Super PR

      23 Comments on Super PR

Jeff Morosoff, Special Asst. Professor, Hofstra University

I’m not sure why I feel obligated to blog about the Super Bowl.  The amount of hype leading up to this game is astounding and nearly all of us get involved at some level, even if we don’t watch the game.  Millions celebrate at parties and many only watch the commercials (also hyped, if not only for their $3 million price tags) without caring about the outcome.  I’m writing this just before game time, so I have no idea about the outcome, and I really don’t care since my home teams aren’t there.

Is good public relations the reason for all this attention?  Yes and no.  The Super Bowl hype is really about marketing and promotion–both very close relatives of PR–but not PR in the purest sense.  But PR professionals do play a major role in all this hype.  The PR people for the teams, the NFL, the media, the stadium, the City of Dallas, the players, and so many related entities play important roles in moving messages, creating images, raising awareness, et cetera, et cetera.  PR professionals must manage the public image of all of these entities and smooth out any bumps their clients and organizations may have along the way to the big game–and after.  I’d guess there are hundreds of PR people involved in the Super Bowl–or any major event for that matter.  Which points to another, very encouraging fact for we “PR-types:” it means there are lots of PR jobs out there. 

Your thoughts?

23 thoughts on “Super PR

  1. Melissa DiMercurio

    PR is all over the super bowl even for the smallest things. Case in point- Christina Agulera messing up the words to The National Anthem. 5 minutes into the program and already there is a screw up!

    Not only does Christina’s people have to deal with the aftermath and worry about her own reputation, but so does the entire credibility of the super bowl show.

    Remember, a few years ago when Janet Jackson had her little wardrobe malfunction? The Super Bowl halftime show has never been the same since and they now have a crisis plan for such monumental LIVE moments.

    Such “small” moments that go wrong can turn into the one thing that everyone talks about for months following the show.

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  2. Lisa Jablon

    I think that the Super Bowl is a really good example of what tradition brings. The Super Bowl commercials are so expected at this point, that for the actual companies who are paying millions for the commercials, there is no PR there. Just straight marketing. I agree that there are obviously many PR roles here outside of the commercials, and I agree that there ARE jobs out there… but most of those jobs are not entry-level friendly. I’m finding more and more that the places whose job listing say “entry-level” are actually looking for people with “experience and previous contacts to bring.” It will be very interesting come May to see how successful we are finding entry-level jobs, even when PR is so important as explained here with the Super Bowl. Hate to be a negative Nancy, but I am definitely crossing my fingers for the best!

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  3. cscung

    PR plays a very large roll in the Super Bowl. An event that has taken place for numerous years must create buzz in order to have viewers tune in. PR can certainly tie into this year’s Super Bowl broadcast. Christina Aguilera’s camp must work hard to regain her reputation after her National Anthem flub. It’s interesting to see that she turned to Twitter for a statement after the Super Bowl, just another reason why social media is an influence in the world of PR.

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  4. Sarah Facciolo

    I always watch the Super Bowl every year and I really feel a lot of PR has to do with the success of the ads and making the Super Bowl so big. For example, just at my internship my supervisor had to make an announcement to the media that Lea Michele was singing American the beautiful because Glee is part of my label i intern for. I bet that one announcement made more viewers watch the Super Bowl at the time and not only did it help Glee out but also the Super Bowl rankings. I think without PR it would never be as big as it is. I think the ads are important too. It is us PR people that promote that image or product that makes that ad even more bigger.

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  5. Julie Wiener

    When I think of PR and the Super Bowl, now a week after the event, I think about the commercials and the PR for those companies. One company in particular, Groupon, has received a lot of bad PR from their advertisement which seemed to be making light of the terrible situation in Tibet. Though Groupon apologized and explained what they had intended, many people are still talking about how offensive it was. Groupon was trying to get their name out there to new audiences, and they definitely did just that.

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  6. Danielle Pasquariello

    PR is almost a given when a huge event like the Super Bowl is put on. Staffing a mega event like the Super Bowl requires a lot of PR people who are able to adapt to any problem or crisis that may arise. With experience staffing the Tribeca Film Festival for a previous internship, it is necessary to make sure everything is fully thought out, and you have a backup plan ready is case something is to occur. For the Super Bowl, you are dealing with a number of different parties, including the players for both teams, the NFL itself, VIP guests and the list goes on and on. One has to hope that there will be PR jobs available, since PR is needed for a wide variety of fields and industries.

