Previously, we spoke about why the Premier League should introduce an All Star Weekend. However, how could the Premier League do this? This article discusses some possibilities.
Let’s start with one of the hardest to re create from the NBA to the Premier League. The Dunk Contest. Quick recap of the dunk contest, it consists of different players trying to dunk the basketball in the most weird and entertaining ways then being judged by a panel on a scale of 1-10 on how good the dunk was.
Premier League alternative
There are a few ways to adapt the Dunk Challenge to football like having a goal recreation competition like a ChrisMD video, where players have to recreate famous goals and get points based on likeness to the original goal. Or my personal choice would be a one on one challenge against a goalkeeper and then adding in a defender in later rounds.
One of the most important aspect is the judging. The judging is vital to producing a fun event that is not taken too seriously, so with that in mind I would have 5 judges from 5 different backgrounds.
Judge number 1: An ex pro
Ex-footballers have a sight for talent and a sight for flair so they are the perfect people to judge technique and skill in producing a a goal for this competition. Moreover, with the right person for the job it would mean that the competition is perceived just as the Dunk Contest meaning it would be judged as a skill and creative competition rather than the end result.
A good choice for an ex-professional footballer would be Ben Foster. A man who knows both sides of the sport, the creative production side and the competitive professional side. He is been creating content for new generation fans since retirement, and even years prior so he understands the balance between competition and entertainment.
Judge 2 and 3: Pundits
They have great knowledge on the format of traditional broadcasting and can help others with the pacing of it all. Pundits also know the workings of TV so can switch seamlessly between segments and attempts from the contestants.
Some good ideas as judges here are Micah Richards and Gary Lineker. You need chemistry for this to work on the broadcast meaning you need people with previous work together, enter Gary Lineker and Micah Richards, both have worked together in the past on new generation content like podcasts and viral clips so they have a idea of what to produce to get a reaction.
Judge 4: Fan
This is the perfect opportunity to create the fan interaction the Premier League so desperately needs by introducing not only a front row seat but an opportunity for some lasting involvement in the sport that will actually matter. They could even create a competition in the lead up weeks to pick the lucky fan or to even up the stakes of the PL Fantasy app and have the winner of the previous seasons competition win the position.
Judge 5: Influencer
Creating and enhancing the new generational audience is key to the introduction of the all star weekend, so why not bring on a judge who has already captivated that audience? The cult following of YouTube and their creators is astronomical with the new generation and bringing that following and integrating it with traditional media personalities would be a great way to blend both audiences.
Filly is a potential choice here. A familiar face to both traditional media, with his duties in Soccer Aid, Celebrity Bake-Off and Would I Lie To You? and in new generational media with hit YouTube channels like FootAsylum and BETA squad. This familiar face would be perfect for both audiences and is great as a presenter and has great chemistry with Foster already with the pair starring in different YouTube videos together.
The three-point contest
The three point contest which sees players given five shooting spots and five balls to see how many they can score in 70 seconds. It also sees players who regularly shoot from this range like Steph Curry and Damian Lillard.
Premier League alternative
A free kick challenge from five different sports around the box: two spots on the left side, two on the right side and one central. This would parallel the 3 point contests specific skill which not many in the two sports can consistently achieve. The free kicks are a skill in football in which not a lot can perform well, which means watching players attempt this will provide great entertainment for the spectators and create some excellent goals.
The judging will be easy in this competition as it will be based upon the amount of goals scored from the five spots. You could even go further and create points based per position, meaning the further away or the tighter the angle placed the more points scored. If resulting in a tie the breaker would be a sudden death free kicks from the placement of the takers choice.
Taker Number 1- James Maddison. Second only to James Ward Prowse in current Premier League English free kick goals and joint fourth in total free kick goals. Always been a threat from a set piece and is a shoe in for this competition.
Taker Number 2- James Ward-Prowse. The most obvious choice in a competition that he essentially owns. Second most free kick goals in Premier League history and is more than likely to take the top spot before he hangs up his boots.
Taker Number 3- Trent Alexander-Arnold. The youngest on the list and a testament to his free kick ability that he’s so young and has been dominating set pieces for such a prestigious club.
Taker Number 4- Kieran Trippier. Croatia. 2018. That is all he needs
Taker Number 5- Christian Eriksen. Joint with Maddison in Premier League free kick goals and been free kick taker at all three Premier League clubs he has played for. Easy shoe-in for the competition.