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Archive for January, 2011

Pro Bowl Weekend Great for Media and Viewers Attention

January 28, 2011 1 comment

The NFL Pro Bowl will be hosted the week before the Super Bowl to increase viewers.

This year the NFL continued its rearrangement of the NFL post-season games. This year the NFL Pro-Bowl will be held on January 30th, one week before the NFL Super Bowl. This was experiment to increase media attention and television viewers. It was thought to believe the Pro Bowl would be a great way to ease into the Super Bowl while increasing the number of viewers. I believe this experiment will see results, but I do not believe it will see significant results. The NFL is going from a two-week break until the Super Bowl to the Pro-Bowl being hosted, but is this the right way to approach this problem?

The NBA All-Star Weekend is held every February with several events over the three days.

Every American professional sport league host some sort of All-Star game. The NBA has All-Star Weekend, the NHL has their All-Star game, and the MLB has an All-Star Weekend. All of these All-Star events are very successful, in the way that many people look forward to them. So the question is what is the difference between these All-Star events and the NFL Pro-Bowl? One, outside of the NFL all other professional events are held during their regular season.

The MLB All-Star Weekend includes several events outside the game itself

The NBA will be hosting their All-Star Weekend the weekend of February 18th-20th, the NHL All-Star game is Friday January 28th. Fans get to take a break from cheering on their favorite team to the post season to watch some of the best athletes in their respected sport compete with and against each other. Second, and more importantly I believe the reason the NFL doesn’t have the same success as other american sports is because of the several other events other sport leagues host. MLB, NHL and NBA host All-Star Weekends, not just games.

The NBA Dunk Contest is key event during the NBA All-Star Weekend

In addition to games each league host some sort of competitive  skill competition, all but the NFL. All other leagues host weekend long events with several forms of entertainment.  To increase the success of the NFL Pro-Bowl, the NFL must offer more forms of entertainment.

Just like other leagues, the NFL could host a skills competition. There could be three competition, Arm’s competitions to see which Quarterback could throw the furthest and most accurate,

A obstacle course could be a great competition for skilled players

a Obstacle course for where backs could compete to see who was the most agile, and a Hands Competition where receivers could see who had the best hands. There is currently a similar event hosted for professional bound college football players. The college event has been successful and only proves that a professional event could be just as successful. This event could be hosted on the day before the Pro-Bowl to provide a post-season event filled weekend. Fans are always interested in who has the best skills in any sport. By providing more events during the All-Star weekend the NFL could increase ratings and media attention. If the NFL took this route they would need to keep the Pro-Bowl Weekend before the Super Bowl. Doing this would not take away from the Super Bowl, nor would the Pro Bowl risk losing viewers. For the NFL it is simple, to get more viewers, you must offer more to them.

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Categories: NFL Tags: , , ,

Michigan’s Brady Brings “Hope”

January 20, 2011 1 comment

After a lengthy, difficult, coaching search, Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon finally announced the 19th Head Coach of the University of Michigan, Brady Hoke. While Hoke was not the first choice of coach, in fact he wasn’t even the second, he is very fitting for the position.

 

Brady Hoke during his introductory Press Conference

 

His resume includes a 12-1 season with Ball State, back to back winning seasons with San Diego State, and he was on the Michigan staff under Loyd Carr for several years. In addition taking several coaching staff along with him, Hoke announced he would be adding Greg Mattison, former Defensive Coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens to his staff. Between Hoke

Mattison during a Ravens practice with All-Pro Ray Lewis

and Mattison, Michigan has gone from three recruits within the top ESPN Top 250, to having an additional six interested in Michigan which is pretty good since they Hoke has barely been on campus and Mattison probably hasn’t packed his bags out of Baltimore yet. It seems things are looking up for the old Maize and Blue, but I’m still concerned for the Wolverines immediate future. While the coaching staff is talented, I believe there is something to say about the transition of a higher level of competition for Brady Hoke and the transition back to college football for Greg Mattison, while both have been successful in Ann Arbor in previous season things have changed, Michigan has changed.

 

Hoke has commented on how excited he is to work with Denard Robinson

 

A Denard Robinson would never play Quarterback under Loyd Carr, a Wolverine Defense has never given up this many points to any opponent. Hoke turned two programs around in Ball State and San Diego St, but he also started 4-8 in his initial season with both programs. I experienced the no bowl game season at Michigan in 2008 and it was not pleasant. Hoke will have to hit the ground running, to do this he will have to figure a way to run this offense with Robinson at control, while Mattison will have to find a way to build a top defense with mediocre talent. Personally I have all the faith a guy could have for a new coach, but my worry comes in  with the high expectations of the Michigan community, let alone their need for instant gratification. Michigan fans want Wins and they want them NOW! Hoke won’t have time to figure out how to work the offense and defense.  While the community will give him more of a benefit of the doubt being as he has been on the coaching staff before, they will still not tolerate not participating in  post-season game. Hoke has his work cut out for him, but in my opinion he is more than capable of building a great Michigan team. The only question is will the Michigan community continue to support him when and if his initial seasons ends in November.

Will Hewlett Packard’s San Francisco 49ers Sponsorship Achieve a ROI?


In July of 2010 Hewlett-Packard announced it would become a new sponsor of the San Francisco 49ers. Starting at the beginning of the 2010 season Hewlett-Packard was the “Presenting Sponsor” of the franchise including such things as the 49ers Training Camp. While any sponsorship relevant to sport more than likely results in a financial return, will HP products be of any interest to San Francisco fans?  HP senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Michael Mendenhall, said, “HP is synonymous with innovation. Pairing our brand with the San Francisco 49ers, one of the most storied franchises in the NFL, creates a dynamic combination that can bring together fans of both organizations.”

HP the Presenting Sponsor of the San Francisco 49ers

It seems they are hoping to pair the strong history and success of the San Francisco 49ers to HP products, which, in theory, is not a bad idea. Unfortunately we are in the era of the “Fair Weather Fan”, the fan who only supports to team that is successful. I have personally seen this being a Detroit Lions fan. I was fortunate enough to be a fan while the great Barry Sanders was still playing. While the Lions never made it to the Super Bowl, they did make post-season several times in 1990s. Unfortunately, the Lions have not seen much success since (excluding the last few weeks), caping it off by becoming the first franchise to go 0 -16. As a result all my family and friends who loved watching the Detroit Lions growing up, refuse to consider themselves a “Lions Fan”. In fact, referring to someone as a Lions fan is only step above an insult. I mention this because in the late 80s and early 90s the San Francisco 49ers were questionably the best team in the league with their only competition coming from the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately since those glory days the 49ers have not had much success. This year they cannot seem to find a consistent starting QB and they recently just fired their head coach.

Hewlett Packard visible during a Post-Game Interview with Mike Singletary

Sadly, I’m sure HP did not expect this San Francisco team that entered the season with such high expectations to go experience so many set backs.So although the 49ers have historically been a successful team, to the young market that HP appeals to, they are just another team that hasn’t had much success. I mention the “market that HP appeals to” because HP considers themselves one and the same with innovation. Being a company that prides itself on innovation, on introducing the latest and most technological products you must know that the older generation of people will not relate to you or your products. Many of us cannot get our parents to text us, let alone use touch screen desktops and web-printers. So going back to my original question, will HP receive a Return on Investment with their sponsorship of the San Francisco 49ers? Given the argument above, I believe not. With the team struggling on all levels this season, I believe it is safe to say the strong fan base of the 49ers is looking pretty weak. In addition to this the 49ers with their lack of success in more than the past decade, have not grab the attention of any new fans.