3 Things Planners Can Learn About Sponsorships From the Super Bowl

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The Fox Sports robot on Super Bowl Boulevard

It’s estimated that the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston cashed in at $500 million in ad revenue. Few other events are as astute at driving advertising and sponsorship dollars as football’s biggest game. Following are three sponsorship tips planners can pick up from the 2017 Super Bowl.

Create enhanced opportunities

Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon was a free fan village designed to highlight Houston’s attractions and celebrate football. The size of 13 football fields, it opened a week before the game at Discovery Green in downtown Houston, with family-friendly activities, live performances, interactive exhibits and local culinary offerings. A highlight was a 90-ft virtual reality trip to Mars. And throughout, the Verizon logo was blazing.

Though most planners don’t get the chance to build a village, there a many other creative ancillary sponsorship opportunities. For example, offer sponsors the chance to host pre- or post-event advisory board or committee meetings. Or consider additional features within the meeting itself, such as key cards, tote bags or lanyards.

Hold a contest

Super Bowl sponsor Bud Light made headlines last fall with a Willy Wonka-style sweepstakes, offering one lucky fan the chance to find a golden beer can and win “Super Bowl tickets for life”—for up to 51 years. The winner, announced in January, was 52-year-old Lyle Randa, a machinist from Wichita who found the gold can in a 30-pack he had bought.

There’s nothing like a contest to get attendees pumped up, and the prize doesn’t have to be nearly as big as Bud Light’s. Attendees can be made aware of the contest via the event app, and push notifications can help guide them to do whatever it is they need to do to win. For some great info on using your app for contests, check out our webinar: Event App Sponsorships: An Opportunity You Can’t Afford to Miss.

Include sponsors in the “Inner Circle”

Super Bowl founding sponsors, including the global management consulting, technology and outsourcing firm Accenture, get the royal treatment. Not only was Accenture’s Senior Managing Director Peggy Kostial one of 16 Vice Chairs of the 2017 Host Committee but she was the face of the company at dozens of events around the game, including being onstage at the opening of Super Bowl LIVE.

Think of your sponsors as the spokespersons for your event and partner with them every way you can, from including them in planning focus groups or committees to having them hand out awards. Place them front and center in video and photo opps. Make them part of your event family.

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Barbara Scofidio
Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.

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