Book Brief: The Power of Fun

philly phanatic

the power of fun david raymondThe Power of FUN
By David Raymond

2016, SDR Consulting & Dave Raymond

The Idea

Fun is often overlooked as a powerful business tool. Not only can it help businesses succeed, in the case of author David Raymond, it can be the root of your business. In the summer of 1978, Raymond, an underpaid Philadelphia Phillies intern, donned the Phillie Phanatic costume for the first time at the bequest of Phillies management, who created the character as a distraction to the baseball teams dismal on the field performance. Raymond shares what he learned from his 16 years in the green, furry suit, evolving it in the The Power of Fun, a theory on how it can change your life.

Recommended For

The person who:

  • Enjoys personal development books
  • Is intrigued by positive power fun plays in our lives
  • Wants to learn more about how positive connections can bolster your business

The Pros

Full disclosure, David Raymond is a personal friend. I grew up in Philadelphia, attended countless Phillies games, always looking forward to the Phanatics’ antics (as the team was pretty bad). We met and became friends when I worked in the University of Delaware Athletic Department from 1992 – 1997 and spent time with him as the University re-launched their mascot during my tenure.

Regardless of our relationship, I found this book an easy read, The Power of Fun provides a reminder on many tactics we already know. The spin, coming from “behind the scenes” of a professional mascot (yes, there is such a thing), is another layer to the fun. Raymond creates an acronym F.U.N. (Force, Universal, “No”) as elements in how the Power of Fun reveals itself.

I enjoyed his many personal stories in part to having lived them myself. I can picture the hallways of Veterans Stadium, as I have walked them myself. I can hear his father’s voice, as we often discussed marketing strategies (“You want our players to do what?”) in my role with the Delaware Athletic Departments and I’ve seen first-hand how a mascot can enter a room and change the whole dynamic (for better or for worse).

Raymond’s insights ring true. Discussing his F.U.N theory, how one can use Neigh-Sayers (Fun-killers, as he calls them) in the creative process to motivate and “keep it real” as well as highlighting the power that the distraction of fun has.

The Cons

It’s obvious that this book was written to launch Raymond’s speaking profile. It’s a marketing tool. It’s a conglomeration of a memoir, a research compendium and the written format of a speaker’s deck. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but readers should be aware before they pick it up.

To Buy or Not to Buy

If you are: looking to make fun part of your business model, looking at ways you can incorporate it into your everyday life, grew up in Philadelphia in the 1980’s or want to think more about topics like the distraction of fun or the synthesis of fun, then I’d say it’s worth the purchase price.

Shared Insight

As I said, I enjoyed this book because it took me back to my childhood and my early years in sports marketing, spent in Philadelphia and the University of Delaware. My relationships with mascots is deep, as my husband spear-headed the re-launch of the Delaware mascot and launched three students into the professional sports mascot world. I’ve seen the Power of Fun first-hand and whole-heartedly believe in it.

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