sports in the spotlight
Posted by Dale Buss on August 1, 2011 01:00 PM
Ford marketing executive Eric Peterson has plenty to do at work these days, with big responsibilities for positioning and promoting the hot-selling new Ford Explorer SUV, among many other things. But off the job, he’s preoccupied with one thing: catching up on the Green Bay Packers, gloating over their victory in the last Super Bowl, and looking forward to the season ahead with his team favored by many observers to repeat as champions.
Yes, Packer Nation is stirring again. The NFL lockout denied the team and its millions of fans much participation in the time-honored practice of public homage in the wake of a Super Bowl Championship, so they’ve got a lot of catching up to do — but the labor dispute didn't squelch Packer fans' enthusiasm for their beloved team, with an active online community helping keep the faith. Now that community is getting a global push, too.
Almost 12,000 Packer fans gathered on Thursday at Lambeau Field as team management hosted the Packers’ annual shareholder meeting, a unique spectacle because the Packers are the only community-owned team in the league. The players opened training camp on Friday amid high expectations for the coming season and with a star-studded roster that is a sea of tranquility compared with the furious levels of trading and free-agent signings across much of the rest of the league.
Meanwhile, team officials disclosed that the Packers sold more apparel last season than any other team in the 32-team league. And its website ranks first in the league in terms of page views. They also announced the debut of a new website, Packers Everywhere, to help connect Packers fans around the world with, for example, a listing of all known “Packers bars” where they can convene on game days to watch their beloved team on satellite TV.
True, each of the NFL’s 32 teams has a shot at winning the next Super Bowl. But Packers fans are convinced that their team has a head start. And there’s no denying that, for now, at least the Packers brand is in the lead.
[image via Packers Everywhere]