The calendar may have flipped to spring, but Minneapolis and the greater Bold North are still celebrating a successful, albeit cold, Super Bowl LII. While our hometown Vikings didn’t make the big game, Weber Shandwick Minneapolis had plenty to be excited about in February as our teams and client partners played a key role in showing off the best of Minnesota to the rest of the world.
Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee
For more than a year leading up to the big game, Weber Shandwick partnered with the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee to support its comprehensive communications strategy. The Host Committee held activations and events leading up to the game, including 52 Weeks of Giving and Super Bowl LIVE, to introduce #BoldNorth to the world and help provide a lasting legacy from the game across the state.
- Our team was tasked with managing all media relations on behalf of Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon during the 10-day festival. The team facilitated dozens of interview requests from regional, national and international media leading up to game day, including directing media on where to snag the best Minneapolis/St. Paul live shots, giving celebrities the courage to ride the Bold North Zip Line across the Mississippi River, tracking down host committee executives for interviews with Good Morning America, and rallying partners to give FOX 9 cross country ski lessons on the Birkie Bridge at 5 a.m. – all in the spirit of providing a warm and unforgettable experience in the Bold North.
- The Host Committee Communications Center was housed right in our office, with members of our team fielding calls and emails from media all over the world. We also helped staff the Minnesota Super Bowl’s Joint Information Center, a FEMA-modeled crisis response operation that served as the communications hub for law enforcement and government agencies involved in Super Bowl LII.
- We developed a comprehensive social media strategy for the Host Committee’s Social Media Command Center, which was praised as a key factor in the event’s operational success. Throughout the 10 days leading up to the game, the command center staff curated content, engaged with fans, celebrities and members of the media, aided in the operations execution of law enforcement and more.
Land O’Lakes, Inc. Farm Bowl
With all eyes on Minnesota, Land O’Lakes, Inc. saw an opportunity to inspire a new generation to consider careers in modern agriculture and raise awareness of the company among consumers as an innovative leader in modern agriculture – not just “the butter company.” We knew that any programming close to the Super Bowl would need to be unique and attention-grabbing to cut through the crowded media environment.
Weber Shandwick worked with Land O’Lakes to create the Land O’Lakes Farm Bowl, an event that paired former and current professional football players with Land O’Lakes farmers to compete in farm-inspired challenges to drive awareness and interest of agriculture as innovative, modern and entrepreneurial. For six months leading up to the event Weber Shandwick worked with an integrated team of agency partners to execute a robust program with several touch points to continually drive conversation, including media relations, digital and social content and influencer integration. Throughout the program celebrities and influencers like Stefon Diggs, Jerome Bettis, Kyle Rudolph, Jordin Sparks and more helped extend its reach. The program culminated with the Land O’Lakes Farm Bowl event on Feb. 1, three days before Super Bowl LII. The event drew more than 30 media outlets and thousands streamed the action on Facebook Live. In total the program garnered nearly 200 earned media placements and millions of impressions. Land O’Lakes Farm Bowl-related content set new benchmarks across Land O’Lakes’ social channels, and paid and influencer content drew tens of thousands of additional engagements.
Top the Tater
For years, fans of the cult-favorite sour cream dip Top the Tater have been begging for it to be available outside of Minnesota. Weber Shandwick saw an opportunity to finally make this dream come true around Super Bowl LII – for a limited time, Top the Tater was available via Local Crate to ship to all 50 states.
To drive brand awareness and sales, the team executed an extensive organic and paid social media campaign that drove more than 1.7 million impressions, and received robust engagement from fans – in fact, one fan even made Top the Tater art. Outreach to national and local media outlets led to nearly 16 million impressions, including FoodNetwork.com. Most importantly, the program led to many happy and full Top the Tater fans across the country – the Local Crate packages sold out twice and shipped to 47 states, including Alaska and Hawaii.
From early 2017 through the champion’s parade in Philadelphia, the Weber Shandwick team was tasked with securing a steady drumbeat of media coverage surrounding Verizon’s sponsorship of Super Bowl LII. Leading up to the event, Verizon and Weber Shandwick hosted tours of the carrier’s network command center, gave media a behind-the-scenes look at Verizon’s small cell technology and distributed antenna system (DAS) at U.S. Bank Stadium, executed various player activations with the NFL and more. The team also supported Verizon’s CSR efforts, bringing Victor Cruz and Karl-Anthony Towns to a local middle school and inviting local media and influencers to Innovative Learning Labs at the Mall of America. Finally, Verizon also shared record-breaking network data usage stats from in and around U.S. Bank Stadium on Super Bowl game day with media in its North Central and North East markets.
Multiple touchpoints and sustained engagement with key reporters drove continued conversation about Verizon’s presence at Super Bowl LII, as well as coverage of technology and lifestyle tips from the brand. This work resulted in more than 175 earned media placements and nearly 11 million impressions, including 61 social media posts with a potential reach of 8.2 million.