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The Media Advertising Television Entertainment

A Super Bowl Koan: Does The NFL Wish It Were A Tech Company? (siliconvalley.com) 126

Are tech companies cashing in on the popularity of Super Bowl -- or is the Super Bowl trying to get into the world of tech? An anonymous reader writes: The NFL hosted a startup pitch competition before the game. And they also ran tech-themed "future of football" ads during the game which showcased the robot tackling dummies that provide moving targets for training players. Lady Gaga's halftime show is even expected to feature hundreds of drones.

But Microsoft was also hovering around outside the stadium, pushing the concept of "social autographs" (digital signatures drawn onto images) with their Surface tablets. Intel ran ads during the game touting their 360-degree replay technology. Besides the usual game-day ads for beer, there were also several for videogames -- Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsed Mobile Strike, and a reality TV show parody suddenly turned into an ad for World of Tanks. So is technology subtly changing the culture of the Super Bowl -- or is the Super Bowl turning into a massive pageant of technology?

Are any Slashdot readers even watching the Super Bowl? All I know is the Bay Area Newsgroup reported that a Silicon Valley engineer ultimately earns more over their lifetime than the average NFL football player.
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A Super Bowl Koan: Does The NFL Wish It Were A Tech Company?

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  • by fibonacci8 ( 260615 ) on Sunday February 05, 2017 @08:06PM (#53809355)
    I know it's photoshopped, but is it a genuine photoshop? And how much is it worth?
    • I was thinking more like "impossible to print or save as a jpeg" from the locked-down Surface app, but "You can order prints starting at $4.99 (PS filters and effects available for a small extra fee)!"
  • smoke and mirrors (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Sunday February 05, 2017 @08:37PM (#53809453)
    The teams and the league are there to make money. As such they'll apply whatever trappings they think will bring more fans and thus more money to the sport.

    Right now tech is hot, tech is popular. It doesn't matter why it's hot or popular, if they can find a way to cobble it in for greater profit then they will do so. The game itself has not changed significantly for a very long time, the only tech required has been safety equipment to attempt to reduce injuries.
    • Re:smoke and mirrors (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Sunday February 05, 2017 @09:36PM (#53809671) Homepage

      The game has changed quite significantly. They have lost their main stream media lock in, the creation of the illusion of heroes and heroines. The reality of boring egoistic dumb douche bags, willing to do the same boring crap endlessly, is starting to leak through and the whole hero/heroine bullshit is dying. The era of 'I am not lying, I am acting' when it comes to unsportmens and unsportwomen marketing products is coming to an end. They are desperately trying to stay relevant, in a market, where they can no longer control the message and establish a gestalt that turns dumb idiots playing like children into heroes who sell product, whether consumables (alchohol, cigarettes), or politics or what ever they are trying to sell. They are in desperate to stay relevant mode and the market it shifting to, 'crap it was all marketing bullshit mode, all of it, heroes heroines, great achievement, managed public appearances, just all bullshit'.

      • by TWX ( 665546 )
        You lost me at, "gestalt," and completely missed the point I was making.

        Football, the actual game played on the field measuring 360' by 160', with a 300' by 160' contested area, has not significantly changed. The act of the offense attempting to advance down the field against the defense attempting to stop them or better, force a turnover, is largely the same since the founding of the NFL. Undoubtedly a few rules have changed over the years and some equipment has been added or improved upon, but someon
  • by Guppy ( 12314 ) on Sunday February 05, 2017 @08:43PM (#53809475)

    All I know is the Bay Area Newsgroup reported that a Silicon Valley engineer ultimately earns more over their lifetime than the average NFL football player.

    Reminds me of an article comparing a doctor's lifetime earnings vs a UPS driver. In the analysis, the doctor doesn't pull ahead until about 18 years after high school, due to the long period of schooling and residency, plus debt load.

    http://www.er-doctor.com/docto... [er-doctor.com]

    • Yeah, but they get to retire earlier.
    • by ranton ( 36917 )

      Reminds me of an article comparing a doctor's lifetime earnings vs a UPS driver. In the analysis, the doctor doesn't pull ahead until about 18 years after high school, due to the long period of schooling and residency, plus debt load.

      You make it sound like 18 years after high school is a long time. That is only 35-37 years old, or in other words only a little over a third of the way into your career.

      • Reminds me of an article comparing a doctor's lifetime earnings vs a UPS driver. In the analysis, the doctor doesn't pull ahead until about 18 years after high school, due to the long period of schooling and residency, plus debt load.

        You make it sound like 18 years after high school is a long time. That is only 35-37 years old, or in other words only a little over a third of the way into your career.

        On the other hand, those comparisons never add in what would happen if you took the out of pocket money that would be paid to college and put it into an S&P 500 index fund between the ages of 18 and 22. My guess is the doctor wouldn't catch up until age 45 or later. I'm not talking about the med school money (the doctor would literally never catch up if I did), just the out of pocket cash for undergrad.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      But in the business side of medicine, a lot of doctors buy into medical groups and by the time they're in their 50s they are the senior people in their group culling more profit from the group's practice and working fewer, better hours and then often selling out their share of the practice to someone new.

