This Sunday is the biggest event in professional sports. As much as the WWE, UFC, NHL, MLB NBA and X-Games try, they fall so short of the marketing power and brand equity of the NFL and the Super Bowl.
Even with an off-season filled with labor and contract disputes between the players and owners, and a sea of negative press, the fan appeal and loyalty has not wavered or shown any level of decline. If anything, it has expanded. And this Sunday, Indianapolis finds itself at the center of the big show.
Nap Town is wide awake and showing all the past Super Bowl cities how it is done. The Super Bowl Village along Georgia Street feels like an Olympic Village, except filled with fans and bands instead of amateur athletes from around the world. The Fire & Ice stations are tremendous and really heighten the visitor experience. The sheer number of activities and events during the week leading up to the game has been unbelievable. Kudos to the organizers.
For 26 years, I’ve called Indy home and I’ve never been more proud of the city than I am this week. Our city’s brand is at an all-time high. Now let’s see how city officials and their agency of record leverage this global spotlight and major lift in publicity by expanding our presence and positive brand perception through digital marketing strategies, grassroots marketing and social media market campaigns as well as across traditional broadcast media and public relations channels.
Once the game is over and the NFL packs up the show, it will be a new day for Indianapolis. I want to see how we address the Sundays that follow. How will we approach this marketing opportunity? Will we rest on this overwhelming success and fall back on old approaches or push forward with more strategic brand management?
Time will tell, but I’m betting on the city and the Giants.