Big Data Behind the Big Game, How to Plan a Super Bowl | Talks at Google

[MUSIC PLAYING] SPEAKER: All right. So let’s start with getting
involved in a Super Bowl. So Allison, Pat, Stephanie,
how did you first become involved with the Super
Bowl bid process for your city? And then, what was most
exciting/daunting of taking on that task? ALLISON MELANGTON: I had
spent my career in sports. I worked at the Indiana
Sports Corporation, which was the first Sports
Commission in the country, as Indianapolis was trying
to build a sports strategy and bring more sporting events. So for 20 years, I had
worked in Indianapolis, trying to bring major
sporting events. We had completed
about 400 events. We had four men’s Final Fours. We had the single
largest sporting event in the world every
year, the Indy 500. So as we built our business
center, our community brand around sports, of
course, the Super Bowl was always at the end there. And we knew at
the right time, we were going to bid for a
Super Bowl and hopefully win. So we bid in 2006 for
the ’11 Super Bowl. We did not get it. And then in 2008, we bid
for the ’12 Super Bowl. And we got it. So for our city
and our community, it was a little bit of a
natural progression towards– from having the Pan American
Games, World Championships, the Olympic Trials. men’s and women’s Final
Fours, and so forth. So it was part of our strategy. And we were– we had a
great time doing the bid and thankful that we got one. SPEAKER: OK. And how about in San Francisco? PAT GALLAGHER: So I
spent over 30 years, with as the marketing business
guy for the San Francisco Giants. And the new chairman
of the host committee– the only Super Bowl that had
ever been held in the Bay Area was 1985. And so with the 49ers building
this new stadium coming out of the ground, they had a
host committee chairman, and asked if I would help
them put the bid together. And to be honest, I
wasn’t really sure what I was getting into. But it was an
incredible experience. The first part of it was to– our sales pitch to
the NFL was to try to convince the NFL that they
ought to actually consider the Bay Area after all
these years of sort of not considering us,
a lot of reasons why, and they didn’t really
have a good place to play. But my role was
really to figure out how to raise the money
to make it happen, and actually fill in
the blanks to the RFP that Frank sent us, which
was 150 pages long, which covered everything. ALLISON MELANGTON:
And a little bit more. PAT GALLAGHER: And we put
our cast of characters together in a plan. And fortunately, we were
awarded the 50th Super Bowl. We would have been
happy, at that time– I can say this– with either
of the 50th or the 51st. But we were awarded the 50th. And then, on the
way home, we kind of said, oh, my god, now we
actually have to do this. So– STEPHANIE MARTIN: Yeah. SPEAKER: So Frank, what is the
NFL side of the experience? What are you looking for when
it comes to picking a host city? And what’s in that 150-page RFP? FRANK SUPOVITZ: Well,
it really depends on who is looking at the bid. So at the end of
the day, my job was to help facilitate the
collection of bids that would be almost impossible
to differentiate, you know, just three
great bids a year. And my job was to help the
host cities, whether it be Indianapolis or the
Bay Area or anybody else, to come up with
the very best plan. At the end of the
day, it’s actually the 32 owners of the National
Football League, the 32 team owners, who vote on that. So how they make the
determinations or– well, I can’t put myself in
the head of a billionaire team owner. But what I do know is that there
is a financial aspect to it. There is a stadium and
experiential aspect to it in terms of what the
guests and the fans are going to encounter
and experience. And there is a novelty factor. What’s unique? What’s different? There’s a legacy factor. And these are two
cities that when it came to legacies,
second to none. You know, what does a Super Bowl
do after the NFL leaves town? What does it do for that city? How is it going to fulfill the
mission of a sports commission, or the city fathers,
or a host committee? And what good is it
going to leave behind? And, frankly, in the case
of these two cities, which were both remarkable, it
was the legacy program that I think turned
the most heads because of the uniqueness of it, and the
impact of it in the marketplace after we had folded our
tents and went home. SPEAKER: So
Stephanie, how do you believe that you got San
Francisco to stand out? So what did you do
in your bid process to make yours jump off the page? STEPHANIE MARTIN: I think,
as Frank was saying, it really was the
legacy component. So we saw this as an opportunity
to not only have a Super Bowl come that we
hadn’t had in 30 years, but really to figure out,
what’s the impact that we could have on our community. And we saw this as such
a catalyst for good. And so from the
beginning, our goal was to be the most
giving Super Bowl. We had the opportunity to
host the biggest celebration the NFL had ever had, you
know, the 50th Super Bowl, this milestone moment. So to be able to use that
to benefit our community and everyone in it was
a goal that we sought. And so we set aside
25% of all the money that we raised on
a corporate basis, and we self-funded
our Super Bowl. So that was a significant
amount of money. And at the end of the
day, we gave $13 million back into the community. And so setting out that
model in the beginning of, not only we have
these wonderful offerings, and wonderful food, and
amazing hotbed of technology, but the legacy component of
what could be left after a Super Bowl, and the springboard
that it could create, was, we felt, a great
differentiator for us. SPEAKER: And Allison,
you don’t have to sell me on how great Indianapolis is. But how did you
convince 32 owners to let Indianapolis
host the city? ALLISON MELANGTON: Yeah,
it was a great experience doing the bid, and working
with Frank was fabulous. One of the things
that we focused on is, what are your
weaknesses as a city? Indianapolis, it doesn’t
jump off the pages as necessarily a
Super Bowl city. So we took all the things
the NFL owners could question and say in their
minds– you know, is Indianapolis ready
for a Super Bowl– and then try to take those
things to be strengths. Frank talked about the financial
component of the Super Bowl. So we pre-raised our money. We were the first city to ever
do the bid where we walked in with all of our money. We raised $26 million
prior to the Super Bowl, walked in with the pledge
letters at the bid, and said, we’ve got the money right here. So don’t wonder or
