Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship


Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship


Article excerpt

Just as I was settling down in front of my computer screen to write this issue's editorial, the light flickered ... then flickered again and suddenly my screen went black. This was the beginning of what was later named "the biggest electricity blackout" in North America. Naturally, over the next few hours, while the daylight was wearing thin, the editorial was the last thing on my mind. Like many others I was busy preparing for a night with no electricity. Like many others I was glued to a small battery-operated radio for any news or instructions. Later, as I walked down to the store, I observed people carrying large packs of beer, water bottles, ice and bags of snacks. "This looks and feels a lot like Super Bowl Sunday ... or the World Cup finals ..." I found myself saying to a neighbor, and he nodded his head with agreement. With very little to do over the next few hours (with no TV, no light to read by, and no Internet access) I began to ponder the connection between the blackout and major sporting events.

While initially this thought sounds at the very least a little strange, the more I thought about it the more parallels and similarities I came up with:

* Which other type of event has at a specific point in time the same basic impact on 50 million people (or more), from all walks of life and across different regions and geographic areas?

* In what other instance is such a large group of people sharing one wish or has the same objective? (Let it be light during the blackout; let my team, or my athlete win during the sport event).

* Which other event make so many people talk and share their experience with others days after the event is over.

As the hours went by with no power, I started to pay more attention to the voices that came from the tiny battery operated radio. The more I listened the more I became convinced that many others, while perhaps not expressing it explicitly, felt the same way about the similarity between the blackout and their favorite sport event. …

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