Capitals

Ready to rumble: Super Bowl fans get in the game

Ready to rumble: Super Bowl fans get in the game

NEW YORK (AP) You don't have to be a football player to be a part of the action on Super Bowl Sunday.

Coca-Cola is asking people to vote for an online match between three groups competing in a desert for a Coke on Game Day. Pepsi and Toyota are using viewers' photos in their ads. Audi let people choose the end of its Super Bowl ad, while Lincoln based its spot on more 6,000 tweets from fans about their road trips.

These are just some ways advertisers have found to get viewers involved in the excitement on Game Day by luring them online. And they're going well beyond encouraging fans to tweet or ``like'' their ads on websites like Twitter Facebook.

They're trying to get the most of their Super Bowl ads, which cost nearly $4 million for a 30-second spot, by drawing people online. Companies that advertise during the Super Bowl get a 20 percent increase in Web traffic on the day of the game, according to the analytics arm of software maker Adobe. They also have a higher online audience than average in the week after.

``We're seeing better and more unique ways of getting people involved,'' said Robert Kolt, an advertising instructor at Michigan State University. ``You want people to be engaged.''

PepsiCo, which is sponsoring the Super Bowl halftime show, said its goal was to create buzz online with a monthlong campaign that went well beyond a voiceover saying ``brought to you by Pepsi.''

For about two weeks, Pepsi asked fans online and via a digital billboard in New York's Times Square to submit their photos for a chance to appear in a 30-second ``intro'' spot to air right before the halftime show.

The company said the effort was more popular than it expected: Pepsi expected to get 2,000 photos, but got 100,000 instead. About 1,000 photos were chosen to be a part of the intro. They will be stitched together in a ``flipbook'' style video that appears to show one person jumping to the tune of ``Countdown,'' a song by Beyonce, who is performing during the halftime show.

``We don't just want (viewers) on pepsi.com, we want them telling their friends `I just did something with Pepsi,'' said Angelique Krembs, vice president of trademark Pepsi marketing. ``You want the friend to tell the friend about Pepsi. You don't want Pepsi to always be the one talking about Pepsi.''

Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln enlisted Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC's ``Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,'' to sift through thousands of tweets submitted by fans about road trips for its Super Bowl spot.

The story line for the 30-second ad, which was developed from 6,117 tweets, features rapper Joseph ``Rev Run'' Simmons and Wil Wheaton, who acted in the iconic science-fiction series ``Star Trek: The Next Generation.''

``We drove passed an alpaca farm, a few of them were meandering on the highway and my sister screamed, ``It's the Alpacalypse!,'' reads one tweet.

``Drove through a movie set in Palmdale, Calif., and didn't realize it. Got out and enjoyed the catered food,'' reads another tweet.

Coca-Cola created an online game that pits a troupe of showgirls, biker-style ``badlanders'' and cowboys against each other in a race to find a Coke in the desert. Viewers are encouraged to vote for their favorite group and set up obstacles that delay other groups on CokeChase.com. Obstacles include a traffic light or getting a pizza delivered, which waste time.

The game is alluded to in a Super Bowl ad and the winning group - which has the most ``for'' votes and the least ``obstacle'' votes will be announced after the game. Coke will also give the first 50,000 people who vote a free Coke. The campaign is more interactive than Coca-Cola's online effort last year, which featured a real-time animation of Polar Bears reacting to what was happening during the Super Bowl.

``Last year's effort was much more passive. It was you watching bears watching the game,'' said Pio Schunker, senior vice president of integrated marketing. ``This year we thought, `Can we up ante on the fun factor by handing the reins over to consumers?'''

Audi let viewers choose one of three possible endings for its Game Day spot by voting online on Jan. 25 for 24 hours.

The ad shows a boy who gets enough confidence from driving his father's Audi to the prom to kiss his dream girl, even though he is then decked by her boyfriend. Audi allowed people to vote for one of three potential endings for the ad.

In one possible ending, the boy drives home alone in triumphant. Another ending shows him palling around with friends. The third shows the boy going home and finding a prom picture of his parents in which his dad has a similar black eye.

