By Jason Davis - WASHINGTON, DC (Feb 9, 2011) US Soccer Players -- The Super Bowl Experience™ (possibly trademarked, I can’t be sure, so better safe then sorry), is not an undertaking of small expense. It costs money to fly to the predetermined Super Bowl city, spend a few nights, and, most importantly, purchase a ticket for the game. A lot of money. The price of a ticket alone is upwards of thousands of dollars, strengthening the level of commitment for those that want to see a championship in person.
After 46 editions, the Super Bowl, as the crown jewel of the American football season, has become the preeminent destination event for American sports fans. A lucky few can afford to make the trip multiple times, perhaps specifically following their team. Most who go will do so just the once because the experience of being there, regardless of the participants, represents an ends that justifies the means.
The median ticket price for last week's Super Bowl was $2500. As always, there was a strong initial and secondary market, buyers willing to turn Indianapolis into an unlikely destination for early February travel. Americans like their football, and they’re willing to pay for it. It doesn't hurt that through the halftime show and commercials, the Super Bowl has become entertainment programming for a massive audience.
With that in mind, one wonders what it would take to turn arguably the only single game soccer equivalent into its own entertainment destination. That's UEFA's Champions League final, a game that the organizers are beginning to realize could do much more than crown Europe's annual club champion. The move to Saturday for the final is a start, but it's just that. Setting aside the appeals from traditionalists from a tournament that's only a decade older than the Super Bowl, it's the game most placed to copy the event feel of the NFL finale.
What the Champions League final lacks is the “I don’t care who’s playing, I just want to be there” event that the Super Bowl has become. Again, some would argue that's for the best. Leave it for the fans of the teams involved, keep it about the game on the field. Maybe in theory, but it's hard to downplay the potential impact of any sports event that can become part of the culture. It's why the Olympics have grandiose opening ceremonies, the World Cup has an official song every four years and normally a concert, and there's the push to make any final game as big as possible.
For UEFA, they have the one soccer game on the calendar with the most in common with the Super Bowl. Unlike the World Cup, the other obvious choice for the discerning soccer fan’s travel dollar, the Champions League Final is an annual event. The site is known in advance, making long-term planning (and saving) possible, and the product on display is sure to be some of the best the sport has to offer. If you have the cash and plan it out, you can witness the crowning of Europe’s best team live and in person.
It's not out of the question to see the Champions League as a destination event for American fans willing to travel. Continue reading "The Super Bowl And Marketing The Champions League Final" »