The following is a guest blog post from Preston Edwards, Jr., Publisher, IMDIVERSITY, Inc.
I had the pleasure of watching Super Bowl XLVI and was impressed with how the NFL produces this mega-event. The NFL showed a national audience that it gets “It.” It showed that the NFL could reach new markets, engage its existing customer base and build its brand. It showed that the NFL gets diversity. The NFL scored a diversity touchdown with this year’s event. Let me explain.
According to Nielsen, this year’s Super Bowl drew a record 111.3 million viewers. Super Bowl tweeting also smashed the record for a sports event, with 12,233 twitter posts per second going out and in during the final minutes of the game. The NFL also produced the halftime performance, and its choice of Madonna for this year’s event was brilliant. Madonna’s halftime show was seen by an estimated 114 million people — a higher average than that of the game itself — and was the most-watched Super Bowl halftime entertainment show on record, according to Nielsen.
Why was this year’s halftime performance such an extraordinary success? Diversity!
We all know that Madonna is a pop-culture icon whose music and movies have been at the top of the charts for three decades. Even so, with this year’s halftime show it seems as no one was going to be satisfied with a show that featured Madonna getting on-stage singing and dancing to some of her multi-platinum classics. Smart! Instead of the ordinary halftime show, the producers created a performance that featured diverse acts within the larger act that appealed to a diverse audience. This performance was unique in that it brought together elements from musical genres like Hip Hop, Pop, Rock, Gospel and Soul. It offered Roman Centurions, Vogue models, DJ’s, dancers, cheerleaders, a marching band, circus acrobats and big-name performers, all on a stage bigger and better than anything ever seen. This was a super-sized universally appealing event that scored a touchdown with a super-sized audience.
By having such a diverse performance, the NFL was able to attract new viewers. It was able to keep existing viewers, and it was able to over deliver to marketers. This is where the Super Bowl halftime performance shows how the NFL “gets” diversity. It “gets” that diversity attracts, that diversity expands and that diversity sells.
It’s not enough anymore to have a superstar with mega appeal try to reach everybody. Marketers must now creatively, respectfully and meaningfully touch customers from multiple backgrounds, cultures and interests. This event showed us how truly powerful diversity is and what can be accomplished by those who understand it. They can keep their audience, expand their audience and sell more to their audience. Diversity is the spice of marketing, and since diversity is so tied to sales, it is a piece of so much more. Diversity will continue to have its powerful impact on education, employment and politics. Virtually every area of our lives will be changed by diversity. The NFL just gave us a taste of diversity, be it on a Super Bowl level.
Many thanks to Preston Edwards, Jr. for contributing this great post on diversity. IMDiversity, Inc., has been serving minority audiences, employers and career services’ offices since 1970. Through DIVERSITY EMPLOYERS, TEACHERS OF COLOR, and IMDiversity.com, IMDiversity, Inc. has built a trusted relationship with minority job seekers and diversity-seeking employers.