worry that we won’t be able to raise our funds. So that was the first thing. The second thing on the
experiential side of it that Frank was referring to,
most of the Super Bowl cities, other than Atlanta and
New Orleans, really had a spread out footprint. So if you look at Miami,
if you look at Phoenix, Houston, very, very
spread out footprint. We were very condensed. We have a very compact downtown. Most of our hotel
rooms are downtown. Everything’s connected,
which, frankly, I think made some of the
owners a little nervous because it was so condensed. So we went to a plan, very
similarly used by the Salt Lake Olympics when they did the
Olympics in the ’90s, and said, you know, we’re going to
take the downtown core and make it like the
Olympics Medals Plaza, and turn it into
Super Bowl Village. And we did a lot of
things in that area. But we took our
downtown compactness and took the worries off
the plate on the things that they could
be worried about. And the third thing we did, as
Stephanie was talking about, we really focused on legacy. And we had a lot of
different projects in legacy, but we really focused
mostly on the Near East Side of Indianapolis,
which was a really challenging neighborhood. And we took it by
storm in a plan to be able to change housing, to
build a youth education center, to really revitalize
the neighborhood. And as a part of that, for
the bid, we decided to– and this is actually
a funny conversation I had with Frank that day. We decided to present our bid– it’s always a challenge with
the Super Bowl host committees, bid committees at the time. How are you going to actually
present your bid to the owners to get their attention
and make sure they’re going to open it and read it? And we were in a
planning session with the current
athletic director of Notre Dame, Jack Swarbrick,
who was one of our bid chairs. And he came up with
a crazy idea to say, well, why don’t we have
eighth graders, who are going to be seniors in 2012
when we have the Super Bowl, let’s fly eighth graders
all around the country and have them actually
meet with the owners and present our
bid in 15 minutes. And I had an eighth
grader at the time. And I thought, there is
no way that’s a good idea. [LAUGHTER] But as we talked through it
for the next couple of hours, you know, it became more
and more apparent to us that really, what
our message was was this was going to be
great for the community, as Pat and Stephanie shared,
And that impact of youth and what we could do for
the youth of Indianapolis at the Super Bowl was a
critical part of our bid. So I called Frank,
and I said, this is how we’re going
to deliver our bids. And I’ll never forget
what you said to me. You said, are you
sure that you want to take all the work you’ve been
doing for two years in a bid and leave it in the hands
of an eighth grader? And I said, yeah,
we’re going to do it. So we did that. And it was actually one of the
most fun days of my career, sending off all those eighth
graders across the country to meet with Jerry Jones and
all the other owners to do that. So I think we grabbed
their attention on that. SPEAKER: And Frank, how
did the owners take that? FRANK SUPOVITZ: Some of them
actually got in touch with me afterwards and were
incredibly impressed. It really put a human
face on Indianapolis’ bid because at that point, the
only face that they knew was Jim Irsay’s, you know,
the Indianapolis Colts owner. This really gave it
a very human look. And the message
behind it, which I think was really the thing
that put it over the top was, you know, we’re not
going to build a house. We’re not going to
build five houses. We’re going to restore
a neighborhood. And we’re going to help
develop a commercial district for a neighborhood where
people who can barely afford a bus ride,
have to take a bus ride to get their groceries– and it just humanized
the whole thing. It was Indianapolis’
second kick at the can, as Allison mentioned. And they really wanted to bring
not only the legacy piece in, but also the welcome that
the owners would receive and that their fans would
receive if their team was lucky enough to play in the
Super Bowl because that compact Super Bowl Village
that she mentioned– the one thing she
didn’t mention was that the stadium is actually
in that 16 blocks of downtown. So the experience is,
you get to your hotel, you roll out of
your hotel, and you can walk through
this amazing, call it amusement park of football
and into the stadium and then back to your hotel. You never have to drive,
get stuck in traffic. It was really a
very, very well-done, well-thought-out plan. SPEAKER: And Pat and
Stephanie, you kind of had the reverse with
covering so much region. How did you take into account,
the geography of the Bay Area being so widespread? PAT GALLAGHER: Well, any of you
who know anything about the Bay Area know that the Bay itself,
it’s a physical barrier, but it’s sort of a
psychological barrier in a way. You have San Francisco here. You have 45 miles to the
South, you have San Jose. You have Oakland across the Bay. And I used to get up when
I’d make the speeches, and I’d try– I used to say, you know,
the Super Bowl, Super Bowl 50 is the first thing that the
Bay Area has ever agreed on. And then I’d shut up. And then people would start to
laugh, because the Bay Area’s never agreed on anything. So we had to figure out
a way to somehow bring all this stuff together. So the legacy piece
was a big part of it. But you know, if you had to boil
down our sales pitch to the NFL and to the locals,
it really was, if you’re going to celebrate
50 years of Super Bowls with all the history
and tradition, but more importantly,
you’re going to look forward to the next 50, there’s
only one place in the world that you can do this, which is
in the San Francisco Bay Area. And part of it– Allison talking
about eighth graders. We said, well, how can we
talk about the junction of technology,
innovation, all this, and not present our bid
in an interesting way? So Apple was one of our– I’ll tell you. Google was the first company
who got involved with this. Apple was the company who
said, we’ll give you devices. So we were going to put the
bid on a iPad Mini, which is something to do. But then you realize that
a lot of the NFL owners– I hate to say it, but
they’re kind of like me. I mean, some of these guys
maybe could send an email at that time. I don’t know. But we weren’t
sure that it would be– as a matter of
fact, one of the owners– and I won’t say who it was. So we put the presentation
in a big white box with the iPad Mini
