Super Bowl LII – Five Things To Look Out For

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James Massing

With a primary focus on the UK market, which has experienced explosive growth over the past decade, James is part of the National Football League’s international sponsorship group, responsible for driving year-on-year growth of a multi-million $ portfolio of blue-chip brands and organizations in line with the NFL’s international expansion. Prior to joining the NFL, James successfully managed off-the-field marketing and endorsement deals for top-level sports personalities, advising on and structuring two-way commercial partnerships. He has also worked across award winning sports marketing campaigns, including Budweiser’s sponsorship of The FA Cup, The FA’s 150th Anniversary and Dove Men+Care’s sponsorship of the (rugby) International Series. James also co-founded Victoria Pendleton Active Girls Camps working in partnership with The Youth Sport Trust and Loughborough University. These camps were held throughout summer 2015, at multiple venues across the UK, with the aim of inspiring young females to get involved in sport as well as motivate them to act as role models.

Super Bowl LII is finally upon us. The game will be contested between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles in what will see a footballing dynasty face-off against the ‘under-dogs’. It is one of the most hyped sporting fixtures in the calendar and will be watched by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

Ahead of this Sunday here are five things to be looking forward to…

Media Week

The week of the Super Bowl, this year being played in Minneapolis, is like nothing else.

It feels like the entire world’s media descends on the city with players and coaches from both teams available to media every day of the week on Radio Row.

There has been 24 hour coverage throughout the week and the Host Committee also put on a range of events including everything from live concerts, parties, awards ceremonies, and charity dinners. A full week of celebration in the build up to what has been dubbed the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’.

Jay Ajayi

Our British star Jay Ajayi will be playing in his first ever Super Bowl this Sunday!

His journey from Hackney, London, to the NFL is an incredible one and I, along with everyone else at NFL UK, will certainly be rooting for Jay on Sunday.

Not only is he a great guy who interned sitting on the desk opposite me, but his rise has been amazing as my colleague Sarah Swanson has spoken about to The Drum. He has become an inspiration to young kids in the UK and his efforts help cultivate the game in the UK are truly invaluable.

The Halftime Show

The Super Bowl also represents the best of what makes this sport so entertaining, it is the intersection of music and sport. The half-time show is a cultural monolith, a spectacular tradition known for showcasing the best of the world’s music artists. I might have been too young to remember Michael Jackson’s half-time show in 1993 but it is still recognised as an iconic moment in his career, a meeting of two legendary establishments.

This year Justin Timberlake will be performing, and, well, who doesn’t love a bit of JT? In true Super Bowl tradition, I’m sure he’ll bring out some amazing guests too!

The Ads

Another highlight of the Super Bowl are the fabled Super Bowl ads. It is an opportunity for companies to cement their place in America’s contemporary commercial climate.

It is also the hottest ticket in advertising with Sports Illustrated reporting that NBC will charge more than $5m for a 30-second slot at this year’s event.

Due to competition for notoriety brands have made their adverts increasingly more bizarre, to stand out from the crowd. So much so that the adverts themselves have very little if any sporting reference to them. Check out the adverts here.

Budweiser’s Born the Hard Way ad in 2017 was one of my more recent favourites. It told the story of one of their founders immigrating from Germany in the 1800s: a refreshing take on the American Dream whilst reminding Americans of the principles on which their country was founded.

Tom Brady & Bill Belichick

Finally, it will be an honour to see perhaps the greatest player/coach partnership in sporting history play together yet again in the Super Bowl.

Remarkably, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will be making their 8th Super Bowl appearance as a quarterback-coach duo, as many as any other team in NFL history (excluding the Patriots).

Whilst I would love to see Jay win his first Super Bowl, it would also be simply incredible to see Brady and Belichick win their sixth ring and move level with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have the most Super Bowl wins in NFL history.

Those in the UK should tune-in to Sky Sports and BBC this Sunday evening.

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James Massing

With a primary focus on the UK market, which has experienced explosive growth over the past decade, James is part of the National Football League’s international sponsorship group, responsible for driving year-on-year growth of a multi-million $ portfolio of blue-chip brands and organizations in line with the NFL’s international expansion. Prior to joining the NFL, James successfully managed off-the-field marketing and endorsement deals for top-level sports personalities, advising on and structuring two-way commercial partnerships. He has also worked across award winning sports marketing campaigns, including Budweiser’s sponsorship of The FA Cup, The FA’s 150th Anniversary and Dove Men+Care’s sponsorship of the (rugby) International Series. James also co-founded Victoria Pendleton Active Girls Camps working in partnership with The Youth Sport Trust and Loughborough University. These camps were held throughout summer 2015, at multiple venues across the UK, with the aim of inspiring young females to get involved in sport as well as motivate them to act as role models.

Super Bowl LII – Fi…

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