The year 2012 will have the Centennial celebration for Fenway Park, with the Red Sox planning a series of events in and around the grand old park, which now is officially registered as a Historic Landmark as well. However April 14 marks another anniversary, one a little more dubious but noteworthy nonetheless, the centennial sinking of HMS Titanic. While the word “titanic” is synonymous with collapses of all kinds, it usually pops up in sports debacles as much as anywhere. There is actually a direct sports tie to the ship as well, pointed out very well in Lindsay Gibbs book “Titanic: A Tennis Story,” about survivors Dick Williams and Karl Behr, who went on to Hall of Fame careers.
However the great challenge around this anniversary will be to see which enterprising groups can hook on to the pop culture wave that will come with the Centennial, and the 3D release of the movie, to push some tickets and product. Will any minor league baseball teams launch “Titanic” nights, with huge sandwich offers and look a likes from the film…which websites will run stories of “Titanic” sports collapses…a natural with baseball starting. Going into an Olympic Year and a run up to the next America’s Cup, will there be oppts for the sailing and boating community to find ways to promote and talk about their sports? Heading toward London 2012, are there oppts. for UK athletes to tie on to the launch of the ship from Liverpool…and will the Liverpool club find a way to signify the memory of the ship? Or will it all slide below the waterline?
Titanic over the past 100 years, especially in the past decade between TV specials, expeditions and the film, certainly has found its way into popular culture. A Centennial is a perfect time to recognize and take advantage with some fun and unique promos, even for what was such a massive tragedy. It will be interesting to see who can play the phenomenon to their advantage as the 100 year anniversary dawns in a few weeks.