in it that would, if you took the lid off the box,
the presentation would start. And so one of the owners got it. And his assistant
just couldn’t resist. So she opened the box, and
the presentation started. And she didn’t know
how to stop it. So she called us. And we couldn’t
figure it out either. So we wound up sending
another one to do it. But I think that the point was–
you have 15 minutes when you present your bid to the owners. It was a pretty intimidating. You’re in a room with– I don’t know– 200 or 300 people
in these high-backed leather chairs, who they have
screens up there. And it’s a frightening– I said, maybe it
feels like this when they’re about to elect a pope. I don’t really know. But it was a very intimidating
feeling being in there. And also when you walk out. There’s no– it’s not like you
get any applause or anything. It’s silence. And you walk out, and you go,
god, did we blow it or what? The great thing is is
that the way it’s set up is the NFL Network was set up
to help record the bid process, not only from where the team
rooms or the city rooms were, but they would check and
see what the reaction was. And so we’d go back
to our green room. And we’re kind of sitting there. And then all of a sudden,
which comes on the screen, the bidding was done. And so the commissioner gets
up and reads this thing. I’m proud to award the 50th
Super Bowl to San Francisco. Well, we jump up like crazy. Fortunately, they said they
had a two or three second delay on it, maybe longer. So if somebody had said
a bad word or something, it wouldn’t go out
on the NFL Network. And so it was a very
exciting piece of it. They also caught the losing
green room at the same time. But it was all part of
the incredible experience of going through that. Like I say, getting
people in the Bay Area, our big challenge was having
the glue that would hold us together in the Bay Area. The legacy piece of it for us,
taking 25% of all the money that we had to raise,
because we didn’t qualify. There was no public
funding at all. So we had to do
everything from scratch. So we had to raise
25% more money than we would have otherwise. But as it turned
out, the legacy was the glue that held together. And it got people
around the Bay Area who said, you know, OK, I
feel like this about football, about the NFL. But I get doing something
that’s good for people. And that was really maybe
one of the proudest things of our experience. FRANK SUPOVITZ: Mike,
can I ask Allison– I know this is unorthodox– you
ask questions, I answer them. SPEAKER: Go for it. FRANK SUPOVITZ: But
talk about the scarves. ALLISON MELANGTON:
Oh, the scarves. FRANK SUPOVITZ:
Because, you know what? That was a legacy
piece that is not often remembered, but was
incredibly impactful, even on feature television. But talk a little
bit about that. ALLISON MELANGTON: Yeah,
I had one of those– I don’t know if any of
you’ve had a day like this. But I had one of those
days about two-and-a-half, three years before the Super
Bowl that you can’t keep up with everything. I probably had 2,000 or
3,000 emails that day, tons and tons of phone calls. My voicemail kept shutting down. And what it was was people
in the community reaching out saying, how can I help. We know it’s two, three years
ahead of the Super Bowl. But we want to help. We want to do something. Many of those
folks were retired. Many of them had
time on their hands. And I just didn’t have
enough projects to pass out. Back to what Pat’s saying,
getting the community really involved in
everything you’re doing is so important
so that they don’t look at it just as a heads and
beds economic impact event. So after a long day
at work, I went home and sat down with a friend
and said, oh, my gosh, I had the most frustrating day. And we talked about, how do
you engage these people that want to be engaged this early? So we came up with
this crazy idea to ask people to knit
scarves for our volunteers because it was February. It was going to be
cold in Indiana. So I came up with this plan. We’re going to have
people knit scarves, any style, themselves, knit
or crochet, blue and white. And then we were going to put
patches on them, Super Bowl, and they’d be given
to the volunteers. So volunteers would have them. So it’s service. We all want to do
things for service. And if people knitted, then
the volunteers would get them. Well, we had some
naysayers at the beginning. Our chairman
actually said to me– I came to him with the idea. And he said, I don’t think
Super Bowl and knitting go in the same sentence. So I don’t think
we should do that. But I got him over the hump. And by the way, he wore
his scarf for two years. But we ended up
getting 13,000 scarves from around the world, people
that had connections to Indiana from all parts of the
globe, that sent them in. If you were in Africa working
for Eli Lilly and Company, which is headquartered
in Indiana, that was their connection
to the Super Bowl. And we had our
women’s prison sew the patches on to the scarves. So it was a huge
community effort and something that really
pulled people together and unified everybody. SPEAKER: So let’s talk about the
social impact of a Super Bowl that brings– so you have four years that
you’re planning for it, but then it comes to town. So talk about some of the
other community involvement engagements that happened. And then, Frank, if
you want to chime in with other things outside of
Indianapolis and San Francisco that you saw that was
really interesting. ALLISON MELANGTON: Yeah. Go ahead. STEPHANIE MARTIN:
Well, one of the things that we did was a program
called Playmakers. And I think this was
the favorite program in our organization. For 50 weeks, we identified
a small nonprofit that would receive a grant. And so we did big grants
of a half million dollars. But this program
was really focused on finding the people
in the community that were making an impact locally. So it was a $10,000
grant for an organization where $10,000 would
really make a real impact. But the piece about
it that we loved is we also had them
identify either that volunteer or a staff
member or board member who was their playmaker, the
person who made a difference, and to highlight that
an individual can really make an impact and be a role
model for everyone else. And so we went in then,
and sent a camera crew in. They filmed a whole story. And we worked with a really
wonderful social enterprise called BAYCAT, which is
in the San Francisco area. And they had young kids
that were coming in from the inner city
of San Francisco, learning digital skills. So we had this kind of
