Have You Watched Ted Lasso?


(Randy Lane) “Have you watched Ted Lasso?” I’ve been asked that question numerous times by family members, friends, and clients.

Whenever anything creates that much buzz, it’s worth investigating. I set aside time to check out the Apple TV series with a few questions of my own: Why does it appeal to all age groups? What is the premise? Why does it work? As a talent coach, what can I learn from the show?

The first season answered many of my questions. A few episodes in, I recognized themes and techniques that RLC uses when coaching media personalities, underscoring the concept that fundamentals work, no matter the platform.

Premise and Strategy
The premise of the show is simple: a midwestern football coach travels out of his environment to England to coach a Premier League soccer team. The Ted Lasso character is played by Jason Sudeikis who told the LA Times, “Ted Lasso is not a show. It’s not a character. It’s a vibe.” That vibe, laced throughout the show, is simple: we are all essentially good people, but it often takes a mentor to help us to realize it.

We guide shows to define their premise and brand strategy. What is your show’s premise? Is your show the “feel-good show,” “the relationship, drama show,” or “the edgy, controversial show”?

Escapism and Humor
The need to escape today’s grim realities through humor and fun continues to be the top attribute listeners are seeking from music radio stations. Ted Lasso is funny, witty, and philosophically positive. The escapism element is heightened by the English setting and their passion for “football.”

Character Development
Ted Lasso, the main character, is an overly optimistic, philosophical, and vulnerable coach set against cynical and negative players, media, fans, and the antagonist owner, Rebecca Welton. Lasso is surrounded by a cast of quirky, flawed characters who are exaggerated for comedic and character impression purposes.

Media talents with sharply defined and amplified characters who share their life experiences and viewpoints in an entertaining way create a ‘personality brand’ that captures a loyal fan base.

Talent Coaching and Management
Sports fans will pick up on the John Wooden and Phil Jackson references throughout the show. Like Phil Jackson, Lasso gives players books to enlighten them. Straight out of the John Wooden playbook, Lasso is vilified by the press for saying, “It’s not about wins and losses. It’s about mentoring the players to be the best version of themselves on and off the field.”

Planned Spontaneity
Lasso delivers a blistering locker room speech to star player Jamie Tartt about skipping practice. It’s a powerful scene. It’s even more powerful when you realize the planning behind the scene, as this clip illustrates.

Highly successful radio shows put in the time planning their shows every day, both as a group and as individuals. We coach shows to thoroughly think through the premise for every show segment.

Thanks to my friend, Vallie-Richards-Donovan consultant Mike Donovan for first making me aware of Ted Lasso and for his perspective on the show.

Randy Lane launched his media talent coaching and personal brand development company in 1996. He can be contacted by phone at 805.231.5746 or email at [email protected].



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