Or maybe the solution to the NFL sacking church Super Bowl ™ parties is to get organized. What if church Super Bowl ™ parties were officially sanctioned events?
A church registers with the NFL and reports all the needed details–screen size, capacity, accurate attendance numbers after the event, etc.–and follows whatever guidelines the NFL has (no charging admission, following copyright rules, etc.). Perhaps there’s a small broadcast fee the church pays (but c’mon, NFL, the church is simply boosting your numbers, don’t make them pay for that priviledge), perhaps to cover administration costs or to keep this on par with what sports bars have to do.
In the end everybody wins. The NFL can have its power. The TV network partner and advertisers get more viewers–and (perhaps more importantly) a count of those viewers. And the local church can go ahead and have its Super Bowl ™ party and use the communal event to connect with people.
The NFL could even go a step farther and offer promo artwork for mailers that churches can use, pre-produced DVDs in partnership with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes featuring interviews with players who are Christians, and other promo and tie-in opportunities. If the NFL really wanted to go all out they could put together a women’s program for the women who come to the party but prefer to socialize than watch the big game. It could be a magazine-style handout with articles on how to stay married to a sports nut or a DVD with interviews of the players’ wives.
The possibilities are endless and really come down to the NFL being willing to work with the church so everybody can win. The NFL (and every other sport) is willing to work with bars and beer companies, why not expand their reach and work with a ready and willing partner like the church?
It sounds like a compelling church-business partnership where everybody can go home happy.
How about it, NFL? Can we play nice?