, I had to fill out my own bracket and see how I did.
Pittsburgh has some really great brands. The competition was broken up into four categories: destinations, products, visible (places and buildings) and companies. Each week the bracket moved forward with readers’ votes for the best brand for each match-up. As a New York native for most of my life, I didn’t do very well and brands I thought would go far — didn’t.
Some brands in the destination section were the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Kennywood, PNC Park and Heinz Field. In the products section, some notables were the terrible towel, Heinz 57, Starkist tuna and U.S. Steel. Visible Pittsburgh had places such as The Meadows Racetrack and Casino, Cranberry Woods Office Park and the Omni William Penn Hotel. Lastly, in the companies section, notables were Brunner, Giant Eagle, American Eagle Outfitters, Eat N’ Park, PNC Bank, CONSOL Energy and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
I personally thought that Heinz would be a frontrunner, but was shocked to see it fall early in the competition, which ruined my chances of doing well in the bracket. Check out some of the stories and winners throughout the competition.
Smart Business has recognized that these brands and companies have been staples in Pittsburgh over the years and featured some of them in our magazine. Companies such as Brunner, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and 84 Lumber have all built strong brands and great companies that keep Pittsburgh thriving.
The winner of this competition, which in hindsight isn’t a big surprise, was the terrible towel, a Steelers fan’s best friend.
Gregory Jones is an associate editor for Smart Business magazine’s Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Houston editions. He met Ben Roethlisberger last year and wouldn’t mind seeing him and the Steelers win a third Super Bowl, but only because the Bills season is taking a turn for the worse.