The Super Bowl is a lot of things. Equal parts sport and spectacle. Advertising’s time to score or take a sack. A halftime show populated by music icons. Probably the biggest snack filled, alcohol fueled three hours of TV on the planet.
One thing it’s not known for is PR. Yet that is precisely why PR should be on the 50 yard line at the world’s biggest sporting event. Okay you soccer hooligans, crow all you want about the World Cup’s superior ratings. In ‘Murica,’ the real game of football rules the roost.
So how exactly does PR figure into the Super Bowl, and how can a brand take advantage of the annual spectacle to throw a super sharp spotlight on its products or services?
Big Bets: part of the buzz around the Super Bowl involves high dollar bets made on the outcome of the game. Any news related to betting, or even office pools or score-outcome predictions, could pique media interest.
Super Bowl Parties: along with the Super Bowl comes the annual Super Bowl party! Bars and restaurants can join the action by inviting a live TV news crew to film crowd reactions during the big game to be shown during the sports segment of the news.
Nom Nom Nom: every year snacks, finger foods and beverages fly off the grocery store shelves in advance of the game. Pizzas and chicken wings numbering in the millions top the list of home delivery orders. Beer kegs are tapped and tequila shots are lined up. Any consumer product can share its expected sales during Super Bowl weekend; restaurants can invite the media to watch the preparation of thousands of wings or hundreds of pizza pies. Another media spin: suggest healthy snacks as a safer alternative to make sure those with health issues like diabetes and high blood pressure aren’t left in a post-game health crisis.
Infographic: want to shine a light on your consumer product or retail outlet? Consider assembling a unique set of Super Bowl facts in an infographic. Sometimes a well-timed infographic can go viral or at least get picked up in a media outlet and shared across social media with credit back to your brand.
Sports Memorabilia: any retailers (online or bricks-and-mortar) can potentially get a Super Bowl bump if it sells any sports items related to the two teams meeting in the big game. Consider sharing news about which team is winning the Super Bowl of retail sales. Or talk to news outlets about any crazy sums offered for Super Bowl memorabilia.
Super Nonprofits: nonprofits worried that they may lose out on a super opportunity can get in on the action too. Say you’re an animal shelter with lots of cats and dogs needing forever homes. You might consider running a Super Bowl adoption competition where the dogs represent one team and cats the other; run the event two weeks prior to the big game and announce the winner before the kick-off. Make a trophy, have a locker room celebration, make some pet hats – there’s lots of room for creativity.
Super Bowl Ads: businesses that can afford to spend $4.5 million for a 30 second ad during the Super Bowl tend to generate a little publicity, in part because they’re going to be judged on originality and the ad’s overall effectiveness relative to the rest of the ads. Business and media reporters will be interested in how much you’re planning to spend, what your goals of the ad campaign are and how you plan to enlist various social media platforms in support of the ad.
E-Sports: one area of tech media that has grown in popularity is e-sports, which is currently doing for hardcore gamers what the World of Series of Poker has done for poker players. E-sports can have its own competition pitting the two Super Bowl teams – in this case, the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots – in a Madden NFL 24-hour free-for-all with the winner walking way with a 6-figure sum and bragging rights for the year. Tech, sports and entertainment media would be all over that like buffalo sauce on chicken wings or queso on chips.
Super Fan Contests: have a contest at your bar or restaurant encouraging the overly zealous fans out there to come dressed up for the game. You can judge the contest on costumes, face paint or even signs. Have fun with it, and consider sending an invite to the local TV news stations. Combine it with a fundraiser benefiting a local nonprofit and you could have a game winner. Maybe it’s a fun run with contestants dressing up for the game.
Animal Predictions: not long ago an ordinary octopus gained international celebrity by predicting, rightly it turns out, the outcomes of soccer matches during the 2010 World Cup. It brought a lot of attention to the Sea Life Center in Germany where the Octopus, known by the simple name of Paul, would choose which box to eat from and, in so doing, predict the winning team. Amazingly, Paul was right 11 out of 13 times. Maybe you have a dog, cat or lobster that can do some amazing divinations during the AFC/NFC championship games to set the stage for a Super Bowl prediction?
Got any ideas on how to score some Super Bowl PR?
About Dave Manzer: Dave Manzer founded an Austin tech PR agency for startups and emerging-growth businesses in 2009. Dave Manzer specializes in highly integrated PR & marketing strategies that help companies in technology, healthcare and professional services reach their goals in brand awareness and revenue growth. To contact Dave directly about the PR over Coffee blog, please email him at dave(@)davemanzer.com.