As part of its “Big Event” strategy, NBCUniversal is utilizing five of its networks, one of its syndicated shows, four NBC programs and its local network and cable affiliates to promote the NFL regular season opener this Thursday between the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers. Of course, NBC will air the game in a Thursday Night special at 8:30 Eastern Time, but leading up to the game, NBCUniversal will have NBC’s Today show, America’s Got Talent and two late night shows to help hype the opener. CNBC’s Darren Rovell will be reporting live from Green Bay for the business network. Weather Channel will be live from Wisconsin as well. And there’s Telemundo getting into the act too. It’s part of the NFL’s “Back to Football” campaign that NBC has incorporated into its promotions as well.
So let’s take a look at what NBCUniversal is up to this week.
TODAY, CNBC, E! & Others Report From Green Bay
NEW YORK – Sept. 6, 2011 – NBCUniversal is getting “Back to Football” with NFL-themed programming all week and unprecedented coverage from Green Bay, Wis., this Thursday to celebrate the start of the 2011 NFL season.
Rivaling NBCUniversal’s presence at the Olympics and Super Bowl, NBCU will be on site in Green Bay covering the annual NFL Kickoff celebration in the city of the Super Bowl Champion. This year’s game is a matchup of the last two Super Bowl champions as the Packers host the New Orleans Saints from historic Lambeau Field
“For so many Americans, the start of football season is a special time, and once again the NBCUniversal family helps to build upon the momentum when our country gets ‘Back to Football,’” said John Miller, CMO of NBCU Television Group and head of NBC Sports Agency. “This is the first NFL season for the new NBCUniversal and more assets than ever are involved in the NBC Sports Group’s ‘Big Event Strategy.’”
Highlights of NBCUniversal’s “Back to Football” Week:
TODAY Show: Matt Lauer and Al Roker will be on-site in Green Bay to report on Kickoff festivities on Thursday. Segments include live interviews with NBC Sports commentators, pre-taped and live features with Packers and Saints players, and reports on the fan and entertainment aspects of Kickoff.
- The TODAY Show will also celebrate “Back to Football” throughout the show and encourage viewers to wear jerseys to school and work to celebrate “Back to Football Friday.”
- TODAY’s fourth hour with Kathie Lee and Hoda will celebrate “Back to Football Week” with a special NFL-themed segment on Wednesday.
- Weekend TODAY: The nation’s No. 1 weekend morning news show will interview one of NBC’s “Football Night in America” studio analysts on Saturday morning.
Access Hollywood: On Thursday, Access Hollywood will air a behind-the-scenes feature with Faith Hill recording and performing the Sunday Night Football opener, “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night.”
America’s Got Talent: America’s No. 1 primetime show of the summer will incorporate an NFL Kickoff message and Back to Football information into the Tuesday and Wednesday primetime shows this week.
Weather Channel: Al Roker and Stephanie Abrams will be on-site in Green Bay reporting live for “Wake Up with Al” and “Your Weather Today” on Thursday.
CNBC: Sports-business reporter Darren Rovell will be on-site in Green Bay reporting live for CNBC’s daytime coverage on Thursday.
Jay Leno’s Show of Hacks: Correspondent Rove McManus will do a taped feature from Green Bay, interviewing fans and Green Bay locals for a Kickoff special feature that will air on Thursday. Jay Leno will also promote Kickoff in his monologues Wednesday through Friday, promoting both NFL Kickoff and the start of the “Sunday Night Football” season.
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: During “Back to Football Week,” Jimmy Fallon will promote NFL Kickoff with football-themed segments and sketches.
E!: The 24-hour network with programming dedicated to the world of entertainment will report live from Green Bay on Thursday for E! News, the premiere destination for celebrity news.
Telemundo: Late night sports and entertainment show, Titulares y Mas, will be on-site in Green Bay covering the Kickoff concert and all the NFL Kickoff news.
Universal Orlando Theme Park: Universal Orlando will promote “Back to Football” and NFL Kickoff 2011 to all park guests Thursday through Sunday. Promotion includes NBC Sports NFL promos airing on the CityWalk Astrovision screens and on the large stage screens. CityWalk restaurant/bar employees will wear NFL jerseys and all park turnstile employees will wear NFL hats.
NBC Affiliates and Comcast Regional Sports Networks: Local correspondents will report live from Green Bay on Thursday, feeding content to all 235 local stations and 11 Comcast Regional Sports Networks. NBC affiliates in NFL markets will also help celebrate “Back to Football Friday,” by wearing NFL customized jerseys on-air Friday morning.
One thing that caught my eye. NBC affiliates in NFL markets will wear NFL customized jerseys? So a reporter or weather person will wear an NFL jersey? Many anchors and/or weather persons are not sports fans so that’s going to look awkward, don’t you think? And should news reporters be active rooters for sports teams? I don’t think that’s a good idea. Just putting my old radio reporter’s hat on.
And here’s John Miller, Chief Marketing Officer of NBC Sports discussing the promotion for Thursday and for NBC’s Sunday Night Football game on 9/11.