Our Observations

Roses & Wreaths: Super Bowl Edition

Roses & Wreaths: Super Bowl Edition

A few observations from our attendance at Super Bowl 48, held at the Meadowlands in New Jersey on Sunday, in our first installment of “Roses and Wreaths” – a look at the best and worst of media, events, public affairs and marketing.


1.    Seattle Seahawks and The 12th Man. Though it certainly includes women too, the Seattle Seahawks keep a very close relationship with their fan base. The 12th Man, a program that encourages and embraces their fans passion for the team, was in full gear of the 80,000-plus MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Despite a lot of Bronco fans in attendance, the Seahawk fans were loud and can easily take credit for the errant snap that started the Broncos in a 2-0 hole they never recovered from. While many colleges, notably Texas A&M, wear fan support on their sleeves, very few professional teams enjoy the success of the Seahawks, whose fans have set noise level records at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

2.    MetLife. The financial commitment the insurance company has given to the football stadium that serves the nation’s largest city’s professional football teams is substantial, estimated to be $400 million over 25 years. Fans certainly were exposed positively to the company at the stadium and estimated 110 million viewers, but clinched a spot in our top three as a result of the television commercial where Snoopy and the gang pulled on our patriotic heartstrings with an understated but powerful message.

3.    Pepsi. With a special nod to Bruno Mars and the production company that created the lighting and special effects, Pepsi’s halftime show was incredible on television. But, if you thought the broadcast version was spectacular, the view from inside the stadium was eye candy at its finest. Each fan was given a stocking cap with a handful of colored lights on the front. With each hat programmed, based on where each person sat, the stadium lit up in multi-colored palettes that were visually stunning and a true part of the show. 


1.    New Jersey Transit. Unless Super Bowl ticket holders were able to get one of the limited $150 parking passes, the option to get to the stadium was via public transit – bus or rail. While we experienced little trouble getting to the game (about four hours early), the New Jersey Transit rail system post-game plan seemed to have been written in accordance with the Denver Broncos Super Bowl game plan. That’s to say, there was a plan in place, but it was a terrible one. Taking nearly three hours to get to four stops away from the stadium, the chaos and indifference to fans that was exhibited was an embarrassment and affront to what otherwise seemed like a very sincere effort for the states of New York and New Jersey to deliver a high profile event. A spokesperson for the transit agency  – who undoubtedly did not walk the lines with fans leaving the stadium, or monitor Twitter and Facebook feeds -- had the audacity to call this a “tremendous success” in this article.

2.    Denver Broncos. Despite a Hall of Fame Quarterback on the field and in the front office, accomplished receivers, Pro Bowlers and a seasoned coach, the Broncos never gave its passionate fan base any opportunity to get in the game. Costly turnovers and breakdowns in coverage and communication, the “experienced” team appeared lost and unable to take control of the game. Losing is one thing, but to be completely without a highlight in play for nearly three quarters, the Broncos just appeared to be ill-prepared to play. How the fan base and free agency players react to the humiliating loss is something the team is going to have to address – and soon.

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