During the 25 years I covered sports for CNN and FOX, I always looked forward to The Big Game (wink-wink). It was a time all of us in the media anticipated and we always tried to put our best foot forward knowing it was the most-watched sporting event of the year.
From the PR perspective, agencies staging media events, satellite media tours, radio tours or other broadcast publicity want the very best in terms of coverage and ROI. With our depth and breadth of Big Game experience, here is what we advise our clients:
1. If possible, get your event on the league’s schedule of activities early
There is a ton of media that set up shop for about 10 days in the host city. Most of them have content already planned but many can be pitched your event. Most journalists take their lead from the league, so if you can get on their calendar the better your chance for success.
2. Secure enough Internet bandwidth
If you have content and you want to upload it from the host city make sure you have enough Internet bandwidth, which is eaten up by the legion of international media covering The Big Game. Look for T-1 lines so you can upload your content easily and cheaply. Don’t count on hotels in the area for Wi-Fi because your upload won’t be completed until well into the fourth quarter!
3. Reserve meeting spaces in advance
The league gobbles up the available conference rooms in a host city. This can lead to you looking for space that simply doesn’t exist or worse, a space that could bust your budget. Plan early and get a deposit down on space that is within your budget and close to where you want to be.
4. Have a backup plan for weather
If you’re planning to be outdoors, have a backup plan in case of inclement weather. If you were at the Big Game in Dallas, or a few years before in Atlanta, you know a freak winter storm can sack the best laid plans!
5. Go big or go home
The Big Game captures the American public’s attention like nothing else. It has literally become a week-long holiday. If you want your event to stand out, you need to go for big. Check presentations, “grip-and-grin” award handouts, and C-list talent won’t help you stand out. Remember, there are more stories at the Big Game than airtime, so if you want people to cover your event, it better have the “wow factor.”