NFL 2012

Another NFL football season is on its way and what a great way to start off the season. The Packers and the Saints delivered a great game yesterday night by show boating two of the top offenses this season. The QB play of both teams showed why they are called elite. I predict that they will be somewhere in the end.

This weekend does not let up. There are the Steelers and the Ravens which is an intense rivalry in itself. The Jets and the Cowboys will square off as both Ryan coaches will be on opposite sides of the football field. Its always a special opening weekend for the NFL. People will drive to the stadium, tail gate and have a party cheering on their teams. Everyone will wear their teams jerseys and colors and root for the home team expecting greatness. Opening weekend is for every fan’s hopes of having their team represented in the Super Bowl. I am biased with my prediction for the upcoming season like all Steelers fans. I believe that the Steelers will be fine this season. I believe that they will be there in the end as well. Other teams to watch are the Patriots, Eagles, Chargers, Falcons, as well as the teams I mentioned above. Some teams that might surprise are the Bears, Texans, Buccaneers, and maybe the Lions. It is a long season and some might bow out and some might be kicking the door down to the playoffs and to the chance of winning the Super Bowl.

Some of the questions this season are who will be the most valuable player in the league and who will help their team reach the pinnacle of winning the Super Bowl. Some of these players that have a very good chance of winning are Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ben Rothlisburger, Philip Rivers, Joe Flacco, or possibly Matt Ryan. Obviously, these are quarterbacks with outstanding teams, but without an array of great players on the team, no matter what the quarterback does, it is a hard road to having success in the playoffs. All playoff teams to advance to the Super Bowl have shown that they are a complete team with very special players, especially at the quarterback position. Having a great defense obviously helps.

So, who will it be this year? Which team will hoist the Lombardi Trophy? My biased prediction are the Steelers. So, let the season begin with your favorite team’s success.

How Color Influences Product Sales

It’s about connecting with fans. It’s about communicating. It’s about building a brand.

Fans want a team to rally around, a team we can be proud of, and believe in, and support, a team that is relevant to who we are as a group. Fans want to be loyal.

Of course winning football games has an awful lot to do with it, but other factors have significant influence. Especially if it takes time to build a contender.

But if winning the Division, or making the Playoffs is years down the road, other things will be needed to generate, and then maintain, fan support. One of those things is their visual appearance. Nike proved that visual presentation can be a powerful tool in building customer loyalty. The same applies to fan loyalty.

How can the uniforms contribute you ask?

Excitement and revenue.

They can create the first and generate the second. Concerning increasing revenue, the Texans seem to want to provide more options to jersey buyers than just one or two color schemes. They probably ascribe to the notion that more options equals increased sales of jerseys. But it also dilutes the value of the apparel as a brand symbol. Nevertheless, consider the success both on the field and off the field of one of the color schemes offered: the Texans’ Battle Red jerseys.

Red Hot Jersey Sales!

The red jerseys were instantly popular when introduced and the team is undefeated this year when wearing them. Add to that the fact that sales of red jerseys are now hotter than the blue or white versions. And the Texans sold 50,000 red wristbands at $1 each benefiting the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center. During the days surrounding the Texan’s “Battle Red Day” the website drew record traffic. And Academy Sports and Outdoors has also benefited as the official “Houston Texans Battle Red Day” retailer.

Why is “Battle Red” so popular?

As colors go, the Texans’ regular predominantly dark blue color scheme is dull visually. The red jerseys are far more exciting and distinctive on the playing field. There is a physiological explanation for that: The color red is focused slightly in front of the retinas in the eyes while blue, on the other hand, is focused slightly behind the retinas in the eyes. Because of this, red is the color of energy and excitement. Red is the “in your face” color. This explains why red is the predominant color in 45% of all national flags. Blue dominates in less than 20%. Blue is peaceful and tranquil. Blue is the laid-back color. “Battle Red” makes more sense than “Battle Blue” as a phrase, it resonates in the marketplace (as evidenced by the cash register receipts).

Add to that the fact that the Texans’ blue is a very dark blue and the result is a receding, shy, or conservative effect. A nice effect for a sport coat or blazer, but hardly the effect appropriate for an aggressive sport like football. As a secondary color, dark blue is a nice compliment to Battle Red. But all indications are, Battle Red should have been the primary color. It seems management in the beginning, may not have had a visual communications strategy to support their team goals. Visual identity should be carefully thought out and carefully managed, not decided on a whim. Not ignored or treated lightly. Visual identity should be strategic: relevant, distinctive, credible.

Distinctiveness has its Advantages.

With the dark blue or white jerseys, it is not easy to distinguish between the Texans’ players and many opponents during action on the field. For example, when the Houston Texans are playing the Patriots, Cowboys, Bears, Bills, Giants, Falcons, Ravens or Panthers, it takes a second to determine who’s who after the snap. And the red jersey outfit resembles Atlanta’s red outfit since the Texan’s blue is so dark it’s almost black – a softened black.

Teams most easily distinguishable are the Steelers, Bucs, and Packers because they have the most distinctive color schemes. No confusion. Distinctive color schemes could even impact a quarterback’s completion/interception ratio, especially when he is under pressure and has to make snap decisions.

Non-verbal communication is critical.

Even in the game of football. The coach on the sideline sends non-verbal signals to the quarterback. The quarterback send non-verbal signals to the wide receivers. Signals are sent from the coach to the defensive backs; and the referees identify all of the penalties and touchdowns, touchbacks and extra points with non-verbal signals.

In the same way, the team’s uniform also sends signals. The logo (or graphic symbol), the logotype (or signature), the colors and the patterns – all send signals to viewers.

Make the signals as meaningful as possible.

