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Monday, February 6, 2012

A Natural Resource

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DSC_0018 by goodluckpete
DSC_0018, a photo by goodluckpete on Flickr.

Just as I was settling down in front of my computer screen to write this issue's editorial, the light flickered ... then flickered again and suddenly my screen went black. This was the beginning of what was later named "the biggest electricity blackout" in North America. Naturally, over the next few hours, while the daylight was wearing thin, the editorial was the last thing on my mind. Like many others I was busy preparing for a night with no electricity. Like many others I was glued to a small battery-operated radio for any news or instructions. Later, as I walked down to the store, I observed people carrying large packs of beer, water bottles, ice and bags of snacks. "This looks and feels a lot like Super Bowl Sunday ... or the World Cup finals ..." I found myself saying to a neighbor, and he nodded his head with agreement. With very little to do over the next few hours (with no TV, no light to read by, and no Internet access) I began to ponder the connection between the blackout and major sporting events.

While initially this thought sounds at the very least a little strange, the more I thought about it the more parallels and similarities I came up with:

* Which other type of event has at a specific point in time the same basic impact on 50 million people (or more), from all walks of life and across different regions and geographic areas?

* In what other instance is such a large group of people sharing one wish or has the same objective? (Let it be light during the blackout; let my team, or my athlete win during the sport event).

* Which other event make so many people talk and share their experience with others days after the event is over.

As the hours went by with no power, I started to pay more attention to the voices that came from the tiny battery operated radio. The more I listened the more I became convinced that many others, while perhaps not expressing it explicitly, felt the same way about the similarity between the blackout and their favorite sport event. Here are just few spontaneous quotes that reporters, and ordinary people used to describe how they felt during the blackout:

--To describe the mass exit of people on foot from Manhattan--".... The Brooklyn Bridge looked exactly like it looks during the New York Marathon ..."

--To provide an idea on the severity of the traffic jams caused by the blackout--"... The ramp to the George Washington Bridge was jammed like after a Yankees game...."

--To emphasize the extent of the blackout--".... Both, Yankee stadium and Shea Stadium went totally dark ..."

--To demonstrate that life returned to normal after the power was restored the next day--"... even the New York Mets game will be played this evening ..." My initial reaction to the blackout "... it feels like Super Bowl Sunday.." didn't look so strange anymore.

Aside from expressing my own personal experience and feelings, what should we all, practitioners and researchers in the field of Sports Marketing, take out from the blackout? It should challenge us by making us realize the significant effect our efforts might have on so many people. The blackout was a major negative unplanned and uncontrolled event. For about 24 hours it impacted the life of over 50 million people by making them unhappy, fearful, frustrated, angry and inconvenienced. We are in the business of designing and implementing positive, planned, and controlled events. Like the blackout these events are going to affect millions of people simultaneously. It is our challenge to make sure that the impact of our events will make people happy, secure, excited and comfortable. So, keep up your good work in designing, financing, organizing, implementing researching, writing, teaching, sponsoring and marketing our kind of positive events.

David Shani

Editor,

Kean University

September 2003

Shani, David

Source Citation
Shani, David. "Editorial." International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship Sept.-Oct. 2003: 171+. Gale Power Search. Web. 6 Feb. 2012.
Document URL
http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA109580735&v=2.1&u=22054_acld&it=r&p=GPS&sw=w

Gale Document Number: GALE|A109580735

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Just as I was settling down in front of my computer screen to write this issue's editorial, the light flickered ... then flickered again and suddenly my screen went black. This was the beginning of what was later named "the biggest electricity blackout" in North America. Naturally, over the next few hours, while the daylight was wearing thin, the editorial was the last thing on my mind. Like many others I was busy preparing for a night with no electricity. Like many others I was glued to a small battery-operated radio for any news or instructions. Later, as I walked down to the store, I observed people carrying large packs of beer, water bottles, ice and bags of snacks. "This looks and feels a lot like Super Bowl Sunday ... or the World Cup finals ..." I found myself saying to a neighbor, and he nodded his head with agreement. With very little to do over the next few hours (with no TV, no light to read by, and no Internet access) I began to ponder the connection between the blackout and major sporting events.

While initially this thought sounds at the very least a little strange, the more I thought about it the more parallels and similarities I came up with:

* Which other type of event has at a specific point in time the same basic impact on 50 million people (or more), from all walks of life and across different regions and geographic areas?

* In what other instance is such a large group of people sharing one wish or has the same objective? (Let it be light during the blackout; let my team, or my athlete win during the sport event).

* Which other event make so many people talk and share their experience with others days after the event is over.

As the hours went by with no power, I started to pay more attention to the voices that came from the tiny battery operated radio. The more I listened the more I became convinced that many others, while perhaps not expressing it explicitly, felt the same way about the similarity between the blackout and their favorite sport event. Here are just few spontaneous quotes that reporters, and ordinary people used to describe how they felt during the blackout:

--To describe the mass exit of people on foot from Manhattan--".... The Brooklyn Bridge looked exactly like it looks during the New York Marathon ..."

--To provide an idea on the severity of the traffic jams caused by the blackout--"... The ramp to the George Washington Bridge was jammed like after a Yankees game...."

--To emphasize the extent of the blackout--".... Both, Yankee stadium and Shea Stadium went totally dark ..."

--To demonstrate that life returned to normal after the power was restored the next day--"... even the New York Mets game will be played this evening ..." My initial reaction to the blackout "... it feels like Super Bowl Sunday.." didn't look so strange anymore.

Aside from expressing my own personal experience and feelings, what should we all, practitioners and researchers in the field of Sports Marketing, take out from the blackout? It should challenge us by making us realize the significant effect our efforts might have on so many people. The blackout was a major negative unplanned and uncontrolled event. For about 24 hours it impacted the life of over 50 million people by making them unhappy, fearful, frustrated, angry and inconvenienced. We are in the business of designing and implementing positive, planned, and controlled events. Like the blackout these events are going to affect millions of people simultaneously. It is our challenge to make sure that the impact of our events will make people happy, secure, excited and comfortable. So, keep up your good work in designing, financing, organizing, implementing researching, writing, teaching, sponsoring and marketing our kind of positive events.

David Shani

Editor,

Kean University

September 2003

Shani, David

Source Citation
Shani, David. "Editorial." International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship Sept.-Oct. 2003: 171+. Gale Power Search. Web. 6 Feb. 2012.
Document URL
http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA109580735&v=2.1&u=22054_acld&it=r&p=GPS&sw=w

Gale Document Number: GALE|A109580735

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