Sometimes all the elaborate pregame shows on any sport take themselves too seriously. Endless breakdowns of what goes on between the lines or on the court have experts falling over each other to find the best and brightest tidbits of information for the viewers, and although that is important, in this day and age of saturation it is also important to find elements to set one apart from the clutter and drive eyeballs. From the start, NBC Sports’ “Football Night In America” has sought to do just that. Their analysts are a little different, they brought SI's Peter King and Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio into the studio not just on Sunday's but with news throughout the week, and they have the benefit of flex scheduling to keep their games interesting throughout the late part of the season. Even with all that, their Sunday night embracing of all going on in New Orleans on Halloween, as the Saints try to bith beat the Steelers and break the record for most Halloween costumes in one place, is another step up.
While they could just cover the event with mentions and an occassional shot of the crowd, NBC is covering New Orleans halloween as an all day event, and will even have their own camera searching out the best costumes in the crowd and integrate the stories into the broadcast. While none of this will detract from the football, it will make the broadcast a little more fun, and maybe will pull in some casual fans who may not be interested otherwise, just to see the goings-on. It also won’t hurt to have NBC Sports and “World Record” associated together as well. For the Saints by the way, the event is also another example of how a team with a strong brand continues to embrace its community and its traditions in market. The Saints are sold out and are defending Super Bowl Champions. They don’t “have” to do any extras to fill the building or draw attention. However they continue to do so becuase it is smart…they show they are part of the fabric of New Orleans, not just a “team,” and they do so at every opportunity. Now they can also showcase that bind yet again, with NBC as a partner, on national television. Nice partnership, great spin, and solid way for bith NBC Sports and the Saints to cut through a busy halloween.