Letting Kids REALLY Takeover

The NFL Nickelodeon presentation should inspire teams to reimagine Kid’s Day Promotions.

Bring on the SLIME!

Connor Orr from SI.com reviewed the Nickelodeon NFL game with this takeaway:

It made me wonder what the hell we have been doing all these years. I left Sunday’s game with no doubt that football would be completely fine if we yanked the business pants off the current operation like Nickelodeon did over the weekend and allowed the things we like about the sport to speak for themselves. If we embraced the goofiness of the entire thing. Of ourselves.

He added that they plan to focus less on facts like transactions or where players were drafted, and more fun facts like players’ favorite Nick characters or ice cream flavors. Eagle said they hope to engage younger viewers by humanizing players and making them relatable to the next generation of sports fans. (from CBS Sports)

The Nickelodeon game received great reviews from viewers. The show also had over 2 million viewers, a high-water mark for the past 4 years on Nickelodeon. There is now a planned replay at 3pm on 1/12 of the game.

The game included timeouts cartoon impersonations and digital slime oozing into the end zone when a team scored. In stadium the seats were filled by the Sponge Bob characters. Broadcast elements highlighted the importance of team relationships for young fans and inspirational messages from players and characters.

Pause to consider this is the NFL, long know as the No Fun League driving this playful discussion. Hats off to the NFL for this forward-looking FUN approach.

All of this fun reminds me of Kid’s Day/Kid’s Takeover Day promotions where teams let kids do the heavy lifting at games like player introductions, contests and video segments like Kid Reporters. (See Junior Reporters Take Over).  The South Carolina Stingrays have one coming up this weekend:

Kids Takeover Day – Monday, Jan. 18 – 1:05 p.m.
Kids Takeover Day! We’re handing the keys over to our youngest fans for the day with family-fun activities during the game against Jacksonville.

The Stingrays have maintained an excellent schedule of promotions during the pandemic slowdown despite the stresses to everyones operations and plans.  Stingrays Marketing and Community Relations Manager Kimberly Runey shared some of the details for their Kids Takeover Day.

  • Selecting a member of our Cool Ray’s Kids Club to be the Honorary “Let’s Play Hockey”
  • Kid on the ice pregame
  • Kids will be on every in-game promotion and intermission contest, focused on fun competitive sports competitions on ice and in the arena.
  • Tailoring our video board content and music towards kids
  • Characters like Ariel and Belle are planned for the concourse for kids to take pictures.

The NFL-effort clearly took notes from what teams have been doing with Kid’s Days building their show. Perhaps this Nickelodeon game will now inspire a new level of madness for theses games, extending into what Kid’s want to see, playful twists to the ordinary and even more SLIME.  Most of these Kid’s Days involve kids doing the roles of adults at the games but perhaps the next level is allowing kids to reimagine the roles altogether.

Or, just more Slime.

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