As the semester dawns to an end we reflect back on the class. Over the course of the semester I chose to blog about sports in the media. I chose this because I have always been a lover of sports and an athlete as well. Just doing these blogs over various sports was very worthwhile and I learned some things about the media and the sports industry that I didn’t know. Things such as the significance of advertising during games for big companies. Companies spend millions and millions a year alone just on advertising. Something that we generally don’t think about. My knowledge of how the media promotes certain events and games in the sports industry was increased as well. Even though I didn’t cover the UFC, the class inspired me to look into how the media affected their respective sport and without advertising the UFC would be much different and much less valuable.
I also learned how US sports league are trying to expand internationally and with that have done thorough research on the cultures of the country. This is a trend that we see across multiple industries, not just the sport industry. I vividly recall talking about how Coca-Cola had a brand blunder when they first entered the Chinese market. The translation for “Coca-Cola” in Chinese meant “Bite the Wax Tadpole”. They later fixed the problem but it just goes to show you that every industry that enters a new or foreign market faces these cultural and language challenges and most adapt to the culture that their marketing their product. For the NFL, they have played games internationally in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Mexico. Obviously the UK and Canada speak English so it was easier to market to those countries but in the case of Mexico, they speak Spanish. In an attempt to attract more fans and adapt to their culture, the NFL has created a an extension of the actual NFL site and called it ‘NFL Mexico’. The site is 100% in Spanish. The NFL airs 9 games every week in Mexico with Spanish broadcasting. Due to their efforts to adapt to the foreign culture of Mexico, the NFL has an estimated 20 million fans in the country. Below is a link relating to the NFL internationally. The first is a short video describing how the NFL is aggressively chasing an international expansion team and looking into the fan bases that exist outside the US borders. The second is NFL Mexico and the preview trailer for the Houston Texans vs. Oakland Raiders game that was played in Mexico City the 21st of November:
One of the big things we noticed about advertising in foreign markets is that the music is generally a little different. In the second ad for the game between the Raiders and the Texans, if you listen to the music in the background music you notice that it’s very different from the ‘NFL Primetime’ music that we hear when we see the commercials here in the US. This further explains the NFL’s attempts to relate to the market there. To adapt like this shows there is no ethnocentric behavior that takes place in the brainstorming rooms of the top officials for NFL International..
There were other aspects that related to sports in the media but the most meaningful one was advertising.
I also learned about the NBA and the massive TV deal they struck with Turner Sports and ESPN. The value of the deal was massive and the amount of money involved in the TV deal was unbelievable to me at first. To me that was the most interesting thing I learned from the blogs. Before the semester started I thought the media consisted of biased reporters and corrupt corporations. And even though that is true to an extent, there’s a reason behind all of that. Cultures and being competitive in the market can be attributed to the biased reporting, among many other things. I was oblivious to this prior to the semester and I can thank this class for the knowledge I gained in the field of media.
If I were to continue to blog about sports, I would look further into the different styles of advertising in different regions of the world. I would also look into the history on adapting to foreign cultures and the successes and the failures. I always wondered how advertising on live streaming games compared to traditional TV commercials so I would also look into which is more profitable and the different techniques used and whether companies approach those two ads differently or not. Maybe the length of the ad is different, or the visuals or audio has different benefits to each platform that advertising is done on. I have no idea, but that would be something to look into.
Below are a few pictures that depict how sports are crossing international borders and how the challenge of adapting and being successful in these markets takes much more work than meets the eye.