The New York Jets had a unique way of saluting their fans after their 13-10 win over the Miami Dolphins in Sunday’s AFC Championship game. Rather than just patting their own pockets for their tickets as it is customary for NFL teams to do, they gave away free merchandise.
The Jets distributed red and white carnations to those in the stands who attended the game. Perhaps it was a nod to the team’s former colours, or maybe it was an effort to continue the fight for equality which gained traction during the Civil Rights Movement. Either way, it was a classy move.
The problem for the Jets was that the tickets for many of their regular season games were already given away during their wildcard round game against the Chicago Bears. After their run in the playoffs, the team will need to find a way to make up for that lost income.
With the help of esports marketing consultancy, Numerai, we were able to identify seven reasons why the Jets had two playoff spreadsheets.
1. Gotta Have Some Fun
On the night of the NFL draft, the New York Jets Twitter account shared a link to a web page with mock drafts for the 2019 NFL Draft. In addition to the usual mock drafts, the page also featured a couple of fun diversions, such as a rolling dice simulator and a slot machine. The page even had a banner ad which said, “Have some fun, the 2019 NFL Draft is coming up.”
After seeing this promo page, it’s no wonder that season ticket holders found themselves in the midst of a two-week playoff push. The dice simulator and slot machine were entertaining and interactive, and helped generate some buzz online. The NFL Draft is one of the most important events in the sport, and it helped that the Jets were having some fun with it.
2. Expanding The Brand
The New York Jets have always been a brand that had a bit of humour and fun attached to it. After they were founded in 1960, they were known as the “Yankees in New York” because they wanted to represent the Big Apple and its residents. They became the Jets in 1966, and started playing in the NFL in 1960. Even today, the team name is a play on words which embodies the spirit of the franchise.
Along with the Harlem Globetrotters, the New York Jets are part of the “old school” of the NFL, and they are committed to keeping traditions alive which date back to the early years of the league. One of the most prominent traditions is the “funny walk,” where players and coaches stretch while showing off their funny faces. This is one place where the Jets try to keep their sense of humour, and it serves as a good example of how much fun the team is having even in the most stressful of times. Walking while laughing is supposed to reduce muscle tension and increase productivity—something which the Jets could certainly use right now.
3. Players Needed
Another important consideration for the Jets is that several of their star players are getting older. Ryan Fitzpatrick is one of the elder statesmen of the quarterback position, and he will turn 40 later this year. There are also a number of solid role players who are starting to show their age, like center Spencer Long (35) and linebacker Fredrick Leonard (32). While the team still has a couple of solid starters in Darrelle Revis (29) and Jamal Adams (24), it would be best for all involved if they could find a way to maintain player health and productivity, which is why the fun and humour serves as a distraction during these trying times.
4. Two Weeks Of Practice
The New York Jets had to prepare for the playoffs as soon as possible after their final regular season game. According to Elias, two weeks of practice is the minimum required to get ready for the postseason.
Practice begins at a frantic pace as teams try to get as many reps in as possible. It’s not uncommon to see players going at full speed for hours on end. By the time the two weeks are up, many NFL teams are playing with a few more injuries than they had originally started with. The extra time off does help, however, allowing players to heal and rest up for the postseason.
5. Ticket Sales
Even without practice, the New York Jets would still have had to prepare for the playoffs as soon as possible after their last game. That’s because the team has sold out every home game this year, and there aren’t many NFL teams which can boast of doing that. After their 13-10 win over the Miami Dolphins in Sunday’s AFC Championship game, the Jets tweeted out their “tickets are on sale” message, and the response was pretty immediate. People obviously wanted to buy a ticket which would get them into the the game, and the unique part is that many of the tickets were given away rather than being sold. The NFL has a lottery system for purchasing playoff tickets, and the draw will take place the day before the game. There will be no tickets left by the time the draw takes place—which means that every game will be sold out. It’s hard to put into words the feeling of wanting something so bad that you will go to great lengths to get it, even if it’s not really yours.
6. Player Development
The New York Jets have one of the best NFL training facilities, and it’s not hard to see why. Not only do they have top of the line equipment and science-based sports nutrition, but they also have their own sports performance director, James Saxon. It would be best for all involved (the players, coaches, and trainers) if they could continue to build on the progress they’ve made over the last few years, which is why they are prepared to commit to a two-year deal with Saxon. During his time with the Carolina Panthers, Saxon worked with a similar model, which he referred to as “player development.” The idea behind the program is to work with young players and build their stamina and strength, while also instilling good health habits and a love for physical activity in them. The hope is that the players will leave the program highly-motivated and armed with the tools to continue on their own growth journey.
7. Pride Of Community
It’s always good to see a team putting the fun first and foremost, especially when dealing with such a tragic event. After the Baltimore Ravens beat the New England Patriots in the 2001 Super Bowl, members of the winning team started dancing and singing, all while holding hands. The post-game celebrations were a celebration of the fans who died during the 9/11 attacks, as well as a display of joy for the Ravens’ victory. The team went on to distribute gifts and salutes the fans in attendance, including a banner hanging from the goalpost which read, “Pride of Baltimore.” The gesture was an extension of the joy for the fans, and a small way of saying, “thank you” for coming out to support your team.
The Jets will face the winner of the Tennessee Titans vs Indianapolis Colts game, which starts on Saturday Night Football at 8:15 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcasted on NBC, and the playoff outlook for the team will be determined by the results. It’s always nice to have a laugh, even during these difficult times, and hopefully, this fun distraction will inspire others.