What Does It Mean To Be “Global”?

What does it mean to be “global”?

Are we talking values? Experiences? Merchandise?  All of the above???

Movies are global – in fact, many make more money outside their country of origin than they do in – which is another way to look at defining global.

Books can be global as well – with authors hoping for translations into the languages of countries where people buy a lot of books – and then if they get made into movies….

Clothing for sure and food more and more – as Starbucks from Seattle conquers the coffee world and Japanese Falafel from Abu Dhabi does the same for the Middle Eastern food world. In other words – not just McDonalds….

Sports is a clear global-generation world experience – with soccer (football) leading the way – but also including car racing, cricket and basketball.

Yet one of the most talked about events globally is the final championship game of the United States version of football – known as the Super Bowl – occurring once a year on the first Sunday in February.

The weeks preceding it are filled with hoopla and the Sunday the gladiators meet is near unto a religiously based holiday with food, drink, dress and now social media — part of the day’s worship.

As is usual with US-based world championships – there is not much of a world view – nor is the audience very global, with some 98% of its close to 100 million viewers being in North America – vs. the close to one billion who watch the World Cup spread all over the globe.

But so it goes:  US bombast – now fueled by social media – claiming exponential numbers as (primarily) the advertising gets shared and shared again.

John F. Kennedy once alluded to the notion of sports being so popular because watching them makes you feel like you are actually playing – and as we analyze and second-guess the players and coaches endlessly – he had a point.

Clearly though, his bigger point was the experience – because the game is all about the experience – and as I wrote from CES, many of the new TV screens – in size and quality – were created to enhance our involvement through enriched and heightened visual and audio technology.

And of course now that we can watch and tweet and post – beats the one phone call we used to make – and search for information and statistics to trump our fellow watchers and add more depth to the group experience – it just gets better and better.

Which is why I wonder about the obsession with social media, as if that’s what makes the game exciting, creates the experience, makes it worth watching – COME ON!!!

Social is the value add, it’s the evolution of what we always did – share our passion for the games – but its secondary – it doesn’t make the game nor does it cause the excitement – no matter how the monetizers would like to see it as such. In fact – I’d argue that kind of thinking keeps us from actually developing social uses that fully enhance vs. platforms that sell more advertising – which is fine as that is how I make my living – but I’d argue that apps that begin with a real understanding of the social need will ultimately make more money anyway.

So I posted and tweeted with the rest – and yelled and cheered in my living room with my friends – thoroughly and unabashedly enjoying the experience – the game, the people, the food – the things I could share.  So thank you all for the content you gave me – and I hope the social networks will learn that the game comes first…listen:

“Anyone can buy a ticket – but not everyone can play on the court.”

It’s the game that drives it – experiences happen in real life.  Facebook has a ticket to the event but you create the experience….

What do you think?


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