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  • Kabelo Bodibe

"Doing it, like I’m doing it for TV"

Updated: Apr 20, 2022

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

“Well let’s begin” were the words of former Bad Boy productions rapper Mase in his 1999 hit song “Get Ready”.

The significance of the phrase is that Mase in the music video is being asked by a journalist/reporter what makes him think he is such a good rapper. He eloquently answers that the difference with him, and let’s say other rappers, is that he does what he does “like I'm doing it for tv”. That is the competitive advantage Mase identifies as being different to his peers. Doing something with a specific focus on TV does give one a different edge.

Over the last few weeks in the sporting world we have been privileged to witness sporting events and moments that were specifically designed for TV.

The Super Bowl Halftime Show

The Super Bowl is one of the most widely watched sporting events in the world and in 2022 the Super Bowl 56 had an increased total viewership number of 112.3 million people, according to SportProMedia and one of the highlights of the night was the Super Bowl halftime show which involved hip hop artists Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Mary J Blige, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem.

The halftime spectacle which was directed by the renowned Fatima Robinson who is a hall of famer and best known for directing the Michael Jackson epic 9-minute video for “Do you remember” had a 7 percent increased viewership from last year as it hit 103.4m viewers.

The halftime show is an event that is purely for TV. Yes, the fans at the stadium get to experience it live, however it is designed for the millions of viewers at home that can’t make it to the stadium. The efficiency that the set was put together and dismantled in around 7 to 8 minutes indicates the focus was on getting the TV moment perfect.

According to a media valuation study conducted by the Hive and Elevate Sports Ventures, the brands also managed to get 75 minutes of game time branding during the whole match. This resulted in the NFL also generating $170m in brand exposure during the spectacle, proving that TV was critical to the NFL Super Bowl.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open (Par 3, 16 Hole)

The Waste Management Phoenix Open is a regular season PGA Tour event that takes place annually around February. It is also the tournament that is known to have the greatest golf show on grass, due to its high fan attendance, especially “The Coliseum” the Par 3, 16th hole. This hole is probably the most well-known hole on the course and the most visited hole out of all the holes on the tour. This hole and its associated grandstands is really built for entertainment. Many visitors to the tournament would like to make it to this hole, many more fans get to watch the spectacle at home. This hole receives more TV coverage than any other hole in golf. It has public announcement speakers, music, DJs and beer tents just to name some of the elements. The experience of the fans at the golf course is also experienced by fans at home through all the many different cameras that have been set-up.

South African landscape

The South African sporting landscape is different and is not as fully developed at this stage. In comparisons with our counterparts in many developed we need to do some serious catching up when it comes to creating memorable TV moments. We do love our sports in South Africa, but we need to creatively design elements that are purely for TV.

If one looks at the Professional golf space, we do have some tournaments that are held annually at the same golf courses and offer an opportunity to build activations that have a TV focus. The Gary Player golf course at Sun City, North West holds at least 1 Sunshine Tour event annually and there is an opportunity to create a TV moment like at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Football which is the country’s most popular sport according to BMI & Nielsen numbers, with about 13 – 14m viewership fans can also look to do some creative work for TV. Obviously, the Super Bowl half time show is unique to the NFL due to the length of the break. However, the build-up period does offer an opportunity to do some great TV moments like a musical concerts and other fan engagement elements.

The world and country is recovering from the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The year of 2022 offers great opportunity for everyone to adapt to the new norms and at the same time Covid-19 has put TV at the forefront of how fans will consume sports. Agencies will do well by pushing the creative envelope in coming up with new ways to engage with fans. And to really stand out, agencies will have to learn to “do it like they are doing it for TV”.

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  1. Sports ProMedia: 2022 Super Bowl viewing figures rise 16% to 112.3m for NBC; 16 February 2022

  2. Skybox – hole - 16

  3. Mase “Get Ready” ft. Blackstreet: Badboy Productions/ Arista Records

  4. Nielsen Report 2022: Broadband-only TV homes amplify sports viewership

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