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On September 27th Sam and I attended the MdestXI “Your Super Bowl Game Plan” luncheon organized by the Meadowlands Liberty Region CVB and hosted by First Aviation Services at Teterboro Airport.  I took five pages of mini notebook notes and will do my best to make this a synopsis and not a tome.

Super Bowl Host Company

Alfred Kelly, President & CEO of the 2014 NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Company spoke first.  He explained that the NFL requires the host city to form a corporation to oversee the non-game related arrangements. Uniquely positioned where there’s more than one city involved and two states he said, “This is a Super Bowl so big it takes two states to host it.”

Kelly also noted that this is the first time that: there are two states hosting, two franchises hosting and the game is in the Northeast therefore played in the cold. Lest we all forget the 2010 Super Bowl week was hampered by snow in Dallas, but still went on, this shouldn’t be an issue.  TV ads promoting the 2014 Super Bowl will start running in October in the local area.

In order to really sell our destination, all of NJ/NY needs to take pride in where we live and welcome the visitor; make them feel at home. The economic value in having the Super Bowl here isn’t just the three-hour game, it’s the week-long lead up and day after. Leaving a WOW factor that hangs around post-game and brings visitors to the area for years to come can have a tremendous economic impact. Not only that, but it showcases NJ/NY as the place to host a major event.

Mr. Kelly asks that residents become “experiential architects”. How’s that for a job title? Create experiences that promote the area and encourage incoming visitors to want to stay for four days or even longer in New Jersey.   Make the entire state seem smaller and promote all there is to do within it’s borders.  There will be a big marketing push aimed at the teams that end up in the playoffs showcasing New Jersey, the teams will be staying in New Jersey and the fans will want to be near their team.

Spread the word, rally community leaders for support, as fellow New Jerseyans we are all hosts. Victoria Isley, Executive VP/COO of Destination Marketing Association International noted trending topics in conversation are #jobcreation, #economy and #revenue. The Super Bowl will bring all of them to New Jersey. The travel and tourism industries create more jobs than the auto industry and none of them are  outsourced.

Travel is all about creating memories. The Host Committee is made up of people from around the region with a main goal is to be so welcoming that it creates fond memories that will be shared for years to come. They are working on an original music score to be included in advertising and game day activities that will include the lyrics:

The Meadowlands

Is Gonna Take It’s Place

And Our Hometown Is Inspired

New Jersey, Met Life Stadium

Raise Your Hands

How Fort Worth Super-sized It’s Super Bowl Experience

The last Super Bowl was held in Dallas, Texas. David DuBois, President & CEO of Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau spoke on how Fort Worth, located 38 miles to the west of Dallas, capitalized and marketed to the event(s) attendees.

DuBois strongly said that media outlets all need to point in the same direction and create a “Super Week” instead of only focusing on Super Bowl Sunday and the game. There are parties and events for the entire week prior to the game.  There are only on average 80,000 seats available to watch the game in the stadium and it only lasts about three hours. Millions watch from home and other locations.

The tourism numbers were staggering. Over 20,000 room nights at an average daily rate increase of $100 when compared to the year before for the Fort Worth area alone. Many corporations want to bring in their sales forces for team building events prior to the Super Bowl. Fans take a few days for vacation. Media events and parties usually begin early in the week and “Media Day” is the Tuesday before the Super Bowl.

At least 4,000 credentialed media people are brought in and have a lot of air time to fill and words to write so they created a “Did You Know?” information piece on the Fort Worth area and it was sent out prior to the event. A website called Fort Worth Playbook was formed to highlight all the excitement surrounding the Super Bowl and the convenience of Fort Worth to the Dallas area. The Playbook was also sent out to 400 corporate sponsors that were not sanctioned by the NFL. Fort Worth is pleased to report their overall numbers are up for the year in part thanks to the Super Bowl and their marketing efforts have maintained the spike after the game.

Transportation: Preparing the Visitors

The airports and NJ Transit have experience in handling major events in the near past.  An active website will be formed so visitors will be able to access information prior to arrival.  Bad weather concerns will be addressed. Over 700 trains per day will run and will be longer at 10 cars. The multilevel trains will be on track and there are “contingencies on contingencies” falling into place. Richard Andreski, Chief of Staff, Rail Operations with NJ Transit said “At 27 months out, it’s time to drop the early from early planning.”

Private carrier services will partner with NJ Transit to handle busing and other transportation needs. Tim Stout, President of Stout’s Transportation and NJ Motorcoach Association noted that pre-packaged tours with motorcoach companies tying in Atlantic City, New York City and skiing in Sussex are just a few of the possibilities.

Jill Renslow, VP of Marketing for Triple Five/American Dream Meadowlands gave a presentation on the layout and packaging opportunities.  The sprawling venue will be open by the Super Bowl. A plan to have a mix of 60% entertainment and 40% retail in the mega complex will make it yet another attraction of great interest  and proximity to Met Life Stadium is a plus for fans.  Their ticketing will be done in-house and they are eager to package with hotels.

Super Bowl 2014 is a tremendous opportunity for the state of New Jersey to shine. The spotlight will be on all of us.  Now is the time start preparing and getting marketing ideas together, activate and implement them well in advance of the big day.

Hotels near the Meadowlands will fill up quickly no doubt but many people want to stay away from all of the action. The Jersey Shore is the perfect place for folks to travel to and from. Easily accessible with public transportation and there are endless things to do even in our off-season. Let’s all work together to create reasons to love and visit the Jersey Shore in February. We at the Sheraton Eatontown hotel are certainly on board and welcome any packaging or partnership opportunities. See our contact page for details.