My first time through the NFL Experience (see video here), I focused on the interactive events and displays created by the football league.
On my revisit, I switched focus to the sponsored areas—that is, the places where the glory of the gridiron isn’t the only thing being sold.
It’s here that the interactive games include strapping on a vendor tray and delivering Pepsi Max to each locker in a simulated locker room. It’s where a computerized competitive matching game includes both football photos and a new Doritos flavor. It’s where mini footballs sporting are passed out that say “Bridgestone” instead of “Wilson.” And it’s where, after jumping, pushing, and dodging your way through a football obstacle course, your speed is compared to a 4G download.
And you know what? I’m okay with that… because I had a kid in tow (As much as it’s touted as an attraction for all ages, the NFL Experience really should be experienced with a pre-teen posse).
Yes, I try to give the kid an understanding of the manipulative power of marketing.
But I also have an appreciation for the fact that, in sponsor-land, the lines are much shorter than those in the rest of the hall.
On my earlier tour, an NFL Experience representative said that care is taking to trying to make the lines stay under 20 minutes each. But as any parent who has ever been to Disneyland knows, 20 minutes can be an eternity.
And that 20 minute target may be fantasyland as the big day gets closer and the already significant crowds get even more significant.
If you go to the NFL Experience—and, if you can afford it and care at all about sports, your really should—just prepare yourself and your mini-me for the waits.
And enjoy your free bag of Doritos.
More to come….