DES: A couple of month's back, the NFL played their first (American) football league game outside North America - at London's Wembley stadium - featuring the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants.
TINA: Classified as a home game for the Fins, the Giants dominated most of the game and went home the worthy winners.
DES: Off the gridiron pitch however, was another competitive match in progress - a three-way Battle of the City Brands between the host city - London - and the visiting cities of Miami and New York.
TINA: London made the early running by winning the rights to host the historic event.
DES: But Miami soon tied the score by flying over a plane-load of cheerleaders who caused a media-scrum throughout the city in the week leading up to the big game.
TINA: Surprisingly, New York was nowhere to be seen although they did make a late effort with a post-match TV commercial 'This is New York' which had as much world-wide impact as a non-illuminated advertising billboard in Times Square.
DES: But it was Miami who put in a half-time surge by promoting, not itself, but its destination brand category - the State of Florida - a smart flanking manoeuvre.
TINA: As for London, despite its home-field advantage, went through a catastrophic series of turnovers, by first laying down a pitch which was sadly, well below international standards, followed by a stadium roof designed to allow the incessant rain to turn the match into a slip-sliding fracas. And if that wasn't bad enough, the stadium food concessions ran out of - you guessed it - food. And, yes place pioneer, it does get worse: there were not enough trains laid on for the weary spectators, which turned the area between the stadium and the main station into a human gridlock for what seemed an eternity.
DES: So in this historic NFL: Battle of the City Brands, Miami and its brand category - The Sunshine State of Florida - were the clear winners.
TINA: But the New Year - 2008 - promises to provide new opportunities for the runners-up - London and New York - to redeem themselves in the destination branding arena. So please keep watching this place.
(Hint: Just hours after the Twin Towers attack on September 11th, the then New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani climbed onboard a British Airways flight from Heathrow to JFK and uttered these immortal words: "Welcome to the World's Capital.")
'Brand' the Marketect says:
"When marketing your city brand during a major event, try and avoid snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, by focusing your attention on every aspect of the destination experience - from the welcome right through to the farewell - for both host and visitors."