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  7. Kalli Dionysiou

    I agree that PR plays a very large role in the Super Bowl. Not being a sports enthusiast myself, every year I find myself wanting to be a part of the action and trying to get in on the buzz it creates. Whether it’s the talk about the half-time entertainment, the commercials, or even interest the players, it is PR that brings people like me (as well as sports enthusiasts) in front of the tv every year to watch the big game with such enthusiasm.

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  8. Amanda

    I agree that the Super Bowl has become just as much about the commercials as it is about the game. Recently I have found that since marketing and promotions are “relatives” of PR, that many companies and organizations have combined the three. I feel that an “integrated marketing” approach is at work here. Often in “integrated marketing” it is PR professionals doing the work. That being said, where do you draw the line between PR and promotions, and PR and marketing for something as big as the Super Bowl?

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  9. Kirsten McKenna

    As a Pittsburgh native, my upbringing taught me that the Super Bowl is a national holiday, even if the Steelers’ record did not bring them close to the big game. Though my most vested interest is in the game itself (no matter what teams are participating), I always believed the incorporation of the halftime show is one of the reasons (other than the commercials) that make so many people follow the Super Bowl. Thinking back to the glory days of the millenial halftime show, audiences used to rave about the combination performances that included Britney Spears and Aerosmith–it was a discussion topic for weeks. And now, in 2011, I can’t help but realize that over the last few years, the hype of the halftime show and the talent displayed has diminished greatly.

    Though I’m not a fan of the Black Eyed Peas, I’ll admit their music is fun, bubblegum pop with a few more added beats. Though the presentation of the halftime show was cool, as an alien-like marching band spanned past the 50-yard line, I couldn’t help but think, this does appeal to most audiences watching from home and present in Dallas.
    I think it is interesting to look at how the nature of the halftime show has changed since the Justin Timberlake/ Janet Jackson/FCC/nipple situation years ago. Crisis communications professionals had to troubleshoot, and now, at this point, PR professionals advise producers of the halftime show to make it a show that suits all ages opposed to a show with a wow-factor that will keep the audience talking for weeks. Ultimately, this is just proof that commissions like the FCC and the federal government take precedent, even in events such as the Super Bowl!

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  10. Dan Steele

    All I hope is the Jerry Jones has one damn good PR professional representing him and his stadium after this game. This week has been far from the luxurious scenes that we saw in the 1980’s soap opera “Dallas”. Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys and the Donald Trump of professional football promised America to present the biggest of all games in the grandest and most exciting of fashion. well lets just say the week didn’t go as planned. A huge ice storm pounded Dallas during the week. Unprepared for the ice, the maintenance crew was not capable of removing it all from the roof of the massive stadium. Due to their inability to deal with the elements, Cowboys Stadium is now liable for the injuries of 6 people caused when a wall-sized sheet of ice feel from the roof of the stadium on Wednesday afternoon. To make matters worse just hours before the game, some 4,000 seats in the stadium were deemed “structurally unstable” and were not safe enough to support the weight of the fans. This came just days after Mr. Jones approved that the stadium add 10,000 bleacher seats to its upper decks, which if fully seated would give Super Bowl XLV the record for highest attendance of any Super Bowl game in history. Due to this structural flaw thousands of fans were turned away from the game.

    With all that goes on during the Super Bowl wee these two events are comparably minuscule. however, when you over promote and promise big things to the fans like Jerry Jones did, everything is more heavily scrutinized. it was a great game, and a great week, but it did fall short of the immense expectations that were created.

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  11. Kelly Cefai

    Sports and entertainment is a field that will never die but only continue to grow. No matter if someone is going through good or bad times they will continue to watch the sport of their liking as an escape from their troubles and enjoyment. Also, it has formed a vital role in many businesses that are not even associated with sports in the category for marketing and bringing in revenue. So just like the health care system jobs will always for the most part be within reach through the sport and entertainment industry.

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  12. Pete Guaraldi

    Public relations is vital in the sports (and entertainment) industry. As Americans, we consider sports as a high priority. It shows in the television ratings, ticket sales, memorabilia sales, etc.

    As for the Super Bowl, there are a variety of aspects in which good public relations was a necessity. The City of Arlington needed to give information to its residents concerning traffic, safety, and super festivities that were going to take place. The public relations offices from both teams needed to keep their respective fan bases updated as well — whether they are traveling to the game or not. In addition, PR professionals needed to be present for the musical entertainers as well.

