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Deeper than the deep blue sea

Mike Olson Avatar
March 17, 2023

“The deeper your belief, the deeper your pockets.”

~ Jeffrey Gitomer

I’d been working for a start-up for nearly a year that had been growing by leaps and bounds. We were second into our space, and had the advantage of seeing all the mistakes our larger, slower competition had made along the way. There was one big customer space to overtake, and whoever got it would probably end up ruling the space long term. It was up for grabs for either one of us. Given our track record coming in, I had high hopes as to how we would perform.

And then they turned around and handed our asses to us.

Being a business of still-small stature, we had to choose a couple of early and best-practices strategies to capture that audience. Did we have a hundred ideas? Sure. Did we strain ourselves to lead with our best five? Yep.

The deep-pocketed competition had both the personnel and the budget to simply do everything, everywhere, all at once.

While I didn’t find their final solution nearly as thoughtful or wonderful as Oscar-winning juggernaut attached, they had flexed their wallets, and thrown a juggernaut of their own at their solution. By being able to spread their bets over a hundred-plus tries – vs our five – they were able to crack the lock with a speed we simply couldn’t match.

In sports, the pockets-to-belief corollary is even stronger in terms of how you see an ownership group spend in relation to their ability to do so. It also lines up with how spread out thier focus may be. While an ownership group like Kroenke Sports may have some of the deepest pockets in the NBA/NHL, they are also in the NFL, EPL, MLS, NLL, and AFL, with teams of people that oversee each group. Juxtapose that with an owner/ownership group that is focused on a single team, and understand how the guys with whom the buck truly stops might have a little more laser focus on the outcomes for their one-and-only jewel. Line those deep desires up with inconceivably deep pockets, and… BOOM.

While the Walton-Penner team has been lambasted for a few of their earliest choices as the new ownership group for the Denver Broncos, they have left little illusion as to their willingness to spend what it will take to be successful, as the recent week of free-agency spending showed. With needs on their offensive line, defensive line, special teams, and more, Denver’s deeper-than-the-sea pocketed owners went out and grabbed some of the more attractive pieces available on the market to fill each of those holes, right after leveraging some serious bank to bring in one of the most proven and sought-after coaches on the market.

While Broncos Country hope that this expensive and splashy round of solutions plays out better than last year’s meganews of Russ Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett joining the team, they have also set a larger pattern, one you see in teams owned by focused and well-off owners like Shahid Khan, Mark Cuban, or Steve Ballmer.

Hell, even a multi-focused ownership like the Kroenkes, who have championships to show for themselves in the NFL, NHL, EPL, MLS, and NLL. While there are million examples scattering sports that you cannot simply throw money at a problem, there is a far larger body of evidence pointing to the idea that the dedicated teams with the deepest pockets (koff, Yankees, koff) can often find more creative solutions to stack the deck in their favor until the game tilts in the direction that brings home another ring.

Did the Broncos hit home runs with every signing last week? Time will tell, but probably not. Will a few pan out? Quite probably. Does ownership show signs of trying (and spending) at this until they get it right, even if that means something as unpalatable as eating a lengthy quarterback extension? It sure looks like it.

The Broncos ought to be better this year for the moves they’ve made. They ought to be better for a long, long time with owners whose pockets are oom-papa-mow-mow deep.


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