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Building A Big Game Narrative
This year marks the 57th Super Bowl.
That’s a lot of football games. And no matter how much you love the strategies and the stats, sports is all about telling stories. From dominant dynasties to inspiring comebacks, we watch the Super Bowl to see narratives fulfilled or rewritten in exciting ways (the ads are fun too).
This year, two heavily favored teams had a relatively easy path through the playoffs. Not exactly the makings of a super story.
That hasn’t stopped the NFL, plus individual teams and media outlets, from uncovering and shaping powerful narratives for Sunday’s big game.
There’s the first-ever showdown between two Black starting quarterbacks in Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes.
There’s the first-ever Super Bowl bout between brothers featuring Jason and Travis Kelce, complete with their mom’s conflicted allegiances and custom Eagles/Chiefs jersey.
There’s the story of hirings and firings between the two teams and head coaches Andy Reid and Nick Sirianni going back decades.
A Better Super Bowl Story
These stories give reporters and talking heads different news hooks and fresh topics to talk about during the countless hours of commentary before kickoff, during the game and after.
The narratives weren’t created out of thin air. Someone had to uncover them and expand on them. The NFL’s ability to find “firsts” after decades is a prime lesson in good storytelling.
Marketing and communications are about finding storylines and anecdotes that compel people to take action – whether that’s buying a new product or tuning into the Super Bowl.