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Bundesliga boss at the Super Bowl

christianseifert.jpg
Bundesliga chief executive Christian Seifert has been always fascinated by the Super Bowl, an American sporting spectacle that is as much about entertainment and promotion -- the pregame hype, the in-game commercialism, the halftime mock-rock concert, the postgame party -- as it is about end zones and punts. He remembers, at age 19, staying up until 2 in the morning in Germany to watch the San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals play for the title in 1989.

On Sunday, Seifert was at Sun Life Stadium in Miami attending his first Super Bowl -- not so much as a fan but as businessman observing the NFL spectacle. He watched from a private box behind an end zone, and met NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and was introduced to college star Tim Tebow, with whom he was unfamiliar until this weekend.

"There is so much to learn from the Super Bowl and the NFL -- it is one of the greatest life experiences around the globe," Seifert told the Insider on Monday before flying home. "You see the surroundings, the camera concepts and TV technique, the way sponsors are involved, the event management."

At the next Bundesliga match, don't expect to see The Who at halftime, cheerleaders on the sideline or intentional stoppages for advertising purposes. ("With so many interruptions," he said, "our fans would kill us.") However, Seifert did learn from the experience and hopes to apply new ideas to the Bundesliga, whose global following trails that of the English Premier League, Spain's La Liga and Italy's Serie A.

Seifert liked the way sponsors are integrated into the NFL presentation; the policy of every team, not just the two participants, receiving a small share of the ticket allotment to create a truly league event; and the two-week pause between the conference championships and Super Bowl, providing massive media coverage "all building to one moment."

The Bundesliga "is a great product, but we are always learning how to be better. We cannot be like the NFL; our football and American football are very different. But tor me, the Super Bowl made a big impression."

By Steve Goff  |  February 8, 2010; 2:01 PM ET
Categories:  Bundesliga , Germany  
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Next: D.C. United trialists in Bradenton

Comments

Hello Goff, is United making their way out of town without delay?

Posted by: DadRyan | February 8, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

47 days until United's first match!

Posted by: Curious99 | February 8, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

What is this 'Super Bowl?'

Posted by: grubbsbl | February 8, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

for those of you who have travelled abroad for matches. Is there usually some sort of halftime program? Just watching espn360 lately, I don't notice anything going on in the Dutch or Spanish or Italian leagues..or Bundesliga.

Posted by: DCB23 | February 8, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

it only plays second fiddle to the Super Duper Bowl

Posted by: StewartDC8 | February 8, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Next year's halftime entertainment will be The Scorpions.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 8, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

But they just retired!

Posted by: Reignking | February 8, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

http://goal.com/en-us/news/1614/americans-abroad/2010/02/06/1779424/euan-holden-signs-one-year-deal-with-denmarks-vejle-bk

Euan Holden secured a one-year deal with Danish side Vejle Boldklub the club today.

The former University of New Mexico left sided defender or midfield held tryouts with a series of clubs across Europe before Vejle offered him a deal.

“Euan Holden is a young and very promising player who has the qualities we're looking for right now,” VB coach Mats Gren told the club's official site. “He is strong, quick and has the will to develop. Meanwhile, the big plus is that he is an all-around player who can cover several positions."

Instead of signing a deal with the Houston Dynamo, the MLS club that drafted him and where his older brother Stuart developed before signing with Bolton, the 22-year-old will head straight to Europe from college.

Posted by: Reignking | February 8, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

for those of you who have travelled abroad for matches...

Posted by: DCB23
----------------
In Portugal, Benfica made waves by hiring cheerleaders who do a dance routine. Sporting copied them, but no others. Clubs often do a half-time contest, where someone tries a shot at an obstructed goal to win some prize. In none of the countries where I've attended matches has there been any major amount of spectacle, but given the lack of breaks in action halftime is the only opportunity to hit the restroom and get another beer. I've found it hard to get back to my seat after attempting to accomplish just those two goals.

Posted by: troy6 | February 8, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Yawn. Any United news?

Posted by: redskinsux | February 8, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Pretty cool to see this guy said there is something to be learned from the Super Bowl. I was thinking the same thing pre-game last night. SO MUCH HYPE and coverage. I wonder how this year's world cup final will be pulled off?

Posted by: PremSoccerShop | February 8, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

What is his impression of how the NFL crowns the Super Bowl winners as "World Champions?"

Posted by: UnitedFanInTX | February 8, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

*The ball is in play for 11 minutes during the average NFL game. That's a lot of down time to kill.

*The 89 Bowl with Montana was epic. Der Kommissar picked a good one to watch.

