January 10, 2011
We’ll post plenty of highlights later from our work at tonight’s star-studded Madden Bowl. In the meantime, in honor of Scott, Allison, Dave and Andrew, who are no doubt busting their butts on the biggest stage in sports as you read this, I offer my Top Four Glamour Moments from the five Super Bowls events I’ve worked on behalf of clients over the past 20 years.
“Who Needs One?”
The first Super Bowl I ever worked was the one here in Minneapolis back in 1992. I was a junior staffer assigned to distribute stickers to drunk Bills and Redskins fans as they entered the Metrodome. Our hope was that fans would wear the stickers during the game, giving us a shot at getting some visibility for our client on the TV broadcast.
I dutifully slapped stickers on fans outside in the cold all afternoon leading up to the game, and just moments before kick-off, as my boss and I were packing up our boxes and tent with numb fingers and toes, our client dropped by to announce they had one extra ticket to the game. Guess who got left out and had to watch the Super Bowl at home like millions of other fans? Worse: my stickers were nowhere to be found on the broadcast. Guess the Bills weren’t the only Super Bowl losers that day.
“Four Super Bowls and a Funeral”
The first of four Super Bowls I actually got to attend was Super Bowl XXIX featuring the San Diego Chargers verses the San Francisco 49s at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami. My client lined me up with tickets smack dab in the middle of the Chargers’ family and friends section. Cool, I thought. It’ll be great to experience this with a bunch of people who will clearly be more passionate and crazy throughout the game than the typical corporate suits who make up the bulk of those attending the Super Bowl.
Boy was I wrong. San Francisco quickly scored on its opening drive and went on to crush the Chargers 49-26. It was never a game, and surrounded by crestfallen Chargers’ loved-ones for nearly four hours, I felt like I had scored $400 tickets to a funeral.
“At Least It Matched My Tie”
I had a couple opportunities to manage media relations at star-studded Super Bowl parties. My job was to escort my client’s celebrity spokespeople around to various media interviews during the parties. Glamorous? Well, consider that “media relations” duties mostly consisted of holding a Backstreet Boy’s cocktail and, the following year, actress Janine Turner’s purse during interviews. The good news is that it was enough to qualify me for APR accreditation from the PRSA.
“Celebrate Good Times”
The Super Bowl broadcast is traditionally the highest-rated TV event of the year, and no doubt viewership is bolstered by the halftime entertainment. Must be amazing to see all of that live, right? Wrong. I’ve attended four Super Bowl games and seen four halftime shows. Each time, the performers had their backs to me, and even military grade binoculars couldn’t help me discern the figures on the distant stage. To approximate the sound, drive into a car wash and turn your car stereo up as loud as possible.
The last Super Bowl I attended I thought my fortunes had turned as a stage was quickly wheeled out right in front of my seat at the conclusion of the game. Imagine my disappointment as I realized the act was a C-list 70’s band performing its one hit. To make matters worse, I quickly realized there were no power cords leading to their portable stage. Celebrate good times, indeed!
Break a leg in Dallas, my fellow Ponies. We look forward to your glamorous stories from Super Bowl XLV.