Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Free Beer Movement's 2010 Persons of the Year

For 2010 there were so many heroes in the little world that we cover. Landon Donovan scored, perhaps, one of the most important and memorable goals in American soccer history, Sepp Blatter changed the course of the World Cup in the 21st century (for better or worse), Bob Bradley survived South Africa to remain head coach of the Men's National Team, and Cincinnati Bengal's wide receiver Chad OchoCinco wow'ed the world with his dream of playing for Barcelona. All worthy choices for the most influential people in the soccer world.

But, lest we forget that our humble little website has another master to satisfy when we consider the top person, people, or group of 2010. We cannot forget that beyond our place as the home for unabashed support for American soccer we are also enthusiastic supporters of beer. In our opinion, beer is what can (and will) make the American soccer world go 'round and grow it.

In that vein we announce the "2010 Free Beer Movement Persons of the Year".

Ladies and gentlemen... please give a rousing ovation to....

Hamburg (Germany) design agency Nordpol+!
(Silence.... Crickets....)

Alright... alright.... hold on just one second. Let's clear up the confusion. Let's set the stage for you all.

In Hamburg, Germany there is a wonderful little soccer club called FC St. Pauli and in 2010, after years in the lower tiers of German soccer, managed promotion and a return to the 1. Bundesliga.

Despite their middling success in German soccer St. Pauli is one of the most popular teams in the country and has grown into one of the nation's "kult" clubs.

Nordpol+ are huge St. Pauli fans and in conjunction with the club has re-designed some of the stands into a VIP arena of sorts. Normally when we think of "VIP" its overpriced food, watered down drinks, and stuffed shirts glad-handing each other instead of watch the match (maybe we're just jealous, though...).

The agency has converted an old hut previously used by the police and the stadium announcer into the best seats in all of global soccer. Straight from the stadium's kitchen runs a model train that, at five-minute intervals, delivers fresh bratwursts to the patrons in these seats. Underneath the "Heart Attack Express" are a series of small flat-screen TVs to follow the action when you collapse on the floor from clogged arteries.

That train and the TVs are nice, but the real kicker (and why we're chosen them as our "persons of the year") is the third innovation Nordpol+ debuted in St. Pauli's stadium. Beer seats. The trifecta is complete.

Don't mind the brand of beer. We'll find a suitable
 (and better) replacement.
To be a little more specific, Nordpol+ has installed mini-kegs of beer ("pony kegs") under a dozen or so seats in the VIP area. Further evidence, as we've started before, that German's love the Free Beer Movement.

And we love the Germans and their innovation and their door-opening for American soccer. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why we've chosen Nordpol+ as our 2010 "Persons of the Year".

Soccer and the spread of the sport in the United States through the power of beer has just received a huge boost. For the soccer newbies that are skeptical of attending their first game the comfort of a beer offering is massive boost to willingness to be converted.

Nordpol+'s brilliance has the chance to break the Free Beer Movement wide-open stateside. Imagine Major League Soccer clubs sliding a keg under people's seats! No NFL, NBA, or MLB team can offer that. Pioneers in American sports fans' love of beer, MLS would rake in press coverage and new fans (brought in by beer, held onto with the product) beyond their wildest dreams.

We're willing to guess that this idea could've saved soccer in our city of Austin (ha!). But more seriously this type of fan-centric and imaginative type of marketing is just what American soccer needs. Lose the bouncy castles and bring in a bratwurst train. Ditch the cheerleaders and put some kegs nearby. Sports have plenty of children and perverts at them (hopefully not in the same place... mind you), why are we marketing to them?

Moving forward for American soccer means being bigger and bolder that the other major sports. It means marketing in a creative way and not trying to replicate the things that bring people to football, baseball, or basketball games. (It also means putting more stock in the home-grown talent each club has and less of the flash-in-the-pan-DPs.) It doesn't have to be risky, but silly sometimes works. That's why we have the Free Beer Movement.

Nordpol+'s laid out the path. We've even heard that they advertising agency is getting looks at installing similar sections in some of the stadiums of Germany's larger clubs. Their massively awesome idea is out there and ready to be taken up (and improved upon) by the great tradition of American innovation.

Beer and soccer. Together once again. Free Beer Movement-style.

American soccer.... your move.

Support the Movement. Get the Free Beer Movement T-Shirt. Only from

No comments:

Post a Comment

"Anyone who tells me soccer is boring, I'm going to punch them in the face."
- Former Dallas Burn (aka FC Dallas) coach Dave Dir

Thanks for leaving a comment!