A Super Score

A distributor helps the NFL offer a warm welcome.

Fans at Super Bowl XLVIII scored some of the best big game promotional items the NFL has ever given out, all packaged together in free Warm Welcome kits at MetLife Stadium. The kits warmed and lit-up the 84,000 people in attendance, offering an array of gifts that were intended to keep fans comfortable in chilly temperatures. The gift packages themselves were housed within Super Bowl-themed cushions and placed on every seat before the gates opened.

NFL partner and Top 40 distributor BDA (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 protected from the elements even if temperatures plunged, according to Jay Deutsch, BDA’s co-founder and CEO.

The cushions and contents got a lot of media play as well. NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubman showcased the kits during a January 22 press conference, which was covered by several major news outlets. The kits got additional buzz when Kelly Ripa and former New York Giants’ defensive end Michael Strahan devoted a nearly five-minute segment to the Warm Welcome kits on their morning talk show. 

The kits contained a host of products meant to combat the cold: a video ski hat, branded ear muffs, texting gloves, a hand warmer pouch, a Gator Dana neck wrap, lip balm, drink sleeves, 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 beanie-style ski hats, which bore sponsor Pepsi’s logo, took on a starring role in the game’s 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. Montreal-based multimedia company PixMob created the technology that allowed fans to become a human light display during performances by Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

This is the fifth year that BDA has worked with the NFL on Super Bowl promotions. Brainstorming promo items for Super Bowl XLVIII began several years ago, and BDA started 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. This unique store was open exclusively to NFL employees and family members, as well as league officials, alumni and sponsors.

As part of its partnership with the league, BDA also manages a client gifting program for NFL buyers and partners. Gift bags are sold and kitted with a variety of merchandise from the Super Bowl catalog and distributed to owners, players and network affiliates, among others.