great, end-to end opportunity of legacy. And these stories, we would
watch in our office every week. And we’d be crying at these
stories because they would be just these amazing
people that were doing, like, truly amazing things. And then we were able to
take that piece of film that was created and give it to the
nonprofits, who none of them had ever had a
marketing piece before. So now, they had their
story captured on film. So those are the things that,
for us, made so much impact, is just to hear all these
individual stories in the community and be
able to share those stories. So the dollars were great. It was great to be able to
give out wonderful grants, but to be able to highlight
some of the work that was being done. And then we partnered with the
NFL to create our Giant 50. So there’s always the
giant numbers that you see, where you can have
your photo taken in front of the Roman numerals. We had 50. So we had the 5-0 in
our Super Bowl city. And you’ll have to
have Pat tell you the story about Roman numerals,
because that’s another story. PAT GALLAGHER: I
might as well tell it. So the Super Bowl 50
was the first Super Bowl that had an actual number,
rather than a Roman numeral. And so when we got it, we were
really excited about having Super Bowl 50. But then somebody
pointed out, do you know what the Roman
numeral is for 50. It’s L, which,
you kind of said , it’s kind of the wimpiest of
the Roman numerals in a sense. So we said, we wonder if there’s
anything we can do about that. Also, digitally, if you’re
having a digital address, it winds up being Super
Bowl with two Ls, which is another issue. So we actually went
and talked to the NFL. It was really great. They listened. And they didn’t– we said, is
there any way that we could use 50 instead of L? And they listened. And they were very– obviously,
it was a big decision that they had to go through. And we learned later that
they sort of the same issues. So we wound up– we came to an agreement. The NFL announced their
Super Bowl 50 mark. We announced our
Super Bowl 50 mark. And it really got
a lot of fanfare. Except, the one
thing that happened. We got this letter that
actually, the commissioner got and we got. And it was from the CEO
of an organization called the Roman Numeral Society
of America, upset. The NFL and the Super Bowl
was like the last bastion of promoting– and so we kind of looked at it. We took it seriously. As it turned out, it
was sort of a ruse by some pretty funny person. But anyway, it was
a total keeper. And it’s just you can’t do
anything without being noticed. And– STEPHANIE MARTIN:
You’re on a big stage. PAT GALLAGHER: You’re
on the big stage, yeah. STEPHANIE MARTIN:
And that giant 50 enabled us to have not only this
great photo moment for people, but we then made it a
walkthrough for the first time. And so inside, you would
walk through Super Bowl City, and you’d get to see all these
stories about these individuals and the impact that they had. So all of our playmakers got
this opportunity to be seen. So a million people
going through got to see, to us, what makes the
Bay Area so special is just all these people coming
together to help the community. ALLISON MELANGTON: We
had a couple of programs that we felt really were great
legacy, back to your question. Two things, we did
build an $11 million youth education and health
and wellness center, which is still thriving
today, six years later. Very successful. Many kids and families use that
facility in the neighborhood. So that’s been a
long-term impact. And then secondly, we chose
to do a breast cancer project. Indianapolis is the only
place in the world that has a tissue bank where women
can donate healthy breast tissue for breast
cancer research. And Frank had
encouraged us early on to take any Indianapolis,
Indiana asset that was unique and try to leverage that for
the Super Bowl in some way, to strengthen those
organizations and lift them up. So we did that with the
breast tissue center. And we had over 1,000 women,
weekend before Super Bowl, came and donated
healthy breast tissue for breast cancer research. And the results
from that donation are really making
huge advancements in curing and identifying
breast cancer. So that’s a project
that will continue to give as we go forward. And it was really an
amazing sight that weekend, when we had 1,000 women lined
up, who have healthy breasts, but volunteered to donate
tissue for research. SPEAKER: And Frank, on top of
these two wonderful cities that did amazing work, was there
any in the other eight Super Bowls, a community
impact project that stood out? FRANK SUPOVITZ:
There have been many. I’ll mention one. And it’s great that
we’re talking about this because when you’ve got
nine hours of television on Super Bowl Sunday, it’s
remarkable that you never hear any of this, which
is a shame because it’s really inspirational. And clearly, we had
inspirational stories here. In North Texas in 2011,
there was a program called Slant 45, which
stood for Service Learning Adventures in North Texas. And that host committee
provided grants to neighborhoods
and kids, basically. So it was all done
through the schools. And what the kids had to do,
or the classes had to do, was submit a proposal,
like a grant proposal– so it taught them how to
write a grant proposal– and say, what do you
want to accomplish? What good thing can you
do in your community? And how much is
it going to cost? And there were literally
hundreds of these programs, hundreds, right down to– the one I remember because it’s
so inconsequential globally, was a group that was
going to remove graffiti from its school. They needed $500. And so the kids got
together and used the $500 to buy the materials that
they needed on the budget that they had provided, and
they cleaned up their school. Well, multiply that
times hundreds of schools and libraries all across this
1,600-square-mile footprint of Dallas, Fort Worth,
Arlington, Irving area, and a program like that,
just from the grassroots. And as an educational program,
as a quality-of-life program, as a legacy program, it
was just outstanding. SPEAKER: So let’s pivot
to this year’s Super Bowl. It’s coming up here
in Minneapolis. Give us an inside look into what
their host committee and host team is going through right now. ALLISON MELANGTON: They’re
not sleeping, for sure. They’re definitely not sleeping. FRANK SUPOVITZ: They’re
say probably still getting over whatever their
emotions were about their home team getting into the
Super Bowl, which, if you think about
it, would have added a whole different
dimension to this. So yeah, they’re not
