My friends will surely find this odd ... but I finally got into The World Cup this weekend, when the US played Portugal. I literally have NEVER watched a soccer game on tv in my life, until this game ... a nail biter to the bitter end. I'm hooked. Admittedly, I will be a fair weather friend as soon as the fury is over, but it is fun while it lasts.
Here's what I love:
The drama of all the injuries. I've never seen so many injuries in a game. It's crazy how much these guys get hurt. As my son says, "Dad, this is a contact sport." Not that we want to see anyone get hurt, but it certainly makes for a lot of drama. And from what I now understand it's also a part of the game's strategy.
The digital advertising board. Ok, so I paid as much if not more attention to all the branding than to the game itself, but it was oh so much fun to see all the brands get continuously displayed along the perimeter of the field. Wonderful to see an international display of brands on what looked like state-of-the-art digital advertising.
The drone capturing game footage. I recently wrote about the future of drones, if you want to read it here, so of course I was captivated by the drone flying up and down the field capturing footage. It got really close to the action! Wow!
The cleats. The players' cleats were simply amazing. The colors, the stripes, the textures ... we're going to seeing colorful footwear coming out of this pop culture event for years to come!
The trailers. The trailers that FIFA plays, and has been playing, to promote the event and soccer are so inspiring, so Brazil. It has to be doing wonders for the sport and for the host country.
And of course, all the fans. The fans are nothing short of amazing. Their spirit is infectious, as is their colorful outfits, accessories, and temporary (hopefully) tattoos. I loved seeing their enthusiasm for the sport and for their country.
The million dollar question is always, "Will soccer finally catch on in the US?" I believe it has ... or it certainly has come a long way. The game was a blast to watch and the energy level was unparalleled in any other sport I have seen. It was wonderful. I certainly do hope it continues to grow and grow here in the US, even beyond just the World Cup.
What's your experience? JIM.