Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The Superbowl

This weekend will see the Pittsburg Steelers taking on the Arizona Cardinals in what is one of the most watched sporting events in the world. For all of those not familiar with the Superbowl it is the final of the NFL competition to find out who is the best team in American Football.

The reason I want to talk about it is because in the UK we don’t really put on sporting events anywhere near the magnitude and razzmatazz of the Superbowl. At our FA Cup final the biggest domestic cup match in football as we know it we will normally have someone singing the national anthem and possibly a fly over from The Red Arrows and this is seen as big.

The Superbowl on the other hand is a weeklong event. In the build up to the match there will be press days where the media can grill the players, there will be lots of events for the fans where they can try their hand at playing some American Football an there will be entertainment shows up on with live music in the run up to the event. Across the country it will be what everyone is talking about and what all the press organisations are reporting on. This is before we have even got to the match itself. When the match is on they will have fireworks, pre-game entertainment, music and more. Before the match starts all the players are introduced and welcomed on to the pitch, at half time the pitch will be turned in to a stage where a major international star will perform the half time show and then at the end of the game there is a ceremony for the winning team.

I think the UK need to take leaf out of the American’s book and really hype the big finals like The Superbowl. The bigger and more exciting you can make the game the more young people you can inspire to take up the sport. Cup Finals should all be about capturing the imagination of the audience and making memorable events where the country comes together to watch.

The organisations behind these sports need to use them to get young people in to sport. In the run up to the event they should be running events that encourage young people to get involved all across the country and not just in the host city. Sporting bodies should be capitalizing on the attention these events get and using it to get as many young people involved in sport as possible.

I will be staying up late in the UK to watch it and even if you aren’t a fan of American Football why not give it a quick view to see what I am talking about I have many friends who aren’t fans of American Football but will tune in to the Superbowl. The NFL do a great job of promoting the sport over here in the UK and I think is a blueprint for what the English FA should be doing to promote our sport abroad.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"
”Shaking up the Youth of Today”

1 comment:

Andrew G. said...

You really hit the nail on the head. Here in the US, the Superbowl is definitely an experience. You get to look forward to the half time performance (Bruce Springsteen this year, very exciting). Plus, the commercials aired during the Superbowl are kind of a big deal.