The past weekend was an exciting one for supporters of clubs that play in the English Premier League. NBC Sports’ premier soccer fan event, Premier League Mornings Live, came to South Beach for 48 hours of action-packed football and fan engagement. Supporters were able to take part in challenges, get free swag courtesy of sponsors, and meet some of their favorite mascots in person. 10th and Ocean became the epicenter of coverage as games were shown on big screens in and around the Clevelander Hotel.
The action kicked off early as Liverpool faithful flooded the Clevelander to watch the Reds take on bottom-of-the-table Watford. The undefeated leaders gave their large contingent much to cheer about after winning 2-0 with a brace from Mohamed Salah. The brace included an incredible back-heel effort that was received with loud cheers and surprised faces for his effort.
Supporters of every club were present for the main slate as many waited to get free kit customizations courtesy of Avery Dennison, temporary tattoos and goal celebration photos. Chelsea supporters outnumbered most of the contingent as they watched their club fall to AFC Bournemouth. The 84th minute goal from Dan Gosling set the small Bournemouth contingent in a thunderous roar at the Clevelander. Despite the loss, the atmosphere was so electric that many Chelsea fans kept a smile on their faces throughout the morning. Leicester and Norwich battled to a 1-1 draw displayed on big screens just off Ocean Drive in addition to Burnley’s 1-0 victory over Newcastle and the blades beating Aston Villa 2-0.
Supporters were loud during every moment of the NBC Sports broadcast, especially when having a chance to interact with Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Mustow, and Kyle Martino. Similar to ESPN’s College GameDay, the public backdrop of Ocean Drive allowed supporters to flood the street behind the set with signs, flags, and chants. In between the action, lines lengthened as supporters enjoyed ball juggling challenges and a photo opportunity with the Premier League trophy.
The atmosphere was just as good for Premier League Mornings Live on Sunday morning. Supporters descended on the Clevelander Hotel as early as 6 A.M. to take part in the festivities. With a slate of games filled with Premier League heavyweights, it’s no surprise fans would begin to show three hours prior to kickoff. To NBC’s credit, the event was ready at the crack of dawn for the earliest of guests. Supporters were treated to morning pancakes styled in various shapes.
The lines for the exhibits and interactions were efficient and fans were able to take part in each activity prior to the start of the morning matches. Rebecca Lowe and Company kicked off the event again as supporters provided a high level of energy. Manchester United’s contingent, some traveling as far as Washington D.C., took over the pool area of the Clevelander ahead of their match with Everton. The Spurs supporters huddled off Ocean Drive in front of a massive screen just in front of the NBC Sports set in preparation for their match against Wolves.
Supporters could be heard as far as a quarter-mile away with every “ooh” and “aah” during the tight contests. Spurs supporters were the first to celebrate as Lucas Moura blasted a strike into the roof of the net in the 8th minute. About 30 minutes later, the simultaneous cheers from the Toffees supporters and the groans of the United supporters could be heard as Victor Lindelof would concede an own goal. At the half both Everton and Spurs would be in front.
Fans hurried back to their big screens as play resumed for the second half. Wolves would find an equalizer from Traore that sent the small but boisterous Wolves contingent in a frenzy. Ten minutes later, United’s newest starlet Mason Greenwood would net an equalizer giving United fans something to finally cheer about. United and Everton would end up in a draw, to the chagrin of most United supporters.
Spurs fans would get the last laugh as their hefty contingent would get a 91st minute winner with Vertoghen finding the back of the net and vaulting Spurs into 5th place on the table.Throughout the event more Arsenal and Manchester City kits were on display than most other clubs. Both clubs have a large local following, led by Miami Arsenal Supporters Club. Unfortunately for supporters of the Gunners, City would dominate the first half and take a 3-0 lead into the half with a brace by Kevin De Bruyne. The scoreline would remain the same for the final 45 minutes and bring a close to the weekend on South Beach.
Premier League Mornings Live: A Fan Experience Like No Other
Every supporter left with a smile on their face despite the results. NBC Sports and the Premier League put on a fan experience far above anything that has come to town in recent years. With the NFL’s Super Bowl coming to town at the beginning of 2020, NBC has raised the bar of what fans should expect from these kind of events. The only question that most participants left with was “Can we do this every weekend?” It’s without a doubt that NBC and Premier League Morning Live will be back in Miami in the near future and Miami will be ready to welcome them again with open arms.