sleeping right now for sure. STEPHANIE MARTIN: And
a couple of people that worked on our host
committee are there. And so we have talked to them,
or have tried to talk to them. So one said, thank
you for sending a text that just said, we
wish you luck, and feel good, and not a long one because
I can’t read anything more, because I’m getting
3,000 emails a day. ALLISON MELANGTON: Yeah. And now, they finally
know who their teams are, which makes a big difference. Prior to that, you’re
just sort of waiting and waiting and waiting. Now that they know their teams,
they can deploy their plans. But that last three
months– these guys and Frank knows
better than anybody. That last three months, it’s 22
hours a day, seven days a week. You lay down and
sleep when you can. There’s just so much to do
once you get to this point. SPEAKER: Allison, can
you talk to the weather? Because Indianapolis had
great weather Super Bowl week. ALLISON MELANGTON: Yes, it did. SPEAKER: But I’m sure you had
a plan for an Indianapolis winter. What’s Minneapolis going
through right now with that? ALLISON MELANGTON:
Yeah, the weather issue, that was another
thing that we had to make sure we were
completely buttoned up on. The year before,
unfortunately for Dallas, they did have a massive
snow-and-ice storm in 2011. So we were down there with
them, learned some good lessons. And the key with all that is
making sure all the agencies are working together. We had a bulletproof weather
plan if we had bad weather. I felt 100% confident in putting
my head on the pillow at night not worrying about
weather because we worked with 27 different agencies
and groups for over two years on our weather plan. So we didn’t actually enact
it, but we did share our plan with the NFL after. And I know they’ve shared
it with other cities. So what they are doing right
now is praying that they have– they can have cold
weather and snow. Ice is a little bit of
a challenge when you’re trying to move people around,
which unfortunately for Dallas, is what they encountered. FRANK SUPOVITZ: And
it’s a good thing you did share that because just
a couple of years after that, we were here in the New York-New
Jersey metropolitan area. That was Super Bowl XLVIII,
which was my last for the NFL. Not related to the weather. But we had the polar
vortexes coming through here, vortices coming through here. Temperatures were in
the single digits. When we opened the fan
festival on Broadway– it was called Super
Bowl Boulevard. It was a big, open
floor plan for that, from 34th to 48th Street– it was 16 degrees. It was cold. We still got a
million-and-a-half people on the street, which is kind of
the power of both the New York metropolitan area and
the Super Bowl combined. But we had to enact
a snow plan, I think it was four or five
times between January 2 and March 2, which was during
the construction and load-in period and then after. What was really
interesting was we had taken all of these measures– It was also the first outdoor
Super Bowl in a winter market. So Lucas Oil Stadium is covered. It’s an indoor stadium. This was the first
outdoor stadium so we had to actually
add to that plan. Does anybody know how you
takes snow out of a stadium? OK. You take it out by hand
shoveling one row at a time and dumping it in the
aisle in a chute that sends the snow down to the
field, which is exactly where you don’t want it. Right? So we were doing that. We did that four or five times. And so if it had snowed on
Saturday before Super Bowl– it’s hard for
people to understand how you can not be ready. But with all the
stuff that we had built onto the floor
of the stadium, including the halftime
stages that were hidden there and a bunch of other
things, it would have been near impossible. So we had to have
contingency plans to play the game on Monday night,
on Tuesday, the following Sunday, if you had a three-foot
blizzard, if the market was behobbled. Interestingly, we
actually also had media sitting outside,
which they’d never done. Media love sitting
outside in the cold. They love that. They don’t love that. Actually, nobody sits outside,
even at MetLife Stadium, for a normal game if
they’re covering it. So we had a bunch
of people out there. So we built– and
it cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. We put radiant heat over
them, under an overhang. We had some heat in the
floorboards and things of that nature. And so of course, after
record cold in this area– if you guys were here,
you’d know that– on game day, it was 50 degrees. ALLISON MELANGTON:
It was beautiful. FRANK SUPOVITZ: And all
the stuff was cooking. And it was the first
time we actually had a social media command
center in our control room. And I got a tap on the shoulder. They said, the media are
complaining that they feel like French fries at McDonald’s. [LAUGHTER] So can you shut off
the heat please? And so we actually
responded to that. And we said, ah, social
media can actually be a really good
tool for us to be responsive on an
operational level. We had never looked
at it that way before. But of course, 50 degrees. And the next day,
we had a snow storm. By 2:00 in the
morning, it is snowing. So my job at that point– thinking you can breathe
a sigh of relief? No. The Denver Broncos are
stuck on the ground. Their planes are
stuck on the ground. And we’re working with
the Port Authority to try to get them out. SPEAKER: So let’s
talk a little bit about what you’re up to today. So I’d love to hear how your
experience with the Super Bowl has impacted your
current position. ALLISON MELANGTON: Right
now, I am overseeing all of the master and event
planning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And after I transitioned
through Super Bowl– there’s not a lot of events that
are bigger than the Super Bowl, but the Indianapolis
500 is one of them because we have about five
times the amount of people as a regular NFL game. We get over 350,000 people
on our property on race day. And so I learned a lot of
lessons at the Super Bowl, and the million
pieces of puzzle that go into putting a big
event like that together. And so now, overseeing all
the planning and execution at the Indy 500,
which has been great. We’ve got three major
concerts that weekend. So it’s not just
the race itself. Like the Super
Bowl, there’s tons of things that go on around it
that aren’t necessarily covered on national television. But we’ve got three great
concerts, an EDM concert, a country concert,
and a rock concert. We have a whole
month of activities. We actually have a race on
our road course mid-month, and tons of days that we’re
