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Champions in Las Vegas: Prosek takes on Super Bowl LVIII

Josh Hess  Follow

The Super Bowl is a staple of American culture: whether you’re a fan of the teams or not, chances are you spend the second Sunday in February with friends or family enjoying great food, camaraderie and entertainment leading up to kick off. 


For the thousands that venture to the Super Bowl host city, there are a plethora of activities from the NFL Experience to celebrity hosted events and parties. Each year, it is The Players Tailgate, hosted by Bullseye Event Group, that stands out as the fan-favorite.


The Players Tailgate is an event unlike the rest. Hosted by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, it includes nearly 20 all-star Food Network chefs, over 50 active NFL players and a host of celebrities and influencers, all mingling with the selection of lucky fans in attendance. 


For Super Bowl LVIII, Prosek Partners was engaged to elevate an already-elevated tailgate experience through media relations, social media and influencer work.


The Prosek team, including Partner Karen Niovitch Davis, Head of Sports Jon Schwartz, Seth Leavitt, Shaye Spector, Mary Jenkins and I arrived on the ground in Las Vegas ready to leverage the firm’s deep expertise to deliver a standout experience in the center of one of the most important national events of the year.


After weeks of careful coordination with local and national media and countless influencers, it was time for our kickoff. 


Rather than a play-by-play of the week, here are key learnings for communications professionals as if it were the Super Bowl itself:


1.  Watch game film: The team showed up to Las Vegas prepared with all of the background information on our client, spokespeople and leads for the week. Just as one team prepares for its opponent, we needed to be keenly aware of who was on the ground with us and the ways we could capitalize on opportunities to exceed expectations.


2.   The pre-game coin toss: We met our client, for the first time in person, and after months of strategic planning, it was time for Prosek to set the tone, and more importantly, to execute. Like any communications project, we needed a hot start, and we delivered, securing national and local media opportunities for spokespeople Chef Aaron May and New Orleans Saint Cam Jordan, on Radio Row to promote the Tailgate and a key sponsor – Ortega.


3.  Pressure the QB: As the saying goes, “defense wins championships.” With the full team on the ground, we attacked from all angles, working the phones to secure media opportunities through the event, getting more influencers to commit to the event and mingling with reporters and prospects in person. The “always on” Prosek machine was in full effect, a necessity in a city that’s on 24/7.


4.  Two-minute drill: The last two minutes of any half are the most important, whether your team is leading or trailing. Our team’s two-minute drill was the four hour event itself. The Prosek team moved 100mph, liaising with media to facilitate interviews, coordinating with influencers, celebrities and players to ensure they enjoyed the event and would promote across their socials, and doing whatever we could to guarantee the client and sponsors were satisfied. The importance of problem-solving on the fly was imperative, and the event went on without a hitch.


5.   Halftime: Recent halftime shows of J-Lo and Shakira, Dr. Dre, Rihanna, and Usher brought down the house while the players got a breather. A moment to catch our breath, the team indulged in the world-class food and mingled with some of our favorite athletes and TV personalities. It’s a lesson we often forget, but you must step back, take it all in and try to enjoy the moment.


6.   Closing the game out: Securing the win is a necessity, something the Chiefs have seemingly done better than everyone else over the last five years. As the Prosek team put a bow on this year’s effort, it was important to ensure the client was left satisfied with our work. While the team is still compiling our wrap-up reporting, we’re also strategizing with the client on how to make The Players Tailgate at Super Bowl LIX in New Orleans even bigger and even better than this year, ingraining our team with theirs.


There were countless other highlights from a long week in the desert, including amazing meals, celebrity spottings, and pro-bono work for the University of Maryland. For many of us, it was our first business trip with Prosek, a truly life-changing and memorable experience. With a happy client, it felt like we all raised the Lombardi Trophy together.

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