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The NFL Succeeds Where Others Have Failed

by Nick Vitrano

No business likes to take a peek at its model and see the old descending line.  But…it’s inevitable.  Simply shoving the same old thing down people’s throats isn’t on the recipe card for prolonged success.  People change.  Society changes.  So must your business model.  The most successful brands don’t simply “do what they do and do it well,” they find a way to adapt what they do well to a changing landscape of expectation. 

Kudos to the National Football League for its new Pro Bowl format.

Effective immediately, the Pro Bowl participants, as voted by players, coaches, and fans, will enter a general draft pool.  The traditional NFC-AFC affiliations are scrapped.  The two leading vote-getters will serve as captains and, with the help of two NFL.com fantasy football champs and HOFers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders, will draft their teams during a televised event.  There are no kickoffs, a new 2-minute warning in the 1st and 3rd quarters, cover two and press coverages are now cool, there are some new clock rules.  You can see all the new stuff HERE .

I don’t know if this is going to work, but the NFL has got it right.  First of all, they are the only professional sports entity to fully embrace the fantasy realm.  While others have rejected the notion – “While you wannabe GMs play your little games, we’ll keep playing our REAL sport, mmmk?” – the NFL has acknowledged not only how fans regard their game, but the why behind the how.  Well played, NFL.  Then there’s this: they’ve done something.

We always scream “DO SOMETHING” when we find ourselves dissatisfied.  Generally, we offer nothing in the way of solution and our targets respond in kind, offering nothing different than status quo in return.  Not thins time.  It may not work.  It may be an unmitigated disaster (though how could it be worse?).  But props to the NFL for taking a shot at change. 

Tease Image: Dave Cournoyer via Wikimedia Commons