open, practice, and so forth. So the Super Bowl really
is a month-long event, when you get down to
it, and the Indy 500 is a month-long event
when you get down to it. So that’s what I’m doing now,
and I’m really enjoying it. FRANK SUPOVITZ: So
this is an example of why you try to
work with people and make them your friends. Because I work with
Allison on the Indy 500. ALLISON MELANGTON: Yes, I
grabbed Frank and brought him in. FRANK SUPOVITZ: Yeah, I
work on the pre-race show. So I run my own event management
production company now. And the Indy 500 is one
of our incredible clients. We’re working on the
redevelopment of the South Street Seaport. Pier 17 will be
opening this spring. We hope you’re all
going to come down there and check it out because it
really is transforming lower Manhattan. The Super Bowl was a stop
along the way for me. I’m a career, habitual
events addict. I’ve tried to go to
events anonymous. It doesn’t work. And I just have to go
in, say, I’m sorry. I just love working
on these big things because they’re giant
puzzles, and every one of them is different. I started with Radio City
Music Hall in the events group. My first Super Bowl was
actually working on the halftime show in 1988, Super Bowl XXII. Then I was in charge of events
for the NHL for 13 years, then the NFL for 10. So now, with this
trove of experience, I’ve been able to work
with groups, really, all over the world on just
making their events better, helping them do a better job of
putting those events together. And having a credential
like the Super Bowl was one that you wave
proudly because to be honest, inclusive of the person who
replaced me, in 52 years, there has only been four
people who’ve run Super Bowls. And some of us are older now. So I was the third. And it was a great honor, and I
wouldn’t trade it for anything. PAT GALLAGHER: So we can
chime in on this thing. But this sort of
happened in that I guess we were still
sort of convalescing from the experience in the
weeks and months afterwards. And Stephanie, who led
marketing and communications for our Super Bowl, said,
you have to write about this. I’m kind of going, eh,
I’m not really sure. She said, well, what
if we do this together. So I said, I don’t really know. So I started writing
some stuff down, and then I started writing
a bunch of stuff down. And Stephanie sort of took what
I wrote and sort of cleaned it up. In the process we
found a publisher. And we never really
intended, but we ended up writing a book about it,
which was a great segue, Mike, thank you. We wrote a book
about the experience. And it was meant to be a
book with some of the lessons that we learned. It’s not a sort of
kiss-and-tell book. Some people say, I wish you’d
said more of that stuff. And we didn’t. We just talked about the
incredible experience and tried to give a feel for– planning a Super Bowl
and the organizations you need is sort of
like a startup company. And we put this thing together. So as part of publishing
a book, the publisher also wants you to
do an audio version. So Stephanie talked
me into actually narrating the entire book. STEPHANIE MARTIN:
Narrating it himself because he has a
beautiful voice. PAT GALLAGHER: Well– and so
I sat there for like a month and had to perform the book. And then I gave it to
Stephanie, who edited it. STEPHANIE MARTIN: That
was mistake number one. PAT GALLAGHER: Big mistake. So at the end, I
said, aren’t you getting tired of
hearing me talk? And she’s great. She’s very diplomatic. She says, well, I’m not, but
I think my husband Mike is. So we pushed the book. We’ve been actually
talking about it. We’re proud of it. A lot of universities have used
it in their sports management programs. And it actually applies to other
things other than the event. And why don’t you– I will, but why don’t
you just tell the group what you’re doing now? STEPHANIE MARTIN: And so
after writing the book with Pat, which was such
a great experience to work with a colleague on it, but also
just to memorialize what we did because as we were
saying before, when you work in events,
you’re on to the next thing. You never think about
what you actually did. So it’s like, OK, what’s next? What’s next? And to memorialize what
happened and to put it in a book, all the people
that we worked with said, oh, my goodness. It’s actually on paper. I can remember and go
back to what happened and all those funny moments
that we had together. But now I’ve founded
a consultancy that works with athletes. I’ve worked in sports
marketing for 20 years. And working with
athletes, you realize that not all athletes have
access to the same resources. Every athlete has an
amazing story to tell, and they all have a platform
from which they can tell it. And so we help them to determine
what their narrative is, to really figure out what they
want to stand for, and then help them to amplify that and
use their platforms for good. And it’s been an
amazing experience working with athletes
across all spectrums, from NFL to Olympic
and beyond, and really helping them to determine
what they want to do and what they want to
stand for beyond sports. PAT GALLAGHER: So I’ll just
say, I took a total left turn. And interestingly,
I’m doing some work with the Walt Disney
family, who actually– this was Walt Disney’s daughter
and her husband who ran Disney for a while, who
happen to live in the Bay Area. They’ve developed this
incredible museum. But what I’m helping
them figure out is to take sort of, if Walt
Disney was still alive, what would he be doing now? He probably wouldn’t
be sitting around. And so the idea is to take the
art and science of animation– and it’s an
incredible way to help kids learn because it combines
art, science, drawing, music, math, all of those. So actually helping
them figure out a way to develop educational
programs that will help do that, which is a real
satisfying thing for me to do. SPEAKER: I do want to open
it up to audience questions. So if people want
to start lining up, we do have mics on both sides. Go ahead. AUDIENCE: Thanks for coming. My question is about the
halftime entertainment, and how that’s scheduled,
and how much say, if any, the city has
in scheduling that or who the performer
actually is. FRANK SUPOVITZ: Oh that’s–
what an easy question. They have none. STEPHANIE MARTIN: Zero. ALLISON MELANGTON: Call him. Call him. FRANK SUPOVITZ: No, actually,
it wasn’t me at all. I had no say in it either. It was actually a
broadcasting decision. So it was a conversation
with the NFL Network, who actually subcontracts the Super
Bowl halftime to a company to do. My job was more to make sure it