The first ending, called ``Worth it,'' won.

Audi, which declined to say how many people voted, said ``Worth It,'' was by far the most popular, getting more than half of the total views and the most ``thumbs up'' out of all three versions

``This year, Audi wanted to elevate fan interaction by allowing them to take part in the creative process and have a voice in how our spot should end,'' said Loren Angelo, Audi's general manager of brand marketing. ``

The strategy seems to be working. On YouTube, the Audi ad is the third-most viewed Super Bowl ad so far, with 2.5 million views, behind a Toyota ad staring Kaley Cuoco of CBS' ``The Big Bang Theory'' and a teaser for Mercedes-Benz featuring supermodel Kate Upton, according to YouTube.com

--------

Online:

Coca-Cola ``Coke Chase'' campaign: www.cokechase.com

Pepsi's ``Halftime'' campaign:http://halftime.pepsi.com/

Toyota's ``Wish Granted'' ad:http://www.youtube.com/user/ToyotaUSA?feature=watch

Ford's Lincoln ``Steer the Script'' campaign:http://www.steerthescript.com/

Audi's ``Prom'' ad:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANhmS6QLd5Q

Quick Links

Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

usatsi_10434054.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Lightning will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Lightning game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

The Capitals (34-18-7) take on the Lightning (39-17-3) Tuesday, February 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Washington.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME ON?

The Capitals-Lightning game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Lightning
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Lightning game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Taylor Chorney

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

The Capitals-Lightning game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).

CAPITALS-LIGHTNING OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

Quick Links

Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 20, 22 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

Galette to be a valued free agent

Originally published 12/13/17

Like the Redskins, the Broncos are no longer relevant in 2017. Both teams’ fan bases have started to look towards the coming offseason.

To give their readers what they want, the Denver Post published an article by Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus that discussed some of the top pending free agents who have done the most to increase their values in the past year. There were two Redskins named, one you would expect to see on such a list and one that might surprise some people.

Kirk Cousins is at the top of the list. “The Washington signal-caller is grading as a top-10 quarterback (82.8), and soon he’ll have the long-term contract of one,” Renner wrote. “Only this time its value will be exponentially higher than any one he would have signed back when he first became a free agent in 2016.”

But the surprising name is that of Junior Galette. After missing the last two seasons with two torn Achilles tendons, he played this year on a one-year, $800,000 deal. And while he hasn’t been on fire in the sack department with just two on the year, he has been getting pressure on the passer.

“He’s accumulated the 27th-highest pass-rushing grade of any edge defender this season, but in only 264 snaps,” wrote Renner. “At 29 years of age, it’s doubtful he ever gets back to the level of the contract that he once had on the table with New Orleans. With how he’s played this season though, some pass-rush-needy team will pay handsomely for his services.”

One team that could be considered to be pass rush needy is the Redskins. Preston Smith is the starter and supposedly one of the Redskins’ top pass rushers. But in 100 fewer pass rush snaps this year, Galette has only three fewer quarterback hits than Smith and six more hurries.

And after missing those two seasons, Galette has remained healthy. Although he was limited with a hamstring during much of the preseason, he has not missed a practice or appeared on an injury report this year.

But would the Redskins be willing to pay him “handsomely”? Perhaps a good comp would be Connor Barwin, who moved from the Eagles to the Rams this past offseason at the age of 31. He had five sacks in Philly in 2016. That got him a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.

Barwin likely will have more sacks on his ledger going into free agency so let’s say Galette could command around $3 million. Perhaps he could offer Washington a bit of a hometown discount and agree to something in the $2.75 million range. If that is the case, the Redskins would be smart to keep him around for another year.

Plenty of things could alter the equation. If Galette gets hot in the last three games and posts a few more sacks his price could rise. With Smith and Ryan Kerrigan both back next year, perhaps Galette will want to go somewhere that he might get more playing time.

The details need to be sorted out but don’t be surprised if Galette gets a lot of attention in free agency, as much as teams need pass rush, and if the Redskins have to make a very tough decision about how much he is worth.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 9
—NFL Draft (4/26) 65
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 201