      I have a friend who is an orthodontist and he started that way, and he then expanded the practice being the principal practitioner at a couple of new locations, which includes owning the buildings. He's 55

  • I was in the USA once when one of these Superbowl things was on so can tell you a wee bit about it. I think it is meant to be the top level of the sport but appears to be only USA based teams. They call the sport football but it is not in any way related to actual football. It appears to be safety focused version of rugby where they are wearing full body armor making the players look more like some mini-mecha from an anime. Not as entertaining as my description might lead you to believe, but this is co
    • As an American that played Rugby in college, I sympathize - seeing millions of Americans go ballistic over a watered down version of Rugby is sad.

      • I have a lot more respect for rugby players than football players.

        I'd like to see football players stripped of all of their "protective clothing" instead of being a bunch of pussies.

        They may as well just drive bulldozers to get the job done if they want to be "safe".

        Rugby players are real men and don't need to wear all of the crap. The sport also doesn't have so much dead time (11 minutes of actual play time in an NFL game).

        • I had always heard that rule and style of play differences allowed American football players to hit harder, thus resulting in a more violent sport.

          A little google searching found a 2016 study [sagepub.com] from the The American Journal of Sports Medicine on injuries in collegiate football and rugby in the US. The authors found, "Overall injury rates were substantially higher in collegiate rugby compared with football. Similarities between sports were observed in the most common injury types (sprains and concussions), lo

    • by ranton ( 36917 )

      They call the sport football but it is not in any way related to actual football.

      Football includes a family of vaguely similar sports, including Association Football (soccer), Gridiron Football (USA football), and Rugby Football (rugby). All of them can be rightfully called football, even though their rules vary greatly. There is no "actual" football.

  • by dtmancom ( 925636 ) <gordon2@@@dtman...com> on Sunday February 05, 2017 @09:06PM (#53809555) Homepage
    I WONDERED how they did that opener for the halftime show. I was wondering if I was seeing on-the-fly computer graphics. Drones makes sense.
  • I don't give a shit about football (either American, or soccer)

    and WTF is a koan?

    • and WTF is a koan?

      From http://www.dictionary.com/brow... [dictionary.com]: a nonsensical or paradoxical question to a student for which an answer is demanded, the stress of meditation on the question often being illuminating.

      The British definition is a little clearer: (in Zen Buddhism) a problem or riddle that admits no logical solution

  • Early in the fourth - all is right in the world.

    But back on topic: Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLB-AM) has been extremely successful - that probably has the NFL drooling.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday February 05, 2017 @09:38PM (#53809681) Journal

    Area Newsgroup reported that a Silicon Valley engineer ultimately earns more over their lifetime than the average NFL football player.

    This is the stupidest thing I've seen on the Internet since 4pm.

    The average career length of an NFL player is 3.3 years. The average career length of a Silicon Valley engineer will probably be closer to 40 years. Longer if they "reform" Social Security and add years to the retirement age.

  • Back before it was considered an evil cost center, tech was once used as a tool and process engineering. You need internet, email, spreadsheets, databases, business intelligence, statistics, social media marketing, etc.

    The newer companies GET IT. You want to sell more product? Don't do silly commercials. Go to facebook, twitter, and use analytics from these to find out what your customers want and to support fan driven sites. That is just one example.

    The NFL gets it! THe dying companies do not and are rea

  • I sometimes watch the superbowl advertisements, but I can't honestly imagine ever being interested in watching a bunch of sweaty guys in spandex hugging on each other and trying to get each other on the ground. There are many websites for this and frankly, I'm glad people into that sort of thing have a place to watch it, but I'd far prefer to sit at a coffee shop and look at the pretty girls as they go by.

    As for cheerleaders... holy shit... they all look like rednecks attacked by botox on hair spray.

    I think
  • About a week ago I read something about the Super Bowl's "opening night" and I wondered if it was a football championship or a Broadway musical.

    How can a football game have an "opening night"?

    No doubt it was a big show, but as another poster points out there was only 11 minutes of playing time. Is that true? And the hype about the commercials and the half-time show is possibly even bigger than the action on the field.

    I guess the NFL has done some cool things with technology....well, not the NFL but peop

    • All sports are like that to an extent. I think football's success is due to its frequent pauses between plays allowing for extra advertisements (which in turn fund the whole thing) and a mix of strategy and athleticism that translates well to TV. Basketball, for example, can go quite a while without a pause in the action, which is great in some respects, but makes it somewhat less social to watch because you will miss more if you turn away to converse with your friends. Baseball is a sport I enjoy watchi
  • A haiku is not a poem based on syllables. Karma is not what goes around comes around. And a koan is not a RANDOM FUCKING QUESTION.

Real computer scientists don't program in assembler. They don't write in anything less portable than a number two pencil.

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