Hosting a Super Bowl in the middle of a Minnesota winter is bold, and the Super Bowl Host Committee rose to the challenge. They artfully turned our beloved, sometimes frigid tundra into the “Bold North” and reintroduced the nation to one aspect of our state’s brand.
The Super Bowl organizers effectively used three communications strategies, which we regularly employ for our own clients, in order to achieve success while the national spotlight was on Minnesota:
1. Use visuals to drive coverage: From the LII ice sculptures lining Nicollet Mall to mayors riding the Super Slide at CHS Field to Prince’s symbol lighting up the Minneapolis skyline, the Super Bowl was full of high-impact visuals that were shared across the country.
2. Create strong ambassadors: The 12,000 volunteer members of Crew 52 were the ultimate spokespeople for Minnesota. The Minnesota Nice storyline played out consistently in the national coverage, because the volunteers were, well… nice! We preach about the importance of spokespeople being authentic, and Minnesota had an entire army of people who epitomized welcoming.
3. Play to your strengths, and keep it positive: The Host Committee fully embraced the cold weather and successfully branded Super Bowl LII as the #BoldNorth. This hashtag turned the subzero temperatures into a positive message and made Minnesota worthy of positive curiosity. The true test of a good message is one that can be repeated back, and we saw it repeated again and again by visitors to Minnesota.
Will the Bold North phrase endure and help dispel outsiders’ stereotypes about the North Star state? Will the positive vibes create momentum now that the visitors have left and the celebrities have gone home? Is Minnesota any closer to attracting more people and businesses to move here and stay? The Super Bowl was a great start, but true reputational change takes a long, sustained effort.
Courtesy Star Tribune