As we near a historic Super Bowl Sunday face-off between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and, the reigning champs, Kansas City Chiefs, here are four things to know about this year’s event as you enjoy a generational quarterback battle between two record breakers in Tom Brady (43) and Patrick Mahomes (25).
So, get some snacks delivered, sit back, and enjoy the event that intersects sports, entertainment, and marketing!
1. Superstar Writer Amanda Gorman Will Deliver A Pregame Poem
At 22 years old, Harvard University pandemic graduate Amanda Gorman is the youngest poet ever to read at the presidential inauguration. By now, most have heard the poem that Gorman eloquently delivered, but if not—it’s certainly worth the listen. In the Super Bowl, we’ll get to see some entirely different stanzas from the bright poet on the rise that are sure to bring a new kind of energy to the game.
Gorman has agreed to write and recite an original poem prior to the game’s kickoff, during the pregame ceremonies. While we don’t know what topics the poem will cover, if it’s anything like her last performance, it will be empowering and profound for all viewers, no matter your football interest level.
2. Raymond James Stadium x NFL Green x Tampa Electric Are Collaborating on Super Bowl Sustainability
Never in the history of the NFL has a team playing in the Super Bowl also hosted it at their home stadium, but Tampa Bay bucks that trend this year. The Buccaneers’ host committee is teaming up with the league’s environmental program, NFL Green, and local energy supplier, Tampa Electric, to implement solar blocks, which will offset electricity usage at the event, and partake in neighborhood beautification projects like sand dune restoration and mangrove planting. The committee is also partnering with various nonprofits to organize volunteer-based community cleanups.
3. You Can Get Your Commercial Fix Now
Only during the Super Bowl is it acceptable to shush someone if they interrupt the commercials. Known for their compelling storylines—sometimes hysterical, sometimes heart-wrenching—past Super Bowls have included memorable spots like Mountain Dew’s dancing puppy monkey baby and Michelob Ultra’s plan to shift to an organic farmland—special shoutout to a hungry Betty White, courtesy of Snickers.
This year, notorious Super Bowl commercial tycoons Budweiser, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi will not be contributing to the game-break fun (though Pepsi is hosting the halftime show featuring popstar, The Weeknd, so we’ll still see plenty of them). Among those advertising, General Motors has tapped Will Ferrell to star in a push for an electric vehicle takeover and Chipotle envisions a future of sustainable farming.
4. Stadium Facts: Amenities, Audience, and COVID Precautions
The NFL is full of futuristic stadiums that offer tech amenities and eco-friendly gadgets like biodigesters and compost systems, but Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium is all about entertainment. The Buccaneer Cove is a village within the stadium—home to a 103-foot-long pirate ship and a two-story pseudo-fishing inlet—peppered with concession stands and kiosks. However, this year is just a little bit different.
While the stadium typically holds 65,890 fans, only 25,000 are allowed to attend Super Bowl Sunday. Aside from the mask wearing and physical distancing mandates, additional COVID precautions that the host committee are taking include readily available hand sanitizer dispensers placed throughout the stadium, an isolation area for guests feeling ill, signage to avoid crowd congestion, active disinfection processes during the event, touchless ticketing, and mobile ordering.
It’s an admittable risk to host an event as large as the Super Bowl during a pandemic, but Raymond James is coming prepared to optimize safety. No stadium tailgates this year, but we’ve all gotten familiar with Zoom parties by this point!
Micah Golomb-Leavitt is a writer and digital publishing intern for Blueprint.