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High Five – Minnesota Vikings (Page 3)

High Five game review from the Minnesota Vikings game on September 24th, 2023 . We look at how the Vikings script their show to maximize the impact of a powerful pre-game and their incredible stadium.

4.  Moment Mascot vs PeeWees Never Fails 

Mascot vs Pee Wee Football has been a thing for 20 years.   The proliferation of social media video the shots of a 200 pound grown-man in a mascot suit running over a 105 pound child like a freight train continues to take this to new heights.

So when the Vikings planned their Mascot Game it was surely the first piece inserted in the game format.

And the days of having it be a delightful surprise for fans at the game are gone.  This is now a promoted element.  The Vikings made sure the halftime Pee-Wee game was packaged and sold the same way the real game was.

Like every element (see High Five #3) mascots were presented as the featured attraction before they touched the field. Mascots were seen getting off the bus.  Walking the halls and stretching out in anticipation of the game.  Both teams (pee wees and furballs) were introduced before the showdown as well

And of course the game did not disappoint, with perennial Pee-Wee dominators like Blue, Blooper and Goldy Gopher the game was set-up to be viral.

5. SCALE UP

One of the hardest things to do effectively in football is play to the scale. As noted in the introductions, this building is massive. So anything inside the stadium can instantly feel tiny.  The Vikings excelled at finding ways to scale up, reframe and otherwise fill the room with their production elements.

Foremost in their efforts was the scoreboard.  The 12,000 square foot display helped bring everything into view for every fan.  You didn’t see a dancer or a mascot before they were shown in high definition on the big screen.  Not only were they presented like Stars (see our note #3 Everyone Has their Moment) but those initial videos intorduced each performer up close and personal so they were familiar to fans even if they were a tiny spot on the field.

The props were also made to feel ENORMOUS.  The new gjallarhorn is described in nearly every article as “massive” (and it is) looks to be nearly 20 feet long and 6 feet wide.  It has its own perch in the endzone. The drum used for the SKOL chants has 8 foot head and sits atop a three-foot high end-zone platform.

These props are not only useful decorations they are destinations in the stadium.  Each with undeniable connections to the ethos and mythology of the team.

The team employed super-sized props all game long, like these crowd banners during the pre-game.

Giant_Flag_pass_up

Even the dance team found ways to scale, including their pre-game Junior Dancers were scaled to fill the field with over 200 performers stretching from end zone to end zone.

Fill The Field with Dancers

The Vikings took every opportunity to fill the (massive) space using supersized props, a mass of humanity and SkolVision to go big.

Bonus Content: Calling Back Traditions

In our High Five – Saginaw Spirit review we talked about using a “callback.”  This comedy technique is simply going back to a bit that worked previously, and building off the audience familiarity with it.

While countless teams have created pre-game traditions and moment lately, few have turned them into a tool as effectively as the Vikings have done.  The SKOL chant and Gjallahorn are traditions that start the games…but they become even move powerful as the game progresses as a way to reignite the crowd and recapture the energy.

The SKOL chant is almost akin to a hockey team’s goal song. A triggered celebration used to celebrate and carry the energy into the next part of the game.  A tool in the toolchest for the Vikings to tap into all game long.

In addition, The show is programmed with 30 seconds left in halftime the team reboots the SKOL chant to set the stage for the second half.

These tools are not just used once, they are developed and activated again and again.

SKOL_clap

Rival players even admire the SKOL chant (from Vikings.com)

The Vikings are preparing for a Border Battle against the Packers this weekend, but recently anther division rival spoke about Minnesota and U.S. Bank Stadium.

In an interview with Detroit media members, Lions cornerback Darius Slay was asked about home-field advantage at Ford Field. According to Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press, Slay appreciates playing at home but is envious of Minnesota’s game-day traditions, division foe or not. Monarrez wrote:

While having a good-natured discussion with reporters about NFL fight songs, Slay admitted he’s a big fan of the Vikings pregame [SKOL Chant] and the [sounding] of the Gjallarhorn, the massive horn that fires up the crowd before kickoff in Minnesota.

“I actually love the horn,” Slay said. “I love when they say, ‘Skol!’ See, that is gangsta! I love that. They by far have the best stadium in the NFL.”

Slay told media members that “nobody” can compete with the game-day atmosphere at Minnesota and Seattle.

“I be getting crunk with the crowd. ‘Skol!’ I’ll be, ‘Skol!’ ” Slay said. “I love that chant. They’ve got the best chant in the world.”

Summary

The Vikings effectively created home-field advantage by maximizing their pre-game production and focusing the tremendous energy of the crowd into the exact moment of the kick-off.  They told fans their pre-game show was important and then delivered with a dazzling video production that complemented their live elements.

Since moving into their new stadium the team has created two iconic signature traditions (the SKOL chant and Gjallarhorn moment) which not only triggers their crowd once pre-game, but can be used again and again during the show to reignite the fanbase.

The SkolVision production elevated every element of their show with high-end production, clever writing and thoughtful content.

The Vikings completley live up their lofty reputation as an innovative and top-level game presentation team.

Thanks

Thanks to Allan Wertheimer and Arthur Kuh with the Minnesota Vikings for their time and hospitality.  Thanks also to Kyle Campbell at CUE Audio.

June 2023 Party in the Back Podcast

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See all our photos and videos from the game in this Flickr Gallery.

Minnesota Vikings

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