As the radio sales environment gets more precarious, and advertisers take pot shots at just about every format and station, I continue to marvel at how Classic Rock is often overlooked and underrated.
Classic Rock is America's music. It's mainstream, center-lane stuff, enjoyed and appreciated by several generations.
But don't take my word for it. Take it from the savviest marketers on planet earth - the NFL. Is there an organization that has a better handle on marketing, promotion, different platforms, merchandising, and events? Do you think maybe they do a little research?
So, when the NFL consistently turns to Classic Rockers to entertain and set the best tone for their Super Bowl halftime shows, it's no accident. Nor is it a coincidence. In the post-Nipplegate environment, the NFL has featured Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty, and now, The Boss. I'm sensing a theme.
Now I can tell you subjectively, of course, that Bruce was incredibly energetic, in the moment, and truly having fun with his band and the crowd. But the real question is, how did Springsteen perform in the most important metric - holding ratings during the time when most of us want to leave the room to eat, use the bathroom, or simply take a break from the TV?
The Super Bowl itself averaged 98.7 million viewers (pretty good for a game devoid of the Patriots, Cowboys, Giants, Colts). And Springsteen's half hour hung onto 86 million - which works out to about an 87% maintenance rate. Not bad for a nearly 60 year-old Classic Rocker.
And think about this - for most of this decade, as the game and its marketing clout has increased, the NFL hasn't gone with Country, Hip-Hop, or Adult Contemporary stars.
The Super Bowl has laid down its bet on Classic Rock. And it's been a great investment.
Now how hard is that to communicate to buyers?