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  13. Lauren Suval

    I definitely agree that PR professionals play a large role in promoting the Superbowl ,while also exerting crisis management techniques when events don’t always proceed as planned. Remember the controversy surrounding the half time show performance between Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake? PR reps had to advise the network and those celebs on how to handle the chaos and humiliation.

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  14. NMagnacavello

    I was always the kid who played sports, attended sports games, and used to want to play when I attended college. The Super Bowl has always been such a big event to watch. Of course it’s always a lot more fun when your team is playing, but either way it’s an excuse for viewers to party and for companies to get their names out there to the public. Almost everyone knows that the Super Bowl is infamous for broadcasting new commercials for companies. Not only that, it’s a great way to get a bunch of viewers from different backgrounds and age groups to watch. The Super Bowl is generally a family and friends event, many people gather together and either attend or throw parties.

    In the PR aspect, I think the Super Bowl is not only a great way for PR agencies to get a point across, but they also have to be on their game before, during and after the game as well. So many things have happened in the past during the Super Bowl especially during the ever so famous half time show. Let’s not all forget Janet Jackson and now Christina Aguilera forgetting some of the lyrics to The National Anthem? I also think that there are a lot of PR jobs out there, there’s tons to do and there’s a lot of publicity to still be heard!

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  15. Alanna Garone

    The Superbowl is one of those universal things that brings the country together. Almost everyone you talk to, whether they are interested in sports or not, watches it. This makes it a great opportunity for PR and marketing professionals to get their messages across to the public. Besides all the hype leading up to the Superbowl, there is also hype the day after. People are talking about how the game was played, the halftime show, the commercials, etc. PR has everything to do with this. It influences how all of those messages are conveyed to the public, and what people remember and want to talk about.

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  16. Eileen Zarina

    While I’m not a huge sports fan, I have always been fascinated by the Super Bowl. Not because of the game, but the fact that most viewers watch it for the commercials! That is an example of great PR; when you can have viewers who are unenthusiastic about a game, tune in for a chance to see a “funny” commercial. I’m just not sure who should get the credit for this PR effort…is it the network? Companies making the commercial? Super Bowl for providing the platform?

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  17. artur

    Well everyone knows that sports athletes have their antics and sometimes fail to show that class that the NFL expects from them. PR constantly have to step in and make sure that the NFL and other sports remain humble and a good role model for the youth. 3 million for a 30 second spot doesnt give a lot of hope to the little companies that cant afford that but could use the attention the super bowl provides. From my perspective PR people should be helping out with that more and maybe give someone other then Geico and Budweiser a chance to have a commercial played during the super bowl. Maybe have a lottery or competition between companies for a commercial spot. just a thought

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  18. Jacqueline Chiapuzzi

    I agree! I think not writing about the super bowl would be almost un-American. The amount of media it draws to all is huge. The amount of money it brings in to me is crazy, $3million on a 30 second commercial when normally at most it’s about $500,000 shows how many eyes were on the packers with their very close win.

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  19. Lauren Katz

    I think that when you first think of the Super Bowl you have to consider the fact that this game is a time honored tradition which most families raise their children to respect. the publicity is essentially self-fulfilling. However, in this particular year, the football teams alone are dealing with a great amount of public relations excitement surrounding the game. For the most part, the Steelers are working with and around the “rapist” persona quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has recently acquired. To be able to regain a fanbase in support of roethlisberger was essential in helping him to bring his team to the Super Bowl in a year of such adversity. The PR involved in this scandal was quintessential to their success.

    When it comes to the commercials involved with the game, the enourmous price tag brings with it a huge expectation from viewers. I can honestly say that I believe a bad commercial can make consumers angry with entire companies.

    What I think I am most excited to see in terms of PR and the Super Bowl this year is how they intend to fix the mistake in the lyrics of the national anthem made when Christina Aguilera sang in the beginning of the night.

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  20. Caitlin Brown

    I’ve never watched a Super Bowl. I’ve tried watching football in high school when I’d attend home games, but I just never understood the point of it – of that or any other sport, really. In my normal every-day activities, the role sports plays is nil. However, when you put it like that (“it means there are lots of PR jobs out there”), I almost think about paying more attention! (Almost)

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