Last month, the world came to Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII. Attendance for events around the game, such as Super Bowl LIVE and Super Bowl Experience, topped 500,000 fans, also bringing in 5,800 media from 23 countries around the world. How does a sporting event of that magnitude come together? The ATLeaders Council of young professionals delved into the subject with a guest panel of leaders responsible from the host committee, area nonprofits and more.
ATLeaders is the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s young professional’s council, shaping next-generation thought leaders and providing access to the larger regional business community. The council assembled multiple members of the team responsible for Super Bowl LIII marketing and communication, including: Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee Director Erin Shearer; Committee Events and Sponsor Activation Director Diana Trujillo; Legacy53 Community Engagement and Volunteer Programs Vice President Lee Hendrickson; SCAD Director of Public Relations Jeanette McWilliams; and The Trinity Factory Founder Andy Tadic.
Georgia Power General Manager of Natural Resources Jennifer Winn moderated the discussion.
“As [the Host Committee,] we came up with driving positive buzz through the fact that Atlanta is a tech hub, a business hub and a great place to live,” Shearer said. “That reputation is going to help us secure more big sporting events into the future.”
These core pillars informed all of the communication around the big game. Establishing these points early on was key. Among the next major sporting events coming to the region is the 2020 NCAA Final Four, and the city has taken steps to ensure that sporting momentum carries through to the next big experience.
For many, the various live activities throughout the city during Super Bowl LIII were just as impactful as the football game itself, while serving as diverse introductions to the city’s culture and music.
“The Super Bowl Experience and LIVE events were the key events for locals and out of towners. To see locals embrace it – and then with LIVE being free – it gave everyone a chance to participate,” Trujillo said.
Shearer revealed that planning for everything going toward Super Bowl LIII began as early as 2014. Legacy53 served as the Host Committee’s effort to leave a lasting impact across five pillars: business connect, supplier diversity, civil rights and social justice, capital investment, sustainability and youth engagement. Part of the initiative took the form of creating murals across the city that would recognize Atlanta’s history with the Civil Rights movement, led by WonderRoot.
“I’m excited to see the murals as a lasting contribution to local communities. The key to success was finding nonprofits and other organizations already here doing amazing things,” Hendrickson said.
Legacy53’s impact extended to every community in metro Atlanta:
- The NFL Foundation, Host Committee and Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation funded a $2.4 million renovation of John F. Kennedy Park in Atlanta’s historic Westside neighborhood.
- 30 murals were installed around the city through the Off the Wall program – a city-wide initiative led by WonderRoot and the Host Committee to elevate Atlanta’s civil rights and social justice journey.
- 200+ local, diverse and certified businesses participated in Business Connect, the NFL’s supplier diversity program for Super Bowl LIII.
- During the Super Bowl LIII Recycling Rally on Jan. 19, 42,446 pounds of e-waste was collected to be recycled, marking the largest Super Bowl Recycling Rally to date.
- 20,000+ trees were planted in Atlanta, Clarkston, Doraville and eight other locations in the community.
More can be found from the Host Committee’s full release here.
“The amount of diversity – faces and backgrounds – it’s encouraging to see them unite around one common goal [of throwing a great event,]” McWilliams said.
The Council was joined by two members of the 2019 ChooseATL Influencer class – Activvely Founder and CEO Stefanie Jewett and Parka Solutions Founder and CEO Sneh Parmar. The ChooseATL Influencers program assembles next-generation individuals redefining what it means to live, work and play in Atlanta. Jewett and Parmar spoke to metro Atlanta’s embrace of startups and entrepreneurs – more information on the Influencers can be found here.
The council, hosted by Jennifer Winn, will be focusing on providing greater access to the business community for its members this year. For more information on how to get involved, please reach out to Cecile Kirby.