In its smartest marketing move to date, the NFL announced team schedules for all 32 teams, and on a Thursday night 8:30pm est., September 6, before a nationally televised audience on NBC, the NFC South division winning New Orleans Saints and the NFL Superbowl champs Indianapolis Colts will kickoff the NFL 2007 season.
The match-up should prove to be nothing short of a very exciting game. The NFL’s scheduling of these two teams to start off the 2007 season is great, both from a team competitive standpoint and a second media curtain-call to rival last year’s two feel good teams of the year, the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts.
Both teams were the media darlings last year. The New Orleans Saints because of all the team had gone through the year before with Hurricane Katrina and then the complete turn-around in the NFL, making it all the way to the NFC Championship game. And the Indianapolis Colts having once-again found itself front-and-center of the media spotlight, as in the past several years, because the team had reached the playoffs many times but had yet to win the NFL Superbowl. And then to go on and finally win the Superbowl, well that’s just media bonanza thereon for the team.
Of all of the media event coverage last year, few rivaled the coverage the New Orleans Saints received when returning to play in the Louisiana Superdome for the first time since the Superdome, the city of New Orleans, and the surrounding areas were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The event drew more media coverage for the NFL than it had ever seen prior in a regular season game. The NFL played a prominent role in front of the cameras in ensuring that NFL football would survive in New Orleans. The NFL along with the nation watched with glad hearts when the NFL New Orleans Saints returned to play its first game inside of the Superdome. And we all know how big of a media event the NFL Superbowl is worldwide. Tack onto that the fact that no team in the past few years has been at the top of football sports media coverage more than the Indianapolis Colts, and you’ve got yourself some pretty savvy marketing coming out of the NFL camp.
The New Orleans Saints will be featured in two nationally televised games within the first three games of the season. The first at NFL Superbowl champions Indianapolis Colts in the RCA Dome, Indianapolis, Indiana. The second will be for their home-opener in the Superdome on ESPN’S Monday Night Football against the Tennessee Titans, another surprise team last year.
It doesn’t stop there. Another nationally televised game for the New Orleans Saints will be on October 14, at the Seattle Seahawks on NBC’s Sunday Night Football for a 7:15pm kickoff. The Seattle Seahawks is another team at the top of the NFL, and thus much media coverage in the past few years. And then the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons will face off on a Monday Night for the third straight year on December 10.
The Indianapolis Colts will continue to garner a massive amount of media coverage due to the fact that they are the defending Superbowl champions. The NFL looks to keep the media spotlight on the Indianapolis Colts as well, scheduling seven nationally televised games with five of them in prime-time. The schedule features five teams that made the playoffs last year, the New Orleans Saints, the New England Patriots, the San Diego Chargers, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Kansas City Chiefs. Except for the Kansas City game, all of those games will be nationally-televised.