got on and got off in a hurry. So imagine, if you
would, that you have eight minutes to
set up a pop rock show, and 12 minutes to do the show,
and seven minutes to get rid of it, and make sure you
don’t leave anything behind that a player can trip
on or get hurt by. So that is what my life is
like during that very frenetic 28 minutes. But in terms of
selecting the talent, it’s a broadcast
decision typically. PAT GALLAGHER: I told people– I didn’t go through
that whole explanation. I told people that– they asked me who
was going to perform. Everybody would ask that. And I’d say, you know what? If I told you, then
I’d have to kill you. So I had no idea who
it was going to be, but I didn’t want
to explain that I had nothing to do with it. AUDIENCE: Great. Thanks for coming. I was wondering if you
could talk a little bit more about how big data and analytics
helped you either put together the bid for your city or helped
with the planning for the Super Bowl. STEPHANIE MARTIN: Well, from a
planning perspective, sitting where we were in the Bay
Area, we had a lot of pressure on our shoulders
to really showcase the technology of the region. It was really important to us. And we had a tremendous
number of amazing partners, in addition to
Google, SAP and HPE and this swath of people
that were coming together to be able to help us. So from a data
perspective, we used it in a number of different ways Super Bowl City
was the location. It’s a free public fan village
that every host committee puts on. Ours was called Super Bowl City. And we had a million
people coming through. So we had to know at all times
how people were coming through, how they were using Super
Bowl City, how they were in the layout, because we had to
make sure that they were safe, that they could get around
easily, that we had all the services prepared for them. So being able to have that
back end network to be able to help us understand. We also were able
to then use the data to help us engage people. So we had big giant
screens up where people could be engaging,
either through augmented reality games, virtual
reality games, and be able to see
themselves on screen, and be able to
participate that way. And then with Google
in particular, we had the first ever fan app. I know that sounds
probably pretty pedestrian, but there had never
been an app developed for the public experience. There had been an app
for the game itself, but to actually have an
app for the fan experience where you have these million
people coming through had never happened before. So Google enabled that for us. They were our partner in
helping us to produce that, and then also enabled us
to work with them on Maps. So all these little
things you have to think about of moving all
these hundreds of thousands of people around the Bay Area. And, as Pat was saying,
we were 43 miles away from our stadium location. Of all the NFL cities, it’s
the furthest city center from a stadium. So it was a fairly significant
operational challenge we had in terms
of transportation. PAT GALLAGHER: There’s
another way– real quickly, another way is that we
didn’t do an economic impact study ahead of time in order
to attract the Super Bowl. But a year out, we said,
we need to figure out a way to collect the
data so that after this is all over with, we can report
not on what we thought happened or what somebody said, but
actually what happened. So the amount of data that
was collected in terms of the number of people
who– the number of eyeballs, the number of experiences
that were shared, the other elements
of it, were a– we could actually report,
here’s exactly what happened. And one of our partners
actually helped us do that. So we thought it would be
helpful to report on it, but also for whoever is
doing this in the future. STEPHANIE MARTIN: Yeah. And the Google Maps
piece was amazing. To be able to work with the team
to get Super Bowl City placed and to have all the street
closures marked off. Because no one’s going
to go into our app to determine where to go. They’re going to
go where they go. They go to Google Maps. So to be able to use those types
of tools to actually enable movement was huge for our
region and really helped to facilitate so many– remove some of those pain
points of moving people around. AUDIENCE: Great. Thank you. AUDIENCE: Earlier
you were talking about how Indianapolis,
how that closely knit, tied together area
where you have to plan the stadium and
the hotels and whatnot. And you were mentioning
that the owners were concerned about that. But I don’t quite understand how
they were concerned about it, especially since, as you
said, having everything close together like that
makes transportation and engagement easier. ALLISON MELANGTON: Yeah, I would
say that traditionally, Super Bowls were not as condensed. And so I think the
concern was how do you fit that many
people that close together with all the activities
that have to go on and not just create gridlock. Because downtown, we’ve
got many, many residents that live there, many
businesses that function. So how do you take
that 16-block area, still let people live in it,
still let people work in it, and then bring in hundreds
of thousands of other people and get that to function without
everything just shutting down? And so that was
really the challenge. And we had to make sure the
NFL had confidence in us that we would be
able to execute that. And so that was
really the concern. But I think after that– Frank and his team worked really
closely on that layout with us. We met with businesses
all the time. We had all kinds of
town forums to be able to have businesses
come in and say, this is how your employees
are going to be impacted, this is days we’d like
you to let them out early, these are days we’d
like let them maybe stay home and work in the morning. So it was that constant
communication and transparency, working with those businesses,
that made it work in the end. And again, Frank was a
good partner in that. And I think they used
that model a little bit going forward at other Super
Bowls on that real detail planning. FRANK SUPOVITZ:
Yeah, and Minneapolis is going to face the
same kind of thing because their stadium is right
at the edge of their downtown area. I do want to thank
you for also having the state capitol right there. ALLISON MELANGTON: Yes,
we have the state capitol, the state government
right in the middle of it. FRANK SUPOVITZ: On top
of everything else, you had the center of
the state government. And at the time, there was
a labor dispute brewing. Indiana was converting
to a right-to-work state. So of course, there
