Nonprofit event producers even perspective on Super Bowl LV

February 2021

Last year, while our team was at The Special Event Conference in Las Vegas, one of the best knowledge nuggets we heard, was to look at events outside of your area of expertise from an event producer’s perspective for similarities, inspiration and creative alternatives. Since adopting this strategy, we have found endless similarities and investigated events far beyond the nonprofit event fundraising world. In doing so, we have also been able to explore alternative Run of Shows, find new inspirations and diversify what we offer our clients as fun, new and outside of the box ideas!

With this past weekend marking Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay, our team decided to analyze this major sporting event from Fluid’s perspective. We chatted about our thoughts on the pre-game, opening and halftime performance, as well as the closing. Quickly we realized that this highly anticipated event is not much different than an annual nonprofit live and/or virtual fundraising event. Below we dive into the similarities and discuss some of our thoughts.

Traditional Fundraising Event Run Of Show = Major Sporting Event Run of Show

The more we examined the Super Bowl the more our team realized that it has almost an identical Run of Show to a typical fundraising event. Our comparison between the two can be found below.

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Mission Moment = Spoken World Opening Piece

Similar to a mission moment at a nonprofit fundraising event, this year the Super Bowl LV did something we’ve never seen before - a powerful and original pre-recorded spoken word performance by Amanda Gorman. The poem “Chorus of Captains” celebrated and introduced the three honourary captains who have been community leaders and frontline heroes through the COVID-19 pandemic.

During this short but extremely powerful piece, Gorman’s poem was supported by compelling images and video clips that played on the heartstrings of the viewers. Despite the poem only being 1m 33sec long, the use of videos and images amplified both the video as well as the viewer’s experience so you’re not just looking at a talking head.

With that being said, Gorman’s impactful moment is exactly what guests and donors experience during a mission moment at a traditional live and virtual nonprofit event. It spoke to the real-life experiences and highlighted the impact that these everyday heroes have had on communities in the US. In addition, this bite-size video showed yet again that pre-recorded content is just as impactful if done correctly and strategically. It is also great collateral that the NFL has shared post-event and a marketing tool we can expect to see for years to come.

Sponsor Recognition = Commercials and brand placement on the field

Sponsorship offers the power of promotion to a wider audience that may not be aware of your brand or the initiatives that your organization supports. In both virtual and live fundraising event settings, sponsorship recognition varies but can be extremely beneficial for profiling your organization and its CSR. Typically this looks like logo recognition in print and digital materials, activations on-site,  as well as verbal and digital visibility during the show.

As you can imagine and very similar to a nonprofit event, the Super Bowl is the ultimate platform for brands to put out their names and/or advertisements with over 100 million viewers. During this year’s event, ads were peppered throughout the show and sponsor logos were recognized throughout the field and in the stands. Watch the full list of Super Bowl ads and commercials here.


Super Bowl LV = Hybrid Event!

In looking at the Super Bowl from an event producer’s perspective, our team came to the conclusion that Super Bowls and other major sporting events are massive hybrid events and that they may be the originators of this event model. At their foundation, these events combine a mixture of pre-recorded content and live components with the opportunity for viewers to attend in-person and/or engage remotely. In embracing this unique model, these sporting associations have had the opportunity to reach far beyond just their fan-base and garner supporters from across the globe.