While the Super Bowl is a bucket list item for many sports fans, the game is much more than a brawl for the Lombardi Trophy. Now, the Super Bowl is a celebration with something for everyone–not just sports fans. The Houston Super Bowl Host Committee prepared a nine-day, family-friendly celebration dubbed Super Bowl LIVE, which included concerts, interviews (“Opening Night“), autograph sessions, games and interactive experiences, such as the the NFL Experience.
On Location Experiences, the NFL’s official hospitality partner, hosted exclusive concerts and tailgates. To allure fans, On Location offered a few thousand tickets that packaged lavish parties, post-game VIP on-field access, and concerts with some of the best tickets in NRG Stadium, the host stadium of Super Bowl LI. These tickets ranged from $6,000-$12,000, but were quickly sold out.
When it comes to game-day experience, connectivity is key, and no one knows this better than the NFL. The NFL is a frontrunner in understanding in-game experience and monetizing apps. Ironically, NRG Stadium was one of only three NFL stadiums (Qualcomm in San Diego and O.co Coliseum in Oakland) without Wi-Fi installed prior to the 2016-2017 season. “Wi-Fi is a utility like water and power and now it’s not an optional thing that you add,” said Michelle McKenna-Doyle, CIO of the NFL. Understanding the critical importance of Wi-Fi capabilities, NRG stadium partnered with Extreme Networks to support the growing need of in-stadium connection. And it’s a good thing they did.
Super Bowl LI will go down as one of the most historic championship games for many reasons, from the Patriot’s comeback to Tom Brady’s record-breaking championship win, but one of the records took place in the stands: Super Bowl LI broke the record for Wi-Fi usage. In just three years, in-stadium Wi-Fi usage has grown more than 101 percent. From posting to social media, to ordering concession drinks to their seats, fans were more connected and engaged than ever.
Competing with 80-inch TVs and mini-fridges stocked with cheap beer isn’t easy, but the Super Bowl has accomplished what many sporting events aspire to do: they have turned a game into a can’t-miss experience.