I’ve noticed that the NFL has been running this tagline in some of its commercials: Football is family. That is on point, those genius marketers of the NFL.
In fact, if you ask me, sports marketers are some of the best in the world. I immediately think of behemoths like Under Armour and Nike. I regularly squeal out their catchy one-liners. I’m partial to Under Armour simply because it was a local startup here in Maryland. Will you protect this house?
I couldn’t help but notice after the Ravens beat the Bills this weekend in the season-opener in Baltimore, there were as many Bills fans as there were Ravens fans at our tailgate. Not so unusual for this gang which includes Super Fans like Rick Bowlus, Chip Riley and Brian Donley. They are in the fan football Hall of Fame!
Still, not only was it half and half but it seemed that all were family. Or acting as such. Maybe not all “blood” family, but you know what I mean. Loyal and good people. Happy and engaged.
Football is family. It’s true. It has been in my life. I grew up watching the Bills with all my peeps. We did it together. We’d also play together, and when I say play, I use that term very loosely. I can still see my family getting in formation in Cherry Creek, New York during the annual Turkey Bowl. Oh what a vision!
At young ages, me and my siblings weekends were spent at the local fields watching, playing and cheering for the Wildcats and/or the Falcons.
That’s part of the allure of sports, and football is not alone, bringing people together with the same passion and allowing them to step outside of their ordinary to get lost in the competition. That we can have fun, food and beverages before and after to prolong the occasion is more of a victory.
But I’d like to ponder a different message and one-up the genius marketers of the NFL, broaden the horizons. Sports is Family is an even better tagline. Let me explain.
When our son, Cal was growing up he played multiple sports throughout the year and we became close to the parents of the other players. To this day, some of our best friends were made when our kids played together. I’m certain most parents can relate. Our family got bigger and better.
Another reason Sports is Family is apropos: football is no longer king. You read that right. And I’m a fan. Sure they may be king in terms of dollars and even numbers, but the sports market continues to grow for many reasons like more girls participaing or even the concerns from concussions and the brutal nature of the game itself.
Parents don’t trust it and so they are letting their children try different games. Plus “helicopter” parents are no longer just dropping kids off at the fields. They are into it! There are travel leagues as kids have begun to specialize in one or two sports and play year round. All sports become family-oriented for weekend trips and tournaments.
I know for players, it is the same. These athletes work hard on and off the field. They become like family too. I’ve interviewed enough athletes at all different levels and from many sports to know, the bonds they form last long after the game clock stops and their jerseys are retired.
Which brings me back to why I write here today. Whatever sport you love, I’m guessing nine times out of ten, the seed was planted by your family. Soccer moms and lacrosse dads can attest to that. The passion and enthusiasm is contagious and likely passed from one generation to the next.
Maybe this simple play on the NFL’s words isn’t earth-shattering but I clearly have an ulterior motive. Motives. This blog is one, but think about it, the only way that females will be playing with the pigskin in a professional arena is if they are sporting that tawdry lingerie. Um, no. Just no.
Sports is family has such a sweet appeal to it. As your family net gets cast out wider the more love we have floating around. What can be better than that?