Date: Super Bowl LIII will take place on Sunday, February 3rd, 2019, with ancillary events occurring from January 31st through February 4th.
Logistics: More information about Super Bowl LIII can be found on the Super Bowl page of the NFL’s official website.
Your Executive’s Trip
Before making any arrangements, it’s important to understand why your executive is attending this year’s Super Bowl. As you help them prepare, you should have a good sense of:
- What they are trying to accomplish on this trip?
- What prompted them to attend the Super Bowl?
- Are they attending alone, with a team from your company or as someone else’s guest?
- Are there any specific events your executive wants to attend or people they’re planning to meet up with?
- If the company has a specific interest in this year’s Super Bowl (e.g. the company is running a commercial, or your CEO is a guest of the Super Bowl Host Committee)?
- Is this a one-time occurrence, or do they regularly attend the Super Bowl?
- What arrangements have been made already, and what still needs to be figured out?
Understanding what they’re hoping to get out of the event will make it easier for you to coordinate the necessary arrangements.
If your executive is someone’s Super Bowl guest — or if they’ve been set up with seats from a partner or corporate sponsor — the actual ticket purchasing should already be taken care of. Get in touch with whomever they’re attending (or their assistant) with for all the details needed to make your executive’s travel arrangements.
If your executive still needs seats, there are still tickets available for purchase online through NFL (though only base-level tickets are currently available; package deals have sold out). If you decide to purchase through ticket resellers or other third-party ticket retailers, make sure you’re purchasing through a reputable source.
The range of ticket options provided by On Location Experiences, NFL’s official hospitality organization, initially included several different price points and topped out out at their “On The Fifty” package, which cost $17,500 per person and included:
- 50-Yard-Line Seat
- Premium Pregame Party
- SunTrust Club Access
- In-Game Food & Beverage
- Post-Game Field Access
- Dedicated Entrance
- On-Site Concierge Service
- Priority Access to Concerts & Events
- Upgrade Opportunity for Luxury Hotels
If your executive had previously purchased a package, but you aren’t sure what’s included, the NFL On Location Experience Ticket and Package Brochure can help you differentiate between the varying package levels, as well as determine how to take advantage of each perk.
Don’t underestimate that the Super Bowl is a high profile event and that, as such, it presents potential security risks for executive attendees. That doesn’t mean your executive shouldn’t attend. It just means that you both need to be aware of the event’s heightened risk profile and plan ahead. Anticipate what the visit will require; don’t leave things up to chance.
It also means your executive may need to take extra precautions that may not be necessary in other situations. While at the event, consider encouraging your executive to:
- Practice situational awareness. Periodically, they should take a mental snapshot of what sights, sounds and movements are “normal” at the event. Any disruptions to that normal they encounter can be considered potential threats.
- Always be aware of their physical position, relative to the venue’s exit(s). Ideally, your executive should always have multiple exit routes in mind in the event that an incident occurs and one or more exits are blocked.
- Carry necessary items with them. A few of the things worth packing include a smartphone battery backup and printed copies of contact information and/or necessary documents. At major events like the Super Bowl, cell signals can be unreliable and data can be slow.
Regardless of the ticket type your executive has or with whom they may be attending, there are a few details you’ll need to attend to before their trip.
In addition to your executive’s typical packing list, make sure everything they plan to bring into the stadium conforms to Super Bowl rules. The Mercedes-Benz Stadium has strict prohibitions on certain items, including, among others:
- Bags not conforming to The Mercedes-Benz Stadium clear bag policy
- Battery packs
- Cameras with lenses longer than 6”
- Cups or thermoses
- Food (unless purchased on-site)
- Tripods, monopods and selfie-sticks
- Umbrellas larger than 33”
Though executives often want to fly in and out on the day of the Super Bowl, lodging is an important consideration for those who plan to spend the night around the event. Here are some questions to consider before making hotel accommodations for your executive:
- Will they be staying alone, or will they need to be in a room block with other team members or business partners?
- What events are they attending and, therefore, how many nights will they need to stay? Will the location of other meetings or events affect their preferred location within the city?
- What amenities will they need for this trip?
- Do they have any usual hotel preferences (and, if so, are those properties available in Atlanta)?
NFL On Location Experiences provides Hotel Only Packages on their website, including some of the top hotel options in the area. Of course, prices are at a premium during Super Bowl weekend, and many hotels fill up fast. As with purchasing tickets, hotel rooms should be booked well in advance.
Even if you won’t be joining your executive on this trip, you can still play an important role in helping them navigate the Super Bowl and its many ancillary events.
The Super Bowl is a marquee event in and of itself, but it’s not the only show in town. The event is rounded out by a series of parties, festivals and other activities. If your company is sponsoring or otherwise participating in any of these events, your executive’s attendance will likely be mandatory. However, these adjacent activities can also provide powerful networking and business building opportunities.
For example, take the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest. Since Bud Light is sponsoring the event, you can bet that their executive team, brand team and sales team will be there, along with other team members to gather feedback and observations from attendees. Not only can these be great opportunities for your executive to connect with their target audience in an informal setting, they can also help your executive make new connections or gain perspective on a company or industry.
Featured events include:
- Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest
- Maxim Big Game Experience
- Super Bowl 2019 Experience Driven by Hyundai
- 2019 Super Bowl LIII Opening Night Fueled by Gatorade
- Shaq’s Fun House
- Sports Illustrated 2019 Super Bowl Party
- Hall of Fame Players 2019
- 2019 Rolling Stone Super Bowl Party
- Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson Celebrity Super Slam
- Off the Field Players’ Wives Fashion Show
- World’s Largest Tailgate: A Tailgate with a Mission
- Big Game Brunch
Discuss these different options with your executive to see which (if any) they might need to attend. Other parties and events are offered exclusively through different Super Bowl ticket packages; depending on your executive’s access, incorporate those more exclusive opportunities into their schedule as well.
Travel and Transportation
Getting to and from the Super Bowl and any other surrounding events your executive is attending is another important aspect of their trip.
Your company, the sponsors of any events in which your executive is participating or your corporate partners may have already arranged transportation to and from the Super Bowl and surrounding events. If not, however, you’ll need to make the necessary arrangements.
Taxis and rideshare services probably aren’t appropriate choices for this type of event, for the reasons described here. Instead, an executive car service offers greater convenience and safety for your executive — especially if they plan to attend several events or stay for several nights. For best results, partner with a service that’s able to remain on-site during the Super Bowl to prevent delays returning to the stadium through the post-event traffic and that trains its drivers to manage the security risks associated with major events.
Nothing about the Super Bowl is handled last-minute; the NFL plans everything far in advance, and you should too. The host cities for the next five Super Bowls are already set and available to the public. Use this information to start looking ahead and making arrangements for any years your executive plans to attend.
Future Super Bowl locations:
- 2020: Miami, FL – Hard Rock Stadium
- 2021: Tampa, FL – Raymond James Stadium
- 2022: Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles Stadium
- 2023: Glendale, AZ – University of Phoenix Stadium
- 2024: New Orleans, LA – Mercedes-Benz Superdome
There isn’t much time until this year’s Super Bowl, so get to making those arrangements for your executive right away. Then, go ahead and start looking into plans for next year’s Super Bowl—it’s never too early!
Will your executive be attending this year’s Super Bowl? If so, let us know what other arrangements you’ve made for them by leaving a comment below.
Mr. Sullivan is a Director of Operations, whose hands-on involvement in Savoya’s client care processes gives him direct insight into business travel best practices.