The British are coming! The British are coming! Again!
This time, television is driving the invasion into American culture, a trend that really kicked into gear when Downton Abbey made its U.S. debut on PBS in 2011. Or perhaps it was the success of the magnificent series Sherlock, released here in 2012. No, wait. Maybe the reboot of Dr. Who way back in 2005 got the ball rolling.
Whatever the case, the U.S. is now the largest consumer of British programming, according to Variety, and sales of these shows to American broadcasters increased 16% to £497 million ($624 million) from 2015 to 2016. That’s three years ago, but streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu continue to update with more English shows.
I mean, how do you explain that arguably the most popular cooking show in America isn’t in America? Or that we’re seeing more British actors cross over into big-budget films and American TV (OMG, is that Lady Mary!?)?
Meanwhile, American sports fans have never been more attached to English Premier League soccer thanks to NBC’s massive deal to get exclusive U.S. broadcasting rights a few years ago. That deal, by the way, was recently extended to run through 2021-22.
The point is, America is falling in love with its former colonizer all over again. (A sort of Stockholm syndrome?) Naturally, I smell a multi-sensory promotion opportunity for minor league franchises. You’ve got the food angle, which your concessions people can go nuts with. You’ve got the music angle, obvi, plus all kinds of cool sound bites for situational use. How about Big Ben chimes for a home-team homer or goal?
I feel as if a between-inning or -period contest should involve cricket somehow. And as far as sponsors go, how about a local dealer who sells these? Or a local grocer who sells this? Giveway has to be a brolly, amiright?
I workshopped a few jersey designs for such a promotion: