This year's Super Bowl was a great game and one of the most memorable in history because of one word: blackout!
With the game now behind us, brands, PR professionals, and advertising executives are scrambling to capitalize on our country's favorite sporting event.
The people who will best capitalize on the Super Bowl in the weeks and months ahead are those who starred in the game: Joe Flacco, Jacoby Jones, the Brothers Harbaugh. This will come in the form of endorsement deals and new, lucrative contracts.
Some very smart brands jumped right on the blackout in real time and had some fun with it, such as Oreo and Tide. In the coming months and again when football re-enters our minds full-time, there will be opportunities for some brands to take advantage of the big game and the blackout, but this will come in the form of clever advertising and TV spots.
From a PR perspective, the window shuts rather quickly, but can stay open a little longer because of the blackout. That said, pitchers and catchers report to spring training in about ten days. That is when football will drop out of our nation's minds, for the most part, until the NFL Draft and the start of training camp, so getting creative is a must.
Next year's Super Bowl will be in the largest media market in the world, just outside of New York City. There is an opportunity now, and again when football season restarts, to get in front of the story and talk about what lessons were learned during this year's game and what proactive steps are being taken to make sure this doesn't happen at Met Life Stadium a year from now.
This could also dovetail into an opportunity for other technology brands to get some attention. New Jersey will be very cold next February and the stadium isn't enclosed. This will make for a unique Super Bowl in many ways, and the question of what is being done to keep fans and players warm and safe in these conditions will be asked and examined. We hear there is a lot of discussion about this behind the scenes. With the NFL's blessing, it could be a PR coup to bring those private talks to the public and make football fans aware of the steps being taken to make this controversial Super Bowl a success despite the elements.
That aside, capitalizing on the recent Super Bowl will be more of an advertising play than a public relations one. Had there been a brand that “saved the day” and got those lights back on, that company would be making the talk show rounds and watching their stock price rise.
Sure, there were the usual post-game assortment of talking heads from former players to executives giving their theories on whether or not the blackout slowed the momentum of the Ravens (conspiracy theorists unite!) but for the most part, there weren't any unique PR opportunities coming out of this event.
We live in a social media, 24-hour news cycle, and most of the country has already moved on and turned their attention to the crack of the bat… for now. Creative PR people will find opportunity in the weeks and months ahead to bring their clients to the forefront. Football is America's game and America is the land of opportunity!
John Maroon is president of Maroon PR.