Eagles Fans Flock to OC to See Super Bowl Champs

first_imgCharlie McNally , 7, of Ocean City, poses with Eagles kicker Jake Elliott By Tim KellyIf you thought fan euphoria was wearing off after the Eagles’ first Super Bowl championship in franchise history, you weren’t in Ocean City on Saturday.Thousands of fans lined the Boardwalk for a motorcade featuring tight end Brent Celek, the longest tenured member of the team before he was released recently; and kicker Jake Elliott, whose 62-yard field goal beat the New York Giants and ignited the team’s run to the top seed in the NFC playoffs.Brent Celic enjoyed a ride in an Ocean City Life Guard Boat on the boardwalk.What followed was an unlikely march through the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional playoffs, Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game, and of course the 41-33 win over the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl LII.The mini-parade was a most anticipated feature of Sports Memorabilia and Collection Show Saturday and Sunday at the Ocean City Music Pier.As the players rolled by seated in Ocean City Beach Patrol boats, the fans sang the “Fly Eagles Fly” fight song, broke out in Eagles’ chants, and yelled comments of encouragement to the two players.Brent Celek fans Fannie Perrucci of Horsham PA and Kevin Campbell of Exton PA await the motorcade carrying the former Eagles tight end to the memorabilia show at the Music Pier.“Thank you!” was the most-heard greeting for the long-suffering fans, who never before tasted a Super Bowl win. “No, thank you,” Celek yelled back. “You guys are as much a part of it as we are.”Fannie Perrucci of Horsham, PA was waiting on a boardwalk bench in her Brent Celek jersey with husband Russell, daughter Reese, 7, and son Chase, 4.“I want to tell (Celek) congratulations, and you deserve it,” she said.A third Eagle player, Corey Clement was not part of the motorcade, arriving in his restored Dodge Charger.Eagles running back Corey Clement greets fans Saturday at the sports memorabilia show at the Music Pier.The undrafted free agent, a native of Glassboro New Jersey, called the season, “Unbelievable. Fantastic.  Most rookies don’t have a year like I was blessed to enjoy.  But now (other teams will be) gunning for us,” Clement said.  “Now we have to defend our title.”Elliott was a late replacement for the other scheduled Eagles participant, offensive guard Brandon Brooks, who had a family emergency. Elliot’s autograph area was on the Music Pier stage, and many fans said they were not disappointed by the substitution.“Jake’s fourth quarter field goal was one of the most important plays of the game,” said a fan waiting in line. “His kick put us up by eight points, meaning (Tom) Brady needed a touchdown and a two-point conversion just to tie the game. If he misses that field goal, all he needs is a touchdown to win it. I want to thank him for that.”Brandon Burchell of Northfield had his Eagles guitar signed by Corey Clement on Saturday at the sports memorabilia show at the Music Pier.Fans who missed the show on Saturday still have a chance to attend on Sunday. It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $3.Fans who want an autograph and photo may purchase $45 tickets at the City Hall Welcome Center, Roy Gillian Welcome Center on the Route 52 Causeway or at the door, until sold out.Fans wait for their chance to have a photo taken and an autograph with Eagles running back Corey Clement.last_img read more

