Campaign hopes to make Super Bowl awareness ever-present

One of the many variations of Super Bowl billboards around the Valley is pictured at 24th Street and Oak Street, publicizing the Super Bowl Host Committee's partnership with the Gila River Indian Community.

Arianna Grainey

PHOENIX — Drive the Loop 202 these days, and you can’t miss the bright red billboard with the distinct Super Bowl logo, counting down the days until Super Bowl XLIX. It hits you like a blitzing linebacker.

They’re all over the Valley. Whether in the form of billboards, Sky Harbor International Airport ads or in print, the Super Bowl advertisements can’t be avoided.

The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee began advertising the game the day after last season’s: Feb. 3, 2014. Host Committee president and CEO Jay Parry didn’t have specific numbers of the number of ads up around the area. But there’s a reason they are appearing more frequently now.

"The idea was, this fall, to ramp up the schedule, obviously," Parry said. "As we try to build excitement leading up to the game."

That game, as everyone knows from the advertisements, is ticking closer and closer. Feb. 1, 2015.

If they seem repetitive or excessive in number, that means they’re doing their jobs. Rather than advertisements that sell a product, these aren’t for monetary gains — at least initially. They’re intended to raise public awareness of the game and everything surrounding it.

Those events range for about a week. Starting with the Pro Bowl on Jan. 25, there’s a week’s worth of Super Bowl Central, radio row, concerts, media day and the like. And then there’s that game everyone knows about.

"We’ll have a ticket sales message for the Pro Bowl," Parry said. "As well as a ‘Come participate in Super Bowl with Super Bowl Central’ and all the activities around the Valley."

The advertising hasn’t even tipped the scale yet. With still more than two months to the game, Parry’s team is focusing on a general audience, with a general message: The countdown is on, tick, tock.

Expect advertising to increase again, just as it did when football season began. That could also mean expansion beyond Arizona.

"At this time, we are really focused on Arizona," Parry said. "The objective is to get our local residents and local businesses really excited about what will come in January. "

Other organizations are advertising the game all over the country.

The Scottsdale Convention and Visitor Bureau advertises every year in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, among other colder-weather climates. But it stepped up ads in New York about the time of last season’s Super Bowl.

Typically, Scottsdale advertises on the New York City subways. Last year, it added digital board ads around the city promoting some of the city’s Super Bowl events.

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Scottsdale CVB community affairs manager Megan Doyle stressed the city has a prominent ad presence in New York, Super Bowl or not. She said to expect more ads around Phoenix, especially at Sky Harbor International Airport, as the game approaches. Those will promote Super Bowl events Scottsdale is scheduled to host, such as FanFest at Scottsdale Fashion Square.

Although they are "community partners," Doyle said, the Scottsdale CVB hasn’t worked directly with Parry and the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee on advertising.

The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee projects the Super Bowl will bring $500 million to the Valley, with more than 100,000 out-of-state guests and 1 million total people in Phoenix for the week.

The advertising campaign is more targeted to whom the Host Committee expects for the game and Super Bowl Central: 90 percent locals. Better get the word out.