You have probably heard me rant on about the power of music in marketing in the past, but having watched a weekend of sport starting with the England v. USA World Cup match and winding up with the Montreal Grand Prix the other shoe finally fell.

So for you analysts out there.  Plot this – England do just great at Formula One – English teams with English drivers, followed by English teams with foreign drivers and then foreign teams with English technicians.  We also lead the world at squash.  When it comes to football and rugby however we are patchy at best.  So, what’s the difference?  Well, one difference is that in the first two sports the national anthem is played at the end when everyone is winding down, whereas in the second two it’s at the beginning when vigor and high energy should be the order of the day.  Now listen to our national anthem – dreary in the extreme.  Certainly not in the least inspiring – slow, boring lyric and a melody that other countries use for hymns at Sunday school!  It just doesn’t compare with the hot-blooded, “vanquishing our foes” or “facing the challenge together” themes of many other nations.  Cold it be that when it’s played before a competition, our national anthem is actually demotivating our sportsmen and women?

I’m sure some enterprising data analyst could tell us whether this is so.  Maybe we could make a case for a new national anthem or at best a supplementary Haka like the Kiwi’s?  While the number crunchers get on to this maybe those of us who aren’t busy with spreadsheets already could suggest whose national anthem  is the most inspiring?

Michael Weaver
June 14, 2010

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