By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303
With the 2020 NFL Draft just a week away, the NFL and the Miami Dolphins are preparing for what could turn out to be a historic night. With growing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus, NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, sent memos to all 32 teams in early April stating that the 2020 NFL Draft would proceed to an all-virtual format
This means that teams would need to cancel all fan-related events surrounding the draft.
Fans were looking forward to the draft. They always do. This is the night that, for many teams, could change the face of a franchise.
As if this virus hasn’t already taken so much from fans; threatening their livelihood with so many being laid off or furloughed, constant worry about the health and safety of their families and loved ones, and…although not as important but frustrating, the canceling of almost all sporting events.
While all teams understand the fan frustration, one team President wanted to do something about it… Miami Dolphins President, Tom Garfinkel.
Every year the Dolphins host a large Draft party for their season ticket members and fans. This year, Garfinkel knew he would have to get his staff involved to come up with a way to keep fans active in this year’s draft. Completely canceling the fan event was not an option for this team.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Dolphins VP of marketing, Laura Sandall. She told me that Garfinkel and her staff went to work immediately knowing they wanted to keep fans involved.
One of the first things they experimented with was several video conferences with newly signed free agents, to see if they could get the fanbase to follow along during these video sessions. This turned out to be a huge success.
Laura said, “Right then, we knew we had to come up with something for the fans in regards to the draft.”
Knowing that they wanted to do something live, they reached out to Facebook. There is a large following on the Official Miami Dolphins Fans Group, so they knew they could reach a large audience, also knowing that a large number of fans would also be tuned into the major networks as well.
The Miami Dolphins 2020 NFL Draft party presented by Bud Light Seltzer was born!
It will be one big on-line draft party, with some special guests appearing and engaging with fans. This live format will offer fans the ability to engage in a Q & A sessions with participating Dolphins personal, as well as players. There will be live interviews, as well as expert analysis of all the draft picks. There will a lot of information and it will all be right at your fingertips right as its happening. There will be new content, as well as some great surprises for fans in the group.
Laura then told me about another unique opportunity that will happen during this live event. The Miami Dolphins, along with the NFL, will be hosting a COVID-19 relief effort. It will ask fans to help raise money during this difficult time in our country and have an opportunity to help others less fortunate. So if you do want to help, just look for the COVID-19 relief effort box during the live event.
Fans are being asked to RSVP for this event. I asked if there will be a limit to how many fans can join. Laura ensured me that there were no limits to the number of fans that can join. She also said there isn’t a timetable set and the event will go as long as needed.
She anticipates the Facebook group to go live around 7 pm to give fans a chance to get situated and listen to Kim Bokamper and the guys with some pre-draft content. So if you are not a member of the Official Dolphins Facebook page, just copy and paste the link and join now. https://www.facebook.com/groups/DolphinsFans/
As many of you know, I have always said that the Miami Dolphins organization is one of the best in the NFL when it comes to their fans. With that in mind, if you’re a Season Ticket Member, starting now and into next week, you will be receiving a “Draft in The Box” item in the mail. Just a little something to make these tough days a little better, and as a thank you from the team.
Talk NFL with Lisa on Twitter // @LJ1303