You know you’re in a bit of trouble when even your sport’s governing body has found the live experience to be a bit wanting. In the endless pursuit of making broadcasts immersive, entertaining and analytical experiences, excessive replays, time stoppages and commercial breaks have made watching American football at home a much more entertaining option than braving the winter chill and physically heading to the stadium to yell black and blue for your favourite team (Author’s note: GO PACK GO.) So the NFL is looking in to ways of making the live experience much more viable. But their solution is a little off: giving fans the opportunity to have in-seat visits from their favourite cheerleaders.
NFL teams will be partnering with an app developer Experience to offer exclusive bonuses to season ticket holders that can be bought to improve their stadium experience. Things such as on field access pre and post game or fast service lines at concession stands. And then there are visits, in your own seat, from cheerleaders. An idea that combines two great American pastimes: contact sports and mild objectification of women.
The fact aside that the experience may cost about as much, even more, than the cheerleader’s entire annual salary – which was recently found to be well below the American minimum wage – the idea has the potential to get phenomenally creepy in an awful hurry. That’s not to say that it’s not an idea totally devoid of potential positive outcomes. But its negatives far outweigh it.
Put lasers on the ball. Shoot flames out of the goalposts. Let fans burn their name into the grass with lye, for all I care. If you must squeeze fans for extra revenue, there are sensible ways of doing so. But the moment you start gleaning cash from a ferociously lecherous male gaze, you run the risk of turning a beautiful game into an afternoon at Hooters.
Photo: Jeff Gross via Getty Images.