No matter what type of organization you work for, you have those tasks that you just have to do. It’s not necessarily interesting to you, and it’s probably stale for your audience – but you have to check the box and get it done. Maybe it’s a Donor Roster for a large fundraising organization, or a Thank You message after an event. In all likelihood, there’s something you have to do that isn’t very interesting, but it just has to happen. And you have to find a way to make people care about it.
In the NFL, this is the annual schedule release.
The NFL Schedule is not a mystery. In fact, it’s determined as soon as the final game of the previous season is played. There’s a formula that determines who each team will play each season. Teams play the others in their own division, a rotating selection of teams from other divisions in the league, and a group of teams based on placement in their own divisions.
The bottom line – fans of a team know who their favorite team will be playing. So when the final schedule is released, it’s really just a “when,” and less of a “who.” Hardly anything to write home about.
Not if these creative teams and social media managers have anything to say about it.
The NFL dominates headlines during its regular season, but the offseason is a long, dark place for team accounts. From February until August, there’s a long period of not much happening, punctuated by occasional free agent signings and the draft. So social media managers and team accounts are always looking for ways to spice things up. Enter the over the top schedule release videos.
The team that puts the most into this is likely the LA Chargers. For several years now, they’ve created Anime-Style schedule release videos announcing their schedule. It’s goofy, it’s fun, and it’s absolutely jam-packed with easter eggs that fans of all the other teams can’t help but talk about.
Put simply, the video is perfect internet bait. It’s designed to make people laugh, and make fun of other fanbases. Its mere existence caused countless reaction articles around the sports world.
Whether it’s an article about the shot fired at Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, a jab at Jets Backup QB Zack Wilson’s relationship status, or a shot at the Raiders for not knowing who their QB will be, the video generated endless articles simply reacting to nuggets inside.
should we REALLY make our schedule release video an anime AGAIN?— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) May 12, 2023
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We asked people on Broadway to help us with our 2023 schedule release. 🤣— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) May 12, 2023
📺: 2023 Schedule Release on @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/31LsUUDn3O
The Tennessee Titans took a different approach – asking random people on the street to guess the team for each week based on the logo.
The creative schedule release is so successful that every single team creates some sort of video for the occasion. And fans can’t help but eat it up at the slowest time of the NFL news cycle.
Even more impressive, one of them most popular podcasts around dedicated an entire segment to breaking it down.
Fans are starved for fun content, and these teams are delivering it in droves.
People care about these teams – it doesn’t matter that this is information fans already have. They want more, and they want it in a fun, easily consumable format.
So what does this mean for you? You may not have the following of an NFL team, but you can still make something out of nothing. The lesson here is that there’s no such thing as a boring topic – only boring execution. Even if it’s just a list of names, or a thank you note, there’s always a fun way to get the information out to your audience.
Don’t be afraid to take risks, and most importantly don’t lose sight of where your audience is and what type of content they like to consume.
Need help coming up with a creative idea for a stale campaign at your organization? Give us a shout and we’ll brainstorm ways to bring even the most boring ideas to life.