Big Game Bigger Impact + Philanthropy Playmakers

Pat and Stephanie were interviewed by Philanthropy Playmakers in August Playbook about creating mission-driven organizations. For the full interview, please visit here.

We really focused on how this event could leave a legacy in the region. We asked ourselves how we could ensure our Super Bowl benefited the entire community, economically and socially. We kept our eyes on the mission from the very beginning, and weaved it into everything we did.
— Stephanie Martin

WHAT SPURRED YOU TO WRITE BIG GAME, BIGGER IMPACT?

Pat: Stephanie was the one who said we should write a book. She asked me “What if we host again? What could other cities learn from us?” It didn’t start off as the resource it has turned into; really, we just wanted to memorialize what we accomplished.

Stephanie: We learned so much from the experience, and we thought it would be beneficial to other host committees. We hadn’t hosted a Super Bowl in thirty years in the Bay Area. There was no playbook or historical knowledge, but we learned so many good business lessons as we navigated through it. We were very much a start-up, and so Big Game, Bigger Impact is very much written like a business book, with anecdotes tucked into it. It was a lot of fun to do. What we got to do as a Host Committee was so special, and we worked with such an amazing group of people; there were thousands involved from public agencies to large corporations.  We wanted to share those success stories with others.

Pat: Not everything in the book is positive; we wanted to be honest. You have to be ready to change course, be flexible, and park your ego at the door. We were fortunate to have assembled a team who stuck with us from start to finish, and were committed to using our values as a guiding star.

Stephanie: People here (in the Bay Area) believe anything is possible; you just have to try it. It catches fire, and it’s contagious. When you look at our local businesses and sports teams and how they’ve benefited the community, it’s always been about sustainable change and how to make programs scalable. 

Sneak Peek into Big Game Bigger Impact

The Preface from Big Game Bigger Impact provides you with a fly-on-the-wall view of what it's like inside an NFL bid presentation

Preface

May 21, 2013. Boston Long Wharf Marriott.

Months of planning and preparing had all come down to this moment, and no one had any idea what was going to happen next.

Together, we sat in a windowless conference room that served as our holding pen while the big show went on in the Grand Ballroom. Twenty-four hours of practice and pulling it together—both the presentation and our nerves—were now over, and all we could do was wait for a signal from NFL officials. Who was going to win the opportunity to host the 50th or 51st Super Bowl was anyone’s guess.

Our on-the-ground team included San Francisco Bid Committee Chair Daniel Lurie and bid coordinator Danielle DeLancey, Steve Van Dorn of the Santa Clara Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Michael Crain and Luke Dillon from ad agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners, SF Travel head honcho Joe D’Alessandro and me. My role was to secure the corporate backing that would show our region’s commitment to hosting a Super Bowl. Thanks to a few of our region’s business leaders and an assist from legendary Silicon Valley advisor, coach and my good friend Bill Campbell, we were coming to the table with about $30 million in pledges.

Our group—the San Francisco Bid Committee—had the hope of bringing the 50th Super Bowl home, but truthfully, we would have been happy with either game. The Super Bowl hadn’t been in the Bay Area since the “dark ages” of 1985 when it was held at the old Stanford Stadium. It’s been said that legendary NFL owner Lamar Hunt—the man who coined the term “Super Bowl”—got splinters in his backside from the stadium’s wooden bench seats and muttered to his wife: “we are never coming back here!” And never back had the Super Bowl come.

Hours earlier, we were shown to our war room, which was sandwiched in between our two more experienced competitors, South Florida and Houston. We were up against South Florida for Super Bowl L, and the loser of the first round would go up against Houston for Super Bowl LI. We had the opportunity to win one, or none.

The experience and confidence of the Houston and South Florida bid teams were obvious from the onset. In the hallway outside our war rooms was extensive catering for both cities, both of which had hosted Super Bowls in the past decade. We had a tray of water and soft drinks. We didn’t have the money to afford much more and, frankly, we were too nervous to eat.

We set up our room with a few tourism posters and our bid logo that featured the Golden Gate Bridge as football goal posts. We also had a 49ers helmet for decoration, which provided us with some comic relief as the waiting dragged on. Fortunately, the photos of me with that helmet on haven’t made the light of day yet.

To our mild horror, there was one consistent feature in all the rooms: NFL Network cameras and sound equipment, set up to capture each group’s reaction to who had won and who had lost. Looking at the cameras, I thought to myself: “How cool is this?” It was a reminder that what we were doing was important enough to be on live television. But it was also a reminder that if we screwed this up, it would be there for the world to see. This moment really meant something to the many people back home who helped us get to this point. We tried not to think about it as we tweaked and practiced our final pitch. The NFL production team assured us that there was a few seconds’ delay, and content would be sanitized of any expletives before going on the air.   

Earlier in the day, we got the opportunity to practice in the actual ballroom where we would do our final presentation. The room was set with two long tables running perpendicular to the presentation stage. These tables were really long because we were presenting to not only the 32 club owners, but also their representatives and League officials; several hundred high-backed black leather swivel chairs lined each side. Commissioner Roger Goodell and senior NFL officials would be seated at a long dais at the front of the room. The two massive video screens above the stage and assorted monitors scattered throughout the room provided the only light, while dozens of cameras were strategically placed to capture absolutely everything.

About 30 minutes prior to our presentation, we were led into a staging area just outside the ballroom. The South Florida delegation was up first, and we could hear the high points of their presentation punctuated with music and deep bass through the walls. Suddenly, the doors opened and five of us—Daniel, Joe, Steve, Danielle and I—were ushered into the room.

It was an intimidating scene to say the least. Pitch-black except for the monitors, you could sense the weightiness of the moment in the room. Several hundred of the wealthiest people in the world were staring back at us, in complete silence. I felt like we were about to elect a new Pope.

All we could do now was watch and listen as Daniel and Joe made our case for a San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl. Months of preparation had come down to a 15-minute pitch. As the guys finished, we stared across the giant room that was now deafeningly silent; our presentation didn’t receive a single reaction. Were we any good? Did we blow it? We had no way to know as NFL officials led us back to our war room.

Once inside, we hugged each other, and then just sat and waited. Finally, we got word that Houston had finished their presentation, a moment that triggered the monitors in our room to come alive and show us the view from the ballroom. As our phones buzzed with well wishes, we sat and watched the voting unfold right before our eyes.  

After a very short time, we were notified the owners had reached a decision. There was no more time left to wait, so we just stared at the monitors in the room and watched as a League official passed a slip of paper to the Commissioner on the dais. Commissioner Goodell cleared his throat and began to read into the microphone. “It gives me great pleasure to announce that the 50th Super Bowl, Super Bowl L, is awarded to…San Francisco.” 

We burst into cheers and leapt in the air, hugging and high-fiving, completely forgetting that all our movements were being broadcast on live television. Our mobile phones literally exploded with texts, tweets, emails and calