Sometimes I just want to be left alone…
When sport is like it was on Saturday night, the last thing I want are interruptions. In a culture of interruption there are few things that command our full attention. Live sport commands your attention, which is why TV companies spend millions to secure rights and brands invest their marketing budgets in getting closer to the audience.
When sport is like it was on Saturday night, the last thing I want are interruptions.
I found myself watching the England vs Wales Rugby World Cup 2015 group game about half an hour behind the live footage, courtesy of a couple of Strictly Dancing-loving daughters with a vice like grip on the TV remote.
No matter. With Sky Plus to the rescue, I settled down to watch the thunderous encounter.
Brrring. My phone vibrates on the table. Not interested.
10 minutes later. Brring. Good for England at the end of the first half…or bad news? I’m not looking.
Just after half time, England are 19-9 up and starting to take control.
Brring. Maybe that’s a mate celebrating. The ‘live’ game may have finished. That’s promising. That could be very promising. But I don’t look.
Wales start falling like ten pins. Surely England will hold on.
Ouch. Welsh try under the posts. Back to all square.
Brring! Wales penalty from just inside the England half. Great strike Biggar.
Brring. Not good news. Could be a Welsh mate celebrating. But don’t look.
England penalty. Phew! Redemption. Farrell’s not looked like missing all night and a draw’s not the end of the world.
Mmm. We’re going for the corner. Not sure I can watch this.
Brring. Is it a repeat of Japan or a missed opportunity? You’ve guessed it. I don’t look.
Agghhh. Chance gone; Wales win.
Now I picked up my phone to scan messages and vent.
In a culture of interruption - as a good work colleague described the world we now live in - there are few things that command our full attention for an hour and a half.
Top class live sport does, which is why TV companies splash out millions to secure the rights (11.6 million others also enjoyed the game on Saturday night) and brands will continue to invest their marketing budgets in building sporting associations that get closer to their audiences.
As it turns out, the messages that had came through were from friends I was meeting up with on Sunday and updates for the Minions App one of my girls had downloaded the previous week. Absolutely nothing to do with the rugby.
But a culture of interruption seems here to stay. A report in the US recently argued that interruptions at work cost the U.S. economy $588 billion a year. It said that: ‘Interruptions often contribute to errors, creating quality problems and re-work. You don’t just give up a minute. You sacrifice your energy, enthusiasm and work enjoyment.”
Putting England's loss to one side, Saturday night reminded me of the importance of when we look to communicate with different audiences, not just what we say.