Have you heard that the NFL is selling memories? Recently, I heard on the radio, that the NFL is utilizing an Experience App to allow season ticket holders to order up what the NFL is branding as a "memory". Last season there were three teams that tested the app, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They estimate that 1/2 the stadiums will be using this app by mid-season 2014.
There are several memories to choose from - "fast pass" line when you get to the gate, pre-game on field experience, birthday messages on the scoreboard and/or get a picture with the team's mascot. Those all sound like great experiences, nice memories for any fan or family. The NFL, through an innovative app, has figured out a way to make even more money at their games through an a la carte menu. Well played!
However, there is one "memory" that I could not believe and I wondered if I was hearing the announcer on the radio correctly as I was driving. This app also allows season ticket holders to order up a cheerleader to come right to their seat. Wait, what?! This is when I really wish that radios worked like my DVR, I wanted to replay what was just announced. When I got home I looked into it and it is true!
Well, really, let's think about it, what could possibly go wrong with a fan ordering a cheerleader to come visit them at their seat? I don't know. There is a reason why we don't have bars in funeral homes and hospitals and why we shouldn't let drinking fans order up a cheerleader to their seat. While this sounds like a great idea and service, and sure lots of money would be made but the risks out weigh the gains.
My first thought was who sits in these planning meetings to say, "Yes, that's a great idea!" Were any of the cheerleaders in that meeting? I realize that the cheerleaders have some downtime, as their "cheers" aren't really motivating the players these days. With the large stadiums and all, no one can really hear their rallies for more touchdowns or chants for stronger De - Fense! Their role as actual cheerleaders have diminished over the years. But, really did their role have to change so drastically by making them an app order for season ticket holders?
Many of these cheerleaders have dedicated their lives to dance, have degrees and are proud that they made this NFL squad. And now, they are going to be forever memorialized in awkward selfies, with men with liquid courage, all because there's an app for that! Can you imagine all the women looking through their partners' phone photo galleries after the game and finding that gem?
Then you have kids in the seats nearby the "order"! I asked my husband what he would do if he was there with the boys and his seat neighbor ordered up a cheerleader? He replied sarcastically, "We benefit from a free show"! I replied with an, "Ugh" and a face palm. Ok, I get it, it will probably make more money than the mascot orders. So then, if you can't beat 'em join 'em and I wondered if they thought about the wives? Can we order up any of the players on the sidelines during their downtime? Or maybe better yet those players can come with the cheerleaders as a type of bouncer if needed!
I've always lived by the motto that there are 3 sides to every story. If the cheerleaders are one with this change, will be making big tips or are getting part of the app charge - that's truly up to them. I just hope it's not something they regret in 10 years as something they had to do to keep their earned position.
The thing is it already costs a fortune for a family of 4 to attend an NFL game. A couple of years ago there was an article on Yahoo Sports that estimated the cost for a family of four is $443.93 to attend a game. NFL, do you really need this extra app bump at the expensive of the cheerleaders?
I hope the NFL rethinks letting fans order up a cheerleader to their seats. This will not only benefit the cheerleaders, but think of all the marriages you will save by eliminating the chance for these selfies! It's a win-win.