Top 10 Highlights From An Eye Witness @ Raven’s Super Bowl Celebration
An ex-P&G marketer and long term Super Bowl fan shares an eye witness perspective of the Raven’s Super Bowl celebration in Baltimore
EDITOR’S NOTE: this blog post is a departure from our usual coverage related to using technology in qualitative research as the editor (me) addresses a cultural topic of high interest: how Americans celebrate the Super Bowl and the role of technology.
I’ve always been a Super Bowl fan, regardless of the teams, as an ex-P&G brand manager who at first cared more about the commercials than the game. Two years ago, I wrote my first ever blog post (“7 Learnings from the Super Bowl XLV Mobile Ethnography”) based on a mobile research study with 235 consumers while watching the Super Bowl game. Using their iPhone entries, participants shared where they were watching the game, on what, with whom, what they were eating and drinking, and which commercials they liked or didn’t like.
This year, I closely watched the Super Bowl game at a party and was glued to the TV until the very end, even through the post-game interviews (despite the blackout and the late hour). What a great game, on both sides! As a Raven’s fan, I was absolutely thrilled when Baltimore won! And when my 15-year-old son asked me if he could skip school so we could attend the Raven’s celebratory parade in Baltimore, I said “Of course,” with a carpe diem attitude.
Here are my Top 10 highlights from our day of celebration, which we shared with 200,000 diehard Raven’s fans who skipped school and work to participate in the parade or join in the festivities at the stadium:
10. More people than I’ve ever seen focused on the same passion
M&T Stadium closed its gates at a record-setting 80,000 (they were expecting 30,000, and maximum capacity is 71,000). People were everywhere! In seats, on the field, standing in the aisles, stairwells, concession areas, you name it.
9. Tiny, ubiquitous technology
Gone are the days of clunky equipment and camcorders. Two out of three fans around me had a smartphone (most commonly) or digital camera recording this rare experience. I only saw two iPads being used. And in 41 degrees, it quickly became really cold as best operating was without gloves. It seemed that nearly all recorded for at least the first 5 minutes and then stopped due to the cold; sounds like a new product opportunity.
8. Players recording the fans
This moment was just as big for the players, with many of the players holding phones or cameras to capture the moment from their vantage point. This Associated Press picture of the Raven’s quarterback and Super Bowl MVP, Joe Flacco, tells it all:
7. The color purple
I’ve never seen more PURPLE in my entire life! Jerseys, beads, camouflage pants, jackets, dyed hair, purple wigs, massive face paint, scarves, hats, and even purple suits. And without an opposing team to add in other colors, a sea of purple washed over the stadium.
6. Coaches make good cheerleaders too
Coach Harbaugh did a great job of cheering in his Ali-inspired three-peat chant of “Who are we?” RAVENS, RAVENS, RAVENS!
5. Season highlights
Jumbotron coverage of many highlights, with my favorite being Jacoby Jones’ 108 yard kickoff return for a touchdown during the Super Bowl game. Truly amazing.
4. The broader concept of TEAM
Coach Harbaugh focused his message on the “team” including the fans and all of us at the celebratory event, not just the paid team members and staff. During the parade, Ed Reed reinforced this concept by jumping off the Super Bowl float to let the people of Baltimore touch the Lombardi Trophy. And later at the stadium, the entire crowd sang, “ We are the champions!”
3. Engage the audience
Many examples, but a crowd favorite was Ed Reed, with his young son on his shoulders, leading the packed stadium in singing his version of Eddie Money’s “Two Tickets to Paradise” with several “Whoa, Whoa, Whoas.”
2. Passing of the baton
Retiring legend and future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis did his signature dance one more time, followed by his “passing on” the dance to first Ed Reed, and then Jacoby Jones, who added his who own special twist. Definitely fun to watch: click here to enjoy!
1. A mom/son ‘real-time’ bonding moment
Without the ability to tweet, text, email, call, or go online in the packed stadium, my teenaged son and I truly embraced this exhilarating moment. We screamed, chanted, cheered, applauded like crazy, and even sang quite often. Thanks Ravens for sharing this incredible moment with your fans, and for giving this mom and her son a lifetime memory.