Before we even get started, I get it…TV rights, can’t measure the audience, our license is precious, etc., and blah blah blah!
What the story today about the Falcons wanting to have a big watch party at the Georgia Dome for the Super Bowl but not being allowed to really is, is another missed opportunity by the NFL to put the fans at the center of something.
Instead, the NFL, like a hog to slaughter, hides behind some ridiculous “rule” that has the NFL won’t allow the Falcons to use the Georgia Dome for a watch party?
I mean, what could this “rule” really be?
I mean I get that you have to protect the license and the relationship that the league has with TV partners, but when you have a team going to the Super Bowl for the second time in their history and a team that is trying to sell out their new stadium that is just across the street, maybe capturing some of that excitement and good will would be a good idea?
Maybe I am wrong.
The fact is most of the people in sports fall back on the tired old assumption that “winning will bring fans in.”
While that is true, the carry over effect has become less and less.
Ask teams that were flying high and decided to restructure their pricing, restructure their relationships with the secondary market, and tried to gorge off the glow of a winning season how that is going?
Sure, the Cavaliers are doing great!
But how is attendance in other towns?
I think a lot of teams are struggling, not just losing teams, but winning teams.
Don’t believe me, turn on your TV and watch as they pan around…what do you see all too often, lots of empty seats.
Something like this rule is not just stupid from marketing the new stadium or marketing the team, its stupid for visuals for the game.
One of the big beefs that the NFL gets about the Super Bowl is that it feels too corporate. There is no crowd participation. There is no feel to the game.
While showing the game at the Georgia Dome wouldn’t help the atmosphere in Houston. It would provide great visuals for the TV audience, to counterbalance some of the shopping mall quality of the Super Bowl.
Cut away from the crowd sitting on its hands and cut over to the Falcons fans in the Georgia Dome, going crazy after a big play…better visual, better story, better impact for the NFL.
The same goes with the Patriots. If the Celtics or Bruins can accommodate it, have a watch party at the TD Bank Garden. When the Patriots do something great, cut to the scene in Boston.
This is good TV! This is good marketing! This is good story telling.
Or, do what you’ve always done…don’t let teams use their stadiums or have huge watch parties.
You’ve had a pretty lackluster playoff season that has commentators talking about around the world of sports, so why would you try to take advantage of the positive energy.
You wouldn’t?! And that is a missed opportunity.
But I get it, we have a “rule.”
The wise thing to do would be to find a work around of that “rule.”