Fans at Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey scored way more than the Denver Broncos did with the “Warm Welcome” kits they received at the big game. The kits, provided by the NFL, warmed up, and lit up, the 84,000 fans in attendance, offering an array of ultra-cool gifts that were intended to keep fans comfortable in chilly Northeastern temperatures. The gift packages were housed within Super Bowl-themed seat cushions and placed on every seat in MetLife Stadium before the gates opened.
NFL partner BDA Inc. (asi/137616) coordinated with League officials on ideas for upgrading the commemorative seat cushions that are typically given out to fans most years. Since this year’s Super Bowl was the first to be played outdoors in a cold-weather city, the NFL wanted to guarantee fans would be comfortable even if conditions turned chilly, according to Jay Deutsch, BDA co-founder and chief executive officer.
The cushions and contents got a lot of media playtime. NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman showcased the kits during a January 22 press conference, which was covered by several major media outlets. The kits got additional buzz when Kelly Ripa and former New York Giant Michael Strahan devoted a 4 ½-minute segment to the Warm Welcome kits on their morning talk show.
The kits contained a slew of products to combat the cold: a “video ski hat,” branded ear muffs, texting gloves, a hand warmer pouch just like the quarterbacks wear, a Gator Dana neck wrap, lip balm, drink sleeves, hand-warmer packets, a small radio with earbuds and tissues. In addition to the 84,000 distributed at the game, 30 kits were sent to select TV, radio and print media.
The ski hats, which were beanie style and bore sponsor Pepsi’s logo, took on a starring role in the halftime show. The caps contained LED lights and an infrared receiver that, when activated remotely, turned the entire stadium into a backdrop of flashing lights. A Montreal-based multimedia company called PixMob created the technology that allowed fans to become a human light display during performances by Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Brainstorming for Super Bowl XLVIII began well before the previous Super Bowl, and BDA began sourcing products and reviewing samples with the NFL in September of 2012. The products that ultimately made the cut were chosen because they could be used by fans long after the game, or be displayed alongside other keepsakes.
Besides coordinating the Warm Welcome kits, BDA also operated the official onsite NFL Super Bowl League Store. The company transformed its offices inside NFL headquarters into a showroom, fully stocked with a combination of Super Bowl XLVIII and NFL Shield products.