Friday, January 27, 2012

The NFL’s Grateful for the Global Recession

I normally don’t comment on sports in this blog. Too many other people do that already. But, I saw an interesting observation that was made by the commissioner of American Football the other day. Because of the recession, huddled masses of Americans with nothing else to do, are connecting with the sport in front of their televisions.

"People want to feel part of a group, feel like they're connected, and right now during these difficult times, they can turn on free television and watch the greatest entertainment that's out there," Roger Goodell observed.

Admittedly, he said the next challenge is to get people to come back to stadiums because they’re at home experience is just so darn good, and FREE! Ok – he didn’t say THAT, but he might as well have. Not to mention that food and beverage, parking fees and just about everything else about the stadium experience has become so overpriced, a weeks pay is in order for a family of four to go to the stadium. Why WOULD anyone go to the stadium and experience what they can experience at home…free!?

I like Mr. Goodell. Seems like a down to earth guy, coming up from the ranks of nothing short of janitor to head one of the biggest sports leagues on our planet. But, his quote has me a little perplexed and intrigued. Why would you admit your product’s no longer affordable live and better on TV?

Perhaps his observation would open the door for cool, new activation from NFL sponsors to go beyond the games television rights and actually engage fans at stadiums. Create real experiences that are must haves that result in an all day affair reserved for attendees. This would give people a reason to head back to the stadiums and justify those ridiculous prices. By creating greater value for the “fan experience” and a reason for fans to WANT to go back to the stadium, might just be what gets NFL fans out of their living rooms and back to their top left corner, Row ZZZ seat.

My friend reminds me that he can see the game a whole lot better in front of a 50” flat screen – so why spend the money to go to the game. Perhaps sponsors can give fans a reason to chuck the flat screen and embrace the experience that occurs outside the gridlines.

Just trying to help, Mr. Goodell.

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