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Guide to Super Bowl event Management




The winter months are coming. Holidays are over and winter will bring things only it can. People are already preparing for outdoor sports like ice-skating, skiing, hiking and snowboarding. Of course, snowball fights the odd snowman here and there and a lot more. Indoor activities will also get a surge because of the extreme weather. Reading books, playing on consoles, watching television and Netflix gets a boost. Best of all, it’s also time for the Super Bowl.


For many families and people, the annual Super Bowl is the most fun time of the year and is eagerly waited for. This is when you sit with your friends and family, enjoy the games with snacks and drinks, and enjoy the competition with lots of excitement. It would be easy to huddle up and watch the game but the scheduling of the sideline events are done to get the ball over the goal line. The NFL is a marketing extravaganza that has events spread throughout the city to showcase exhibits, autograph sessions, shopping, interactive games, contests, parties, concerts and much more.


Super Bowl event management is an experiential marketing campaign on a huge level.


Just consider the epic level of technology going into this event. Flying cameras, incredible light and pyro displays, huge screens, soundboards, staging, microphones, video, audio, electric, rope-work and so on (It is a huge list). Every passing year it becomes larger and more complex with changing technology and growing expectations.

The ever so popular halftime show is one of the most popular, complicated and star-studded parts of the show with the least reaction time involved. It takes about a year of planning to be able to execute it and the time it has to get it up and running during the game is six minutes. Yes, you read it correctly, SIX minutes. The work involved is moving in a stage set, sound equipment, microphones, musical instruments and hands, dancers, audio settings and level testing that works.


This is conducted on a grand scale and through spellbinding teamwork. While planning the big picture is perceived first and then the functions broken down into manageable sections and assigned to teams and further into members. The final stage is collectively regrouping and reviewing to adjust the bits and pieces in place. This needs a stupendous organizational effort.


Checklists help a lot in this regard by effective communication between the organizer and the vendors and clients. This not keeps everyone in the loop but also everything on track.


On the other hand, the Super Bowl is one of the most single expensive nights for advertisers with prices soaring every year. On average the rates of a 30-second TV spot has increased more than 75% over the last decade with investments from brands amounting to about $4.2 million. Some brands are even willing to spend more than 10% of their annual marketing media budget on one game, taking a big bet.


So, what are the brands doing to extend their reach beyond the 30-second slot keeping in mind the amount of money spent and made on the Super Bowl? There are also those that don’t have the budget for this. So, what do they need to creatively capitalize on the 111 million viewers who tune into and watch the Super Bowl each year?


The best brands are doing experiments using social tactics and creative content as a foundation for their big match marketing strategies. To get an appropriate ROI from their efforts marketers must use unconventional ways rather than the traditional forms of marketing. The forward-thinking marketers are focused on consistent engagement and long-lasting brand loyalty.


What are the things to consider while developing and executing marketing strategies for a brand at an event like this?


Focus on the related interests of your fans

Back in 2015 automobile brand, Nissan made a partnership with YouTube to do a Super Bowl marketing campaign. Their campaign celebrated innovative and exciting ways using which ‘dads’ strive to find work-life balance and make the lives of their families better.


Understand the strategy of the campaign. Nissan did not plan their campaign around football. They planned it around the related interests of football fans. YouTube’s analytics discovered that the people interested in football also possessed an interest in automobile and cooking videos.


New generation fans typically favour movie and comedy content while fans who are fathers tune in to automobile and news content. Nissan used this data and strategized a campaign whose videos received more than 76 million views to date. Now that’s called reach.


Find and use the white space

Budweiser, one of the biggest spenders in the Super Bowl planned a campaign where they would not only be competing against other beer, beverages or spirits but with every other brand sponsoring or advertising and basically talking football.

While everybody else planned, strategized and were trying to execute their campaign around a specific player or influencer on the field, Bud Light used the fans. Fans were asked to use ‘Up for Whatever’ messages found on Bud Light bottles. They were asked to join the bud Light House of whatever during the Super Bowl. All they had to do was take a video of them with up for whatever, post the video to Instagram and tag Bud Light.


This strategy was a masterstroke because it used the unity and emotions of the fans. Secondly, it utilized data that said more than 70% of football is watched on mobile and nearly 50% of visits to Super Bowl advertisers generated from mobiles.


Plan beyond the day

Data says fans shared 265 million posts on Facebook in 2015, 28 million tweets and watched nearly 4 million hours of ads on YouTube on the big day. This number went up from 2.2 million hours in 2014.


Football content viewership spikes during the NFL draft during spring as well as the start of fall. As per data from Google brands that released their full versions of ads received 2 times for views and 3 times more shares by Monday morning rather than the ones who waited for the game to release theirs.


These were example based advertisement and ways of execution from Super Bowl’s history. Artist booking, player management, venue management are also some of the other factors that have a massive impact on the outcome of the extravaganza. Super Bowl event management is a lot of teamwork, strategizing, planning and execution all put together. Understanding, acting appropriately and being ready to improvise whenever and wherever needed will surely spell success.

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