What Soccer Could Learn from the Super Bowl
Super Bowl XLVII—the greatest show on earth—served up an unbelievable spectacle on Sunday night.
In terms of finals, the NFL does it right. In terms of exhibitions, the NFL does it right.
What can soccer, and world football as a whole, learn from the show?
There is no soccer match in the world that has ever staged a halftime show like the one Beyonce put on.
In fact, halftime in a soccer final is pretty boring. Fans sit brooding in a nervous coma for 15-20 minutes, discussing how the referee will surely see them lose the game and how the other side are clearly getting away with murder.
The League Cup final is played in February, so the fans are freezing, while the ones that take place in the summer are blessed by the sun in a curiously rare fashion.
What Beyonce's remarkable display did was take the fans' minds off the game, which was particularly useful for the San Francisco 49ers faction during that time.
It costs money to stage, yes, but final tickets are so expensive this is very doable. Concerns over deteriorating the pitch can be allayed by not putting on a show of a Beyonce's magnitude, but something other than a dude doing keepie-uppies would be nice.
Check the Power, Then Check Again
Not specifically soccer, but quite literally every sport that hosts a major event—be it a final, a draft, an awards evening, etc.—can take a valuable lesson from the Super Bowl.
Make sure you have sufficient power for the stadium or host building. If there's a concern, make sure you have a backup plan that doesn't take 37 minutes to execute.
Did Beyonce use it all up, or did someone from Spain sneak in and repeat his naughty feats?
IT'S THAT LITTLE PRANKSTER FROM VALLECANO!!!— Jerrad Peters (@jerradpeters) February 4, 2013
Whatever the cause, it was a bit of a farce. People in the U.S. regarded it as a hiccup, but people who stayed up to watch it in Europe found it incredibly annoying.
Novelty Advert Breaks
Coverage in the UK was done by the British Broadcasting Company, so not a single advert was shown throughout the five-hour ballgame.
Those catching it on NBC or the NFL Network weren't so lucky, but at least companies came up with special adverts to entertain viewers.
The large majority of high-profile soccer games are televised on stations that incorporate ad breaks, but no effort is made to spice them up and get yourself noticed as a business.
Instead of complaining morosely about the quantity of ads, people were remarking about their favourite ones. It even paves the way for pieces like this!
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