were an enormous number of union personnel who took that
very hard, for obvious reasons. And what was really
interesting about it– this is the power of
what the Super Bowl does. I actually watched. When the vote was taken to
be a right-to-work state, all of a sudden there were
thousands of people mobilized outside the state capitol. And they all decide to march on
Super Bowl Village, thousands of them. And there’s a big crowd
of people at Super Bowl Village on top of that. So I, of course,
alert the people I need to alert that something
like that is about to happen. And I’m watching it go. And then it finds its way
into Super Bowl Village. And the next thing
I do is take a photo of the protesters
with their signs down, standing in a
circle, holding a beer, having a great time. ALLISON MELANGTON: Yes. In line to go on the zipline. FRANK SUPOVITZ: They were in
line to go on the zipline. It just became everybody’s
party at the end of the day– ALLISON MELANGTON: They got
absorbed into the atmosphere. PAT GALLAGHER:
–even for the people who had something
to complain about, and justifiably
so in some cases. They are having a blast. That’s the great
unifier of what a Super Bowl does as an American
cultural experience. AUDIENCE: Excellent, thank you. ALLISON MELANGTON:
Yeah, thank you. AUDIENCE: I was wondering if
you could comment a little bit about ticket prices. Every year, there’s
always a news story about how much they go
for on the auction sites. And the armchair
economist in me has always wondered, why don’t
they just charge the market clearing price for
the tickets to begin with? FRANK SUPOVITZ: They’ve
been headed that way. So my first Super Bowl in the
director’s chair, I guess, was in 2006. And tickets were $400 and $500. And the secondary market
was largely shady. You didn’t have these
marketplaces that are much more legitimate today. You were really
taking a chance back then if you were buying
tickets on the open market. They didn’t really track it
the same way as they do today. Today, the lowest
ticket price is $950, and the highest ticket
price is $4,500. So if you think they
haven’t closed that gap, you’re making more
money than I thought. Because it went from $400
to $950 and $500 to $4,500. So they got there. The other thing that
the NFL is doing is they’re now in the
secondary ticket business. So they can actually resell
the ticket they already sold through their
acquisition of PrimeSport and through On
Location, which now they own a percentage of, 49%
of this ticket packager and secondary ticket outlet. So they are actually
participating in the secondary market now. And so the gap has
significantly shrunk. But they also have an incentive
to keep it because now they participate in it. SPEAKER: This will
be our last question. AUDIENCE: Hello. I wrote down my question. So first of all, thank you
for coming and sharing. I’m a fan of all things NFL,
and specifically, a Raiders fan. Not sure if that’s
a popular thing to disclose to the San
Francisco planning team, but I’m unabashed
in that regard. STEPHANIE MARTIN: That’s great. AUDIENCE: So this is
something that I’m not sure if you’re at liberty to discuss. But I’m interested to hear how
national security, emergency preparation concerns factor into
the decision-making process. And how do those considerations
restrict what is possible? And what are some things
that we could have had were it not for those concerns? FRANK SUPOVITZ: I’m
not going to address the things that could have
because your imagination can take you there. ALLISON MELANGTON: Yeah. FRANK SUPOVITZ:
But the Super Bowl is a level one national
security event. It’s the only annual one. And that requires a
security perimeter, which is pretty significant,
around the stadium. So typically it’s
2 and 1/2 miles worth of fencing
and barricading. Everyone who goes to the stadium
goes through a magnetometer, just like going to the airport. Now, some of the events like– Super Bowl Village
didn’t have this issue. Super Bowl Boulevard here in
New York didn’t have that issue. In San Francisco,
you had the issue. So they’ve actually started
to enclose the free fan events as well, and you go
through magnetometers for that, too. PAT GALLAGHER: So we
had a million people in nine days come to
downtown San Francisco. And they had to go through
a security checkpoint to get screened. We also, of the 5,500
volunteers that we had, we had to submit each one of
them for a background check. FRANK SUPOVITZ:
Every one of them gets FBI background checked. PAT GALLAGHER:
Everyone gets checked. So it’s a wide ranging sort
of thing to sort of protect. And then actually,
at the event, we had security with a presence,
with weapons and stuff. A lot of people wanted to get
their picture taken with them, which was another issue. FRANK SUPOVITZ: But most
of it, you don’t see. You don’t see. Most of it you don’t see. And there’s a temporary
flight restriction, a TFR. Commercial air traffic
has to be diverted away from stadiums, which becomes
really difficult when your stadium is right
next to an airport. For example, all of
the corporate folks that come in on private jets,
they can’t leave until an hour after the game. If they want to cut out
early and get to their plane, that plane’s not taking off
until an hour after the game. So there’s a lot of
those kinds of things. ALLISON MELANGTON: It’s
a multi-agency effort– federal, regional, state, local. FRANK SUPOVITZ:
Everybody’s there. STEPHANIE MARTIN: And you’re
working on it for a year. ALLISON MELANGTON: Yeah. STEPHANIE MARTIN: November,
before our Super Bowl, which was only
just a few months, we had both the Paris and San
Bernardino attacks happen. And so bringing everyone back
together to just double check, triple check every single thing. You feel very fortunate because
of all the planning that has gone into place, you really
feel very strongly about it and very good about it. But then you’re in a place where
you feel very uncomfortable all of a sudden. So to be able to have
all those plans in place and then to build on
what has been happening Super Bowl after Super Bowl
after Super Bowl does give you that comfort level. AUDIENCE: OK. Thank you very much. SPEAKER: All right. Well, thank you
all for being here, and thanks for
sharing your stories. [APPLAUSE] I did want to quickly highlight
that we do have the “Big Game, Bigger Impact” for
sale in the back, and Pat and Stephanie
will be there to sign if you want a copy. So thanks everyone for coming. PAT GALLAGHER: Thank you. STEPHANIE MARTIN: Thank you.

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