NFL faces tough times for 2020, then bright economic outlook

first_img SUBSCRIBE TO US COMMENT Associated Press Television News First Published: 2nd September, 2020 07:54 IST WATCH US LIVE LIVE TVcenter_img Last Updated: 2nd September, 2020 07:54 IST NFL Faces Tough Times For 2020, Then Bright Economic Outlook Let’s get this straight from the outset: If the NFL has no fans at any games this season — or doesn’t have much of a season at all — it will not go out of business Let’s get this straight from the outset: If the NFL has no fans at any games this season — or doesn’t have much of a season at all — it will not go out of business.Sure, the 32 teams and the league itself will lose millions, very possibly billions of dollars. Its broadcast partners will take a hit harder than any that Von Miller has delivered on the field. Same for sponsors and advertisers who pinpoint pro football as the best way to reach fans (read: consumers).And unless the coronavirus pandemic stretches beyond the 2020 season, the NFL will come out right where it has been for decades: on top of the sports world.“The NFL is to the sports and entertainment industry the way Amazon is to the retail industry,” says Marc Ganis, co-founder of Chicago-based consulting group Sportscorp and a confidant of many NFL owners.“We need to look at this as an overarching umbrella: This has a likelihood of being a one-season problem. So as we get to the 2021 season, the problem will have gone away, so it is a one-year aberration.“There’s a semi-permanent impact (on other industries) I don’t see for the NFL. I see the NFL coming back stronger than ever for two reasons:— “The value of the NFL for non-attendance activity. Broadcasting, gambling, Internet, video gaming, those all need the NFL more than ever before. The kinds of people and consumer activities it attracts, it will come back more strong.— “The new CBA with the players, the 11 years of labor peace. When it was approved in March there were a host of high-profile players saying they were against it, in large measure because they didn’t see a rush to do it so quickly. They were as wrong as anybody could ever be. You just don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so get it done when you can get it done.”Getting done the biggest chunk of NFL revenues, new broadcast deals, is on the horizon, too. From network TV to cable to satellite to radio to streaming rights, the NFL is likely to fill its vaults with untold riches even with the overall U.S. economy struggling.First, of course, there is the COVID-19-impacted 2020 season, and the financials won’t be pretty even if the entire regular season and playoffs go off as scheduled. Certainly not with empty stadiums across the nation — less than a dozen teams are likely to have fans on hand this season, barring a turnaround in the pandemic that no one in the medical community is predicting.If games are canceled, or the playoffs and Super Bowl need to be moved back in the calendar, the monetary effect will be substantial — felt perhaps the most by NFL marketing partners.“The general consensus is nobody is completely jumping ship right now,” says Mark Reino, CEO of Merit Mile, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based advertising, PR and sports marketing agency.”However, no one is signing the level of lucrative contracts they signed in previous years. They are still assessing and trying to understand how these dynamics will play out. We are not even sure where this is going to take us. Most of us expect the NFL to play a season, but it could take a different turn.”Naturally, corporate sponsors need that visibility to drive a lot of initiatives … but they’re not eager to make the aggressive moves given the current situation.“The fan base is hungry, and if the teams can figure out the right way to package up corporate sponsorship value and deliver unique ideas to the advertisers and corporate sponsors, they will be OK. This will be a unique year, and everybody will take hits, but those who have progressive thinkers likely will win. And teams with ownership interest in their stadiums will have much more opportunity to capitalize than those that don’t.”That’s a common theme.The Dolphins, who have announced plans to have about 13,000 fans at Hard Rock Stadium for their home opener in Week 2 against Buffalo, already have gotten creative.Owner Stephen Ross and his staff came up with an idea that met with raised eyebrows: turning the stadium into a drive-in theater.Similar to Ganis, Reino suggests there will be other potential programs in tangential areas of sports marketing, such as gambling and online betting — once taboo in NFL circles.“Rest assured all 32 teams have some sort of task force on how they will monetize online betting as soon as it is approved nationwide,” Reino says.How about providing season ticket holder’s extra value such as access to players socially distanced and on an experimental basis?“These are the ideas that all of a sudden rise to the concept state because it is 2020 and where we are in 2020,” Reino adds.So where is the NFL in 2020, at least financially? Like nearly every other business in America — and certainly like all sports — it’s in a tough spot. Teams could afford recent contracts such as the megabucks given to Patrick Mahomes and Joey Bosa under normal circumstances.Because of economic effects from the pandemic, future player deals and a salary cap that will be adjusted due to some monetary setbacks, upcoming free agents might find the marketplace tighter.But to hold a bake sale — well, something a bit larger — to aid the NFL won’t be necessary.“There are activations being planned that are different from what we have seen in the past,” Ganis says. “Auto companies are planning on major sponsorship activations; Americans always need to buy cars. There is a major plan for much more production by manufacturers and they have to get the cars out the door. Auto companies are major team sponsors.“Airline sponsorships will be a problem, and the NFL has a deal, as do each of the teams. Anything travel-related is a problem.“But there is so much interest in the NFL coming back in broadcasting and digital, and all the ancillary programming and fantasy leagues and sports gambling. Nobody wants to leave the NFL right now. ”Image credits: AP Written By FOLLOW USlast_img read more