James Fenn | The virtual NFL Draft offers three lessons for the future of post-Covid-19 sports events

Even for a big NFL fan, the motivation to tune in to the NFL’s virtual draft included a healthy dose of morbid curiosity. Surely someone would forget to unmute themselves? Surely the wi-fi would drop out just as the commissioner was about to announce a key pick? Surely a draft that was transitioning from 600,000 fans on the streets of Nashville in 2019 to essentially one big Zoom call would be best-case tedious, and worse-case, total disaster? Far from it. Instead the virtual NFL Draft was a success beyond even the NFL’s wildest dreams. In terms of ratings, the draft was the most-watched ever, drawing in a staggering 55 million viewers across the three-day event. The NFL Draft-a-thon fundraising event that ran in parallel on social media raised $6. 6m (€6.

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