Do the signals correspond to their intended meanings. Are they appropriate signals? Will they communicate effectively? Or will they confuse (or worse, contradict) the message?

The Texans’ uniforms should contribute to their fullest potential. The fans have spoken. They’ve voted with their dollars. They prefer “excitement” to “tranquility” when it comes to pro football. Go “Battle Red!”

Is Your Game Room Ready For Super Bowl XLV?

With Super Bowl XLV fast approaching, it’s time to make sure your game room décor is just as exciting as the play on the field! What could be better than sitting on new bar stools, popcorn and beer on the pub table, and a vintage dart board waiting for half-time?

Let’s face it, though: most game rooms consist of the Big TV, an old couch, some pennants from your favourite team, and a mash-up of collectibles dimly lit by a couple of old bar lamps. It’s time to turn your junk décor into funk décor!

The first step in any redecorating project is to edit what you have already. Take a hard look at every piece of furniture, every picture or poster, and every dust-collecting piece of memorabilia. What still makes you smile every time you look at it? What adds to your anxiety about clutter and cleaning? If you could keep 5 items in the room, what would they be? If you have items that have sentimental value to you, but really aren’t practical to keep, take a picture of them. Turn the pictures into a scrapbook or make 8×10 prints and line the insides of cupboards, closets, etc with them. Make them into a slide show for your screensaver for your computer or Apple TV. Transfer the prints onto fabric and make throw pillows for the couch.

Pull everything out of the room, and start thinking of paint colours. If you already had it painted in Green Bay green, was it too overwhelming? Too dark and dreary? Too light or stark white? Start looking at the accent colours on the 5 items you chose to keep. What neutral colour is best for a backdrop to highlight your favourite pieces? Red and white paired together are crisp and clean; just think of a certain cola. Red and tan together are more soothing and antique looking; think retro sports jerseys from days gone by. And by all means, don’t be afraid to use your favourite team’s colour on the wall – just perhaps keep the Ravens’ retro purple on one wall only.

Make sure the furniture you put in the room is in good shape, clean, and comfortable. Inexpensive, washable slipcovers are a good option if the coach has some life still left in it, but the fabric is less than flattering to your décor scheme. All your seating shouldn’t be centred around the TV either; having a pub table and bar stools off in one corner creates a separate conversation area.

Think of which functions are going on in the room. Not what you think should go on, but really what happens on a weekly basis in that room. Is it used mainly by adults -does it need a complete bar set up with accessories and a bar fridge? A poker table? A billiard table complete with the tiffany lamp hanging over it? Or does it need to be more kid friendly – storage for board games, a clear path to the dart board, and a place for the Rock Band drum set?

Don’t forget about proper lighting, as well. Many game rooms are in the basement with not a lot of natural light. Hang lights over your bar area, over the pub table, and use accent lamps as well; there are many novelty lamps available to support your favourite team or soda brand. Use retro neon clocks or signs. Use wall-mounted picture accent lights to spotlight your prized jersey. Hang a vintage advertising mirror on the wall. Chrome bar stools will help to reflect light as well.

Remember that less can be more when it comes to décor. You may love your team, but you don’t need to suffocate that love by having every mug, every poster, and every hat from the team on display. Choose a few favourite and substantial pieces that you want to showcase, and decorate with complimentary items. If you’re a Fighting Irish fan, maybe accent with Guinness beer memorabilia. NY Giants jerseys work with Pepsi colours. Atlanta Falcons and Coke décor go hand in hand, and not just because of their hometown!

So go ahead and show your team colours. Celebrate the wins and the losses in your comfortable, stylish new room. Remember, the playing season may come and go, but a well designed games room is here to stay.

Jets Schedule Updated After Historic NFL Lockout

The NFL has arrived for the 2011-2012 season and football has never been more fun. The New York Jets, part of the American Football Conference (AFC) are one of three teams that New Yorkers claim each year. And this year the Jets schedule is going to make for some great football. The NY Jets Schedule kicks off with a Monday night football game against the Houston Texans and includes one other Monday night game.

Founded in 1959, the NY Jets were originally called the Titans of New York and officially became the Jets in 1963. The Jets schedule is crafted each year to allow them to share their home-field (New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey) with the New York Giants – theirs is the only arrangement like it in the NFL. Each team owns 50 percent of the stadium. Did you know that while they are officially called the New York Jets, the team actually plays its games in New Jersey! The same is true of the NY Giants and their shared field. The team once called Shea stadium its home field.

Even though the team has not won a Super Bowl since 1968, Jets tickets are hard to come by. Each and every New Yorker has their team and the Jets are a fan favorite. Fans will notice the Jets schedule 2011 will not be an easy one. Regular season for the team starts out with a match-up against the Dallas Cowboys and the team will meet up with both of NY’s other teams – the NY Giants and the Buffalo Bills.

Additionally, the Jets schedule includes a game against the New England Patriots, their long-time division rival. This rivalry has roots dating back to a playoff game in 1966, where the Jets beat the Pats and took them out of the running for appearing in the first Super Bowl. This season, the NY Jets schedule includes a match-up with the New England Patriots in New England. This game will be in week five so it may not be a deciding factor in how the season plays out but for fans it is an important game.

The rest of the Jets schedule may not be an easy one. The team faces the Baltimore Ravens, the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders in away games and the Miami Dolphins, the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers at home. The Jets also have a rivalry with the Miami Dolphins so each season fans look forward to the match-up between these two.

It is not often in the Jets schedule that they play the New York Giants (after all they do share a home field) however, this year the teams will meet up twice. One game will be played in preseason with the Jets acting as the away team and the other game will not come to fruition until week 15 when the Jets get to act as the home team. The 2011-2012 season will be one Jets fans will not soon forget.