Last night, I had one of my most stressful experiences as a GovLoop Fellow: The office Fantasy Football draft. As a native of Baltimore, I’m a big fan of the Ravens, but I know very little about the stats, rankings, and buzz on other NFL teams and players. While my Ravens-centric football knowledge may have given me a handicap in Fantasy Football, it turns out I may not need to look beyond the Ravens for advice on one of life’s realities, health care. The Superbowl champions have partnered with the Obama Administration to publicize the benefits and coverage of the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) now that it has become law, according to Politico.
The uninsured are a hard population to reach and most are unaware of how Obamacare could provide them with coverage and benefits through an insurance exchange. Why use the Ravens to deliver the message? According to Maryland Health Connection (Maryland’s Obamacare insurance exchange), 71% of Maryland’s uninsured are Ravens fans, meaning they watch the games on TV or listen on the radio during the season. This means the Ravens have a platform to publicize the new regulations to an engaged, targeted audience.
Politico contributor Kyle Cheney also added, “Supporters of such partnerships say teams are often viewed with nonpartisan reverence and particularly connect with the young, healthy people that the White House is hoping will sign up for coverage.”
I like the idea of the federal government coming up with an innovative way to publicize and explain government benefits and opportunities, especially to a largely disenfranchised group. However, it could be a slippery slope. Obamacare has already been signed into law and this effort sounds to me like an effective way to inform citizens of their new rights and responsibilities. But would it be used for legislation still up for debate? Could this strategy soon politicize the world of sports?
What do you think? Is this partnership a good idea? How does your agency get the word out?