100 days after the coronavirus put the Premier League season on hold, it returned on Wednesday, June 17th with a pair of matches. Nearly a week later on Thursday the 25th, Liverpool were crowned Premier League champions to cap off a 30-year wait between top-flight titles. How did the league, its clubs, and NBC handle the return and celebrate Liverpool’s historic title?
Premier League’s Return
For the Premier League, having a few extra weeks allowed all parties to try something new to enhance the viewing experience for fans at home. While the Bundesliga opted for empty seats and La Liga chose to do virtual fans, the Premier League clubs utilized the lower bowls of their stadiums to cover the seats with tarps. A mix of logos, sponsors, Black Lives Matter messaging, fan photos, mosaics, and more cover every single stadium – from AFC Bournemouth through Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The league’s American broadcast partner NBC Sports also had a few tricks up their sleeve to enhance the viewing experience for fans across the country. With the unique experience of Premier League during the summer, the broadcaster changed their marketing campaign from “My PL Morning” to “My PL Summer.” Fans have embraced the change with hundreds of uses of #MyPLSummer since the return just under two weeks ago. Additionally, NBC brought in fans via Microsoft Teams to watch together and integrate them during certain broadcasts.
— John Guppy (@SoccerMarketer) June 17, 2020
Between the anticipation of the return and a high profile match-up on the first day, NBC saw more than a half-million fans watch the Manchester City vs. Arsenal match on a Wednesday afternoon – the third-most ever for a non-holiday, weekday match.
Liverpool wins its first Premier League title
Fans had to wait a few months longer than anticipated, but Liverpool were finally crowned champions on Thursday, June 25th following Manchester City’s loss at Chelsea (thanks to a lovely goal from Christian Pulisic). With the Reds having a 25-point lead at the time the league was postponed, the extra three months gave publishers, creatives, and fans the opportunity to put together unique content pieces to celebrate the moment it was mathematically clinched.
From a historical standpoint, this was Liverpool’s 19th top-flight title and the first since 1990. With the Premier League starting in the 1992/93 season, the club and its fans have waited and waited for this moment, enduring some exceptionally close calls. Also, they now hold the unique record for being the team to clinch the Premier League title the earliest (seven game weeks left in the season) and the latest date on the calendar (June 25th) due to the pause for COVID-19.
Let’s take a look at how the title was celebrated.
The global Liverpool account put together a video highlighting the city and team set to the club’s anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone:”
Tell the world…
We are Liverpool, champions of England. pic.twitter.com/altgWn1Wda
— Liverpool FC (Premier League Champions 🏆) (@LFC) June 25, 2020
LFCUSA created a Twitter Moment to highlight the club, celebrities, and fans to commemorate the momentous occasion:
Crowned in England, celebrated in America 🏆 https://t.co/spbAoUnNO8
— LFC USA (🏆) (@LFCUSA) June 26, 2020
The Premier League USA account made a breakfast fit for champions:
Breakfast of Champions 🏆🥞 pic.twitter.com/aYgzBHe4a5
— Premier League USA (@PLinUSA) June 26, 2020
Bleacher Report put together a beautiful and emotional animation highlighting the 30-year wait:
Liverpool's 30-year wait for a league title is over. pic.twitter.com/9MXENLCCXC
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 25, 2020