Wow what a weekend for Watford fans.
I was lucky enough to be at Wembley with my two sons to watch one of the most exciting games I’ve witnessed in decades of following football.
I’d heard talk before the semi-finals that using Wembley Stadium as the matches’ venue diminishes the prestige of making the last four in the world’s oldest football competition.
I’ll tell you what diminishes showpiece games – loyal fans being deprived of the opportunity of seeing their team play in such a wonderful, history soaked iconic setting. Die hard fans missing out on a memorable day out.
If the games were played at ‘neutral’ venues like Old Trafford, The Emirates or event Tottenham’s new billion-pound home it would still have meant thousands of fans would have missed out due to their capacities being smaller than Wembley’s.
And when we’re talking about clubs like Brighton, Wolves and Watford, these can be a once in a generation opportunity to experience the extraordinary – especially when the match turns out to be as memorable as yesterday’s classic.
By putting showpiece matches on the best stage possible it heightens the drama, the fans’ experience and brings it to the attention of a bigger audience.
And there’s an advertising parallel here. When promoting your local business, you want to put it in front of the largest audience you can. My Local News magazines might not be Wembley Stadium, our monthly audience / attendance across all 15 of our publications is more than 250,000 people.
That’s a prominent and popular platform to be selling your wares.
Talking of putting yourself in the shop window what about Gerard Deulofeu’s two goal match winning performance.
Which just goes to highlight the absurd decision to hand out the man of the match award five minutes before the final whistle. Troy Deeney’s penalty took the game into extra time following the announcement and the rest is history with Deulofeo stealing the show with his super sub showing.
It’s an example of jumping the gun and making a premature decision before allowing things to run its course. And again, there are advertising parallels – just last week I had a new advertiser saying they wanted to stop advertising after just one month because the response was less than they expected.
That’s the marketing equivalent of handing out the man of the match award at half time.
Watch out for FA Cup Final My News Special issues in May. And whose to say that the magic of the cup couldn’t happen again with Watford pulling off a huge shock against the billionaire club – Manchester City and Gerard ‘El Genius’ Deulofeu casting his spell again.
Thanks for reading.