*OWNTF to spawn of OWNTF: That's not really The Who, I don't who those guys were. You'll just have to take my word for it. Although "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss . . . we won't get fooled again" has a certain topical quality to it in Washington these days . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | February 8, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Anybody notice a guy who looked like Matt Damon in the crowd shots from Sunday's Chelsea-Arsenal match?

Posted by: soccerman | February 8, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Are you convinced Damon and Ballack are actually separate people?

Posted by: OWNTF | February 8, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute... Goff writes: "Seifert told the Insider on Monday before flying home." So Goff must have been at the Super Bowl in person! It's not like Seifert would have (or even could have) flown into DC on his way back to Germany. And why would Goff track down the guy's cell phone number? Just for this piece on the blog? Maybe, but I thing Goff was at the big game and just didn't tell us 'cause he knew we wouldn't understand.

Posted by: WorldCup | February 8, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

At Cruz Azul games in Mexico City, they usually have some kind of half-time competition, often involving lucha libre (Mexican wrestling) guys. Sometimes they have people running an obstacle course, with the added challenge of getting past several masked luchadores, who try to flatten them. (Of course, the 'contestants' are really luchadores themselves not in costume.) There are lots of thrills and spills as these guys go through the course, and it's hilarious -- everybody is laughing. Of all the Mexican halftime shows I've seen, those were the best.

Mexican games also have cheerleaders who do dance routines before the game, as well as a parade of girls carrying signs from various sponsors, and who will occasionally pose for the camera and blow kisses to the crowd.

Posted by: big_spaniel | February 8, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Almirante Brown in Buenos Aires always had some entertaining cheerleaders. Perhaps the bundesliga should check them out.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | February 8, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

happily, i am also unfamiliar with "tim tebow", not to mention "roger goodell" (whom i must admit is in an enviable position, considering that we are discussing him and his american football league on a soccer blog). bundesliga >> nfl

Posted by: dfunkt | February 8, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I like watching the kids play small sided matches at halftime of DC United, but the most entertaining show I can remember was ultimate frisbee.

Posted by: OWNTF | February 8, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Hello Goff, is United making their way out of town without delay?

Posted by: DadRyan | February 8, 2010 2:22 PM

Now there's a loaded question if I ever saw one.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | February 8, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Hello Goff, is United making their way out of town without delay?

Posted by: DadRyan | February 8, 2010 2:22 PM

Now there's a loaded question if I ever saw one.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | February 8, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

While we're speaking of Ze Germans, thought I'd point out that DC United's own Talon got a little shout-out in the German media recently (in an article about footballer phobias- apparently Beckham is scared of birds); the article is in English

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5216622,00.html

Posted by: ricky_b | February 8, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious why the Bundesliga chief thinks that the NFL should be a model for the Bundesliga in gaining more overseas appeal. The NFL is not exactly that popular outside of North America (the NFL is nothing to sniff at, but maybe he should be taking lessons from the NBA instead).

I'm also wondering if overseas markets are really as big a deal for sports teams as everyone thinks- I recall reading that only 2 percent of Man U's revenue comes from outside of the UK. I guess every bit counts though- and you have to be growing somewhere.

Posted by: ricky_b | February 8, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious why the Bundesliga chief thinks that the NFL should be a model for the Bundesliga in gaining more overseas appeal.

----------------

I'm curious where you got that he said that. What he said was that it was a great event, quite distinct from the sport being played, and that the use of cameras and sponsor integration were things to think about.

Posted by: stancollins | February 8, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Having been to many Bundesliga games, I can tell you that all that happens during halftime is everyone files out and gets in the beer line... They play American music that is about six months outdated, and just about everyone lights up a cigarette, although they do that during the game too...

Posted by: rademaar | February 8, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Point taken, stancollins. Siefert didn't explicitly say anything to that effect. I was just inferring from this sentence that international appeal might be a motivation: "However, Seifert did learn from the experience and hopes to apply new ideas to the Bundesliga, whose global following trails that of the English Premier League, Spain's La Liga and Italy's Serie A."

Of course, global appeal aside, the domestic popularity of the Bundesliga remains quite strong. I think plenty of English fans are looking with a little envy at the cheap tickets, safe terracing, and match atmosphere found in the Bundesliga.

Posted by: ricky_b | February 9, 2010 3:03 AM | Report abuse

The comment addressing the Bundeliga's global popularity was an FYI from Goff, not based on on anything said or implied by Seifert in this article.

I'm sure Seifert realizes it would be silly to look at the NFL as a model of promoting international popularity for the reasons you mention.

Posted by: Wendell_Gee | February 9, 2010 5:24 AM | Report abuse

And 6-month outdated music?! Dear God!

Posted by: Wendell_Gee | February 9, 2010 5:26 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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