Updated: Feb 6
Whether you like professional football (American) or not, chances are very good that you know what the Superbowl is. The first one was held back in 1967 in Los Angeles California, pegging the Green Bay Packers against the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s been a big deal ever since.
Each year there are an estimated 200+ million viewers spending in excess of 14 billion dollars on food, drink and athletic wear.
The Superbowl is also well known to be one of the most expensive pieces of real estate, both as an attendee and as an advertiser. According to Forbes magazine, the going rate on a single 60 second spot will set you back a cool 8 million dollars.
Ouch… Amidst all the tailgating, all you can eat ribs and beer flavored everything you have to stand back and appreciate what the league does to market this event and command such a price tag.
There was a study done by the Wallstreet Journal a few years ago that tracked the amount of “game action” in a typical 3-hour game. The results were shocking. On average, 67minutes were dedicated to shots of players standing around, 63 minutes worth of commercials, 35 minutes of video of the coaches, crowds and cheerleaders, 15 minutes of replays and only 11 minutes of “game action”.
See unlike hockey where the game continues until the whistle blows, football consists of a series of strategic plays and downs where the clock continues to run while everyone prepares for the next play.
So how do you keep millions of people engaged for 180 minutes with 11 minutes of actual “content”?
THEY TELL STORIES
In my opinion, very few organizations or businesses do it as well as the NFL. The secret to keeping fans engaged and loyal is to have them feel personally invested in their team and it’s players.
During a 180-minute broadcast you’ll likely see several motivating human interest stories like the one of the young running back who came up against the odds and made it.
You’ll learn about how some of the players volunteer their time with local kids charities to bring awareness to the cause.
Best of all, you will see the teams and players portrayed as positive role models and pillars in the communities they live in.
All of this creates a powerful bond that fans (customers) buy into.
THEY CREATE RIVALRIES
Weeks leading up to the Superbowl favourites are picked, statistics analyzed, pinned up against each other and are feverishly debated.
Whose got the better quarterback? Seattle or the Patriots? How will Tom Brady fair against the Seahawks defense?
The sports network commentators are some of the best marketers in the business. They create conversations that fans want to get involved in. Will the Seahawks be able to win their second Superbowl in a row under the young Wilson or will the more experienced Patriots General prevail?
Every good sports promoter knows that the better they sell the battle, the more tensions build, and more fans will watch to see what happens next.
THEY TIE IT ALL TO A GOAL
Every team knows what the goal is even before they hit spring training camp; win the Superbowl.
Every training session, strategy meeting and game all center around making it to the final.
The post-game press conferences, the Pro Bowl and playoff run all serve as ongoing reminders what the goal is.
Each story and conflict throughout the season all tie back to how it’ll impact so and so’s ability to work towards/play in the Superbowl.
From a marketing perspective, the fans are peppered with messages through the year that build up their expectations and inspire them to take action.
The NFL has done an incredible job building its brand loyalty over near half a century, it’s brought hope and opportunity to many both directly and as ripple effect throughout North America.
Your aspirations may not be to build a multi billion-dollar empire, the above points can certainly help you take your business where you want it to go.
REMEMBER: WE'RE ALL WIRED TO REMEMBER WHAT WE GET EMOTIONAL ABOUT
Marcin has been instrumental in building several businesses including commercial & multi family real estate investment partnerships, a consulting practice and a smart home security business serving customers nationwide. Marcin has secured over $100MM in growth capital for various businesses and has collectively spoken in front of thousands of entrepreneurs, business owners, investors and those just starting to explore living life on their own terms. Outside the office Marcin can be found at the gym lifting heavy things, skiing or on the road zipping along on an extended bicycle ride.
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