For years in America, what mattered is if a sports team won or lost.
Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow, and Paul Kuharsky discussed on Wednesday’s OutKick 360 show how it’s not that way anymore.
“For years and years in America, what mattered is if you won or you lost — in everything, in all things,” Withrow said. “There’s a winner, and there’s a loser. There is no in-between. … It’s not that way anymore.”
Withrow said Americans are far less interested in creating “actual fans with actual emotional stakes” and more interested in “creating business consumers.”
He said a few examples of this are seen in how games are produced with entertainment during timeouts or even with sports wagering and how some fans don’t care about the outcome of the game unless they put money on it.
“I think that it has become the Great Americanization of American sports, more than anything else,” Withrow said. “It’s way more about consumption and consumers and less about fans.”
Kuharsky said it doesn’t stop there — in the last decade, it’s become far more available to individuals to watch a sport on a global basis.
“So I’m watching Premier League soccer from England and then I’m watching my team and Premier League soccer compete with other great European leagues in the European Championship.”
Kuharsky said he sees the alternative that Withrow is talking about — a screen without a “lot of things on it.”
Hutton referenced the 2022 NHL Stadium Series in Nashville and said it’s simple. “If it doesn’t look busy, if it doesn’t look big, if it doesn’t look important — it’s not.”
“The spectacle isn’t about the in-house experience,” Hutton said. “It’s about the television broadcast experience. There’s a lot going on the screen, and if there are not stats on the screen, there’s a celebrity on the screen there attending the game that they want you to know is there because the event is big…it’s a very high bar to meet every time.”
Withrow said it could just boil down to creating more revenue streams, better technology to do these things, and bringing more people in that may not be die-hard fans of one of the teams. Here’s what the crew had to say:
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