Jun 05, 2012 11:44 EDT Coinciding with Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles organized a stylish two-day event at the Lloyd Wright-designed Sowden House in Los Feliz. The event was held to celebrate the love affair between Swedish creatives and the city of Los Angeles.
Den Stora Jätteskålen! Sweden and the Super BowlFeb 29, 2012 11:01 EST
Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone. By this time of year most fans have washed the spilled beer out of their pants and put their lucky jersey into storage to await another season. Football is a distinctly American pastime, distinctly American enough that the rest of the world calls it “American Football” to distinguish it from the football actually played with feet. But Americans aren’t the only ones to play football. Canada has a Canadian Football league of its own and there is an international governing body for American Football (IFAF, not to be confused with FIFA, the governing body of that other football). Sweden itself has a national American Football teamand is hosting the World Championship of American Football in 2015.Sweden even has a deceptively strong presence in the National Football League. Numerous Swedes have played in the NFL and the current record for the longest field goal ever completed in an American Football game is held by Ove Johnasson, who hails from Gothenburg. At Super Bowl XLVI there were no Swedish players on the field (at least that this writer is aware of), but Swedes dominated the ads, and everyone knows that is what the Super Bowl is really about.
H&M (the Swedish fashion giant) aired a very talked about ad featuring David Beckham modeling their new underwear line, making one wonder if H&M’s advertising department missed the “American” part of the “need an ad for a big football game” memo. It seems they heard “football” and thought “goal” instead of “touchdown.” Regardless, the ad generated major buzz and shows just how popular Swedish styling is in the United States.
Speaking of styling, even halftime was dominated by Swedish influence. Madonna’s stylist for the halftime show? Swedish. B. Åkerlund is originally from Stockholm and has made a name for herself designing costumes and working with some of the biggest names in music (can you get any bigger than Lady GaGa and Madonna?). Swedes are no strangers to influencing American music tastes. While ABBA was conspicuously absent, Budweiser introduced its Bud Light Platinum in a spot featuring a chic party being DJed by none other than Swedish dance music producer Avicii, who is currently working his magic on the Billboard charts with the song “Levels.” Avicii has even had the honor of being ungraciously imitated by Flo Rida, a true sign that he has “made it” in the American music scene.
But wait! There’s more! Already being lauded for its brilliant story and uncanny similarity to a rejected Transformers sequel script is the upcoming film Battleship, based off the board game of the same name. And yes, it stars a Swede: Alexander Skarsgard.
While Sweden may not have scored the most points on the field, it definitely held its own on Super Bowl Sunday, proof that Americans are further embracing Swedish culture and we can slowly begin to forgive them for this. Look for Currents’ special issue on the Arts and Entertainment Industry in April to learn more about Sweden’s impact onUnited States pop culture.
Addison Larrow, Editorial Intern