Denver Broncos lie in pre-season performance was my 69th event on my adventure. I experienced a half empty stadium but an intriguing insight into NFL…I got to be a Bronco for 4 hours – for a match that should only TECHNICALLY last an hour…
What was the event?
What: Pre-season NFL Match Denver Broncos VS Arizona Cardinals
When: 29th August 2019
Where: Mile High Stadium, Denver
And the story begins…
NFL is a global product but in America it is life. The season is about to kick off literally this week and the chitter chatter in bars, trains and everyone that people can and do speak about sport – are speaking about who is going to get to the play offs and so on. I don’t understand it but I suppose observing it is more exciting. The colors that people wear are not just worn during the match but as I have been walking around Denver I have been watching the Broncos be lifestyle for many and pride for the city.
So lets understand Denver Broncos before we understand me looking totally out of place watching the match in my Scotland top with many Americans staring at me thinking – “what state is that?” or “what sport is that?”
- The Denver Broncos were nicknamed once upon a time Orange Crush.
- They have two mascots – Thunder II (a horse who I disagree with because the horse was tired and every time there was a score was being literally forced to sprint for the entertainment of the applauding fans) and Miles (a costume).
- They play at Mile High – however as of literally 6pm on September 5th 2019 the stadium is now called Empower Field…(naming rights).
- The first ever Denver Bronco male cheerleader was Robin Williams who turned up during a game in 1979 in a full outfit with his pom poms (all part of a stunt but first ever male cheerleader).
History is huge and the fans really have over the years made Denver Broncos there own. In terms of fan engagement for fans they have a few very interesting features. They have membership for kids called BUNCH Broncos Kids Club with enrollment packs for $25 with a tshirt and a growth chart to name just a few of the things to get the kids involved. They have a club and areas during the games only for woman called “Crush for Women”. Its free to be part of and have exclusive events for women to engage with and the website states its free to “join the huddle”. Also they have the Broncos Brigade which are those are served in the military active or prior commitment to the service. They want to engage for opportunities to engage for ceremonies, challenge coin program and American Flag Program. Interesting for sure and I got to witness the flag and the fireworks during the national anthem.
In terms of me being in the stadium lets delve into what it was like. Well I was the only one not branded. Everyone had there orange on and then there was me. Outside was fan engagement park with competitions from local companies and a chance to win free plastic see through bags. In the stadium you were only allowed to take a see through bag – and most people had one that they could buy from the merchandise shop with the Broncos logo (clever). The security search was – good not great but good. They had “guest relations” and then they had “security”. Both had different duties and were different styles of people. Some were part time security guards getting moved everywhere around Denver and then the guest Relations staff were Broncos fans – they knew everything I needed to know. As it was my first ever Broncos match I got a badge! YESSSSS! I of course did not wear it I had a reputation to hold of being cool…
Inside I was on Level 5 and I was HIGHHHHHHH….but on each level was food and drink, merch and toilets. Everything you could think about in terms of food at events was there. But the only thing was – IT WAS EXPENSIVE. For one liter of water it was $7.50 – ouch. Like what you trying to do cause dehydration? The food I purchased for just over $10 was ok for stadium food. But then we get to merch. Clever tactic they have – there is absolutely no pricing list. No prices are displayed. Clever eh? I don’t think its clever I think its wrong. But literally someone asks for the hat – there kid tries it on – really wants it “how much is it?” $30 (for talking sake I don’t know because I couldn’t see the list) are you going to refuse your sons desire to have that hat – of course not. Clever Broncos.
The match well yeah – it was fun. There was fireworks. They were testing different areas of the fan engagement because it was pre-season and not full. They were seeing what cameras like “drum camera” and so on was working. How many people were dancing while we were waiting for the play to start…again.
I glanced at my non-existence watch. I laughed. For 10 minutes of play it had taken 30 minutes of my life – that I will never get back. Ever. I laughed. But this was the story. Half way through I thought will I just depart. Nope. I stayed…until I watched hundreds and hundreds of others leave – so I did. Denver Broncos I am sure you were playing GREAT FOOTBALL (they weren’t I was told this the next day) but I wanted to experience leaving.
There was no excitement from security instead ARGUS security were sitting having snacks and just chilling while hundreds were saying farewell to the current third quarter. In terms of the guest relations they were (well 5 of them) were high fiving people great to see.
One thing to take away…
Stadium events are stadium events – there is nothing really amazing for them. Unless you can create special moments of fan engagement, which I am sure during the real season they will but for me, it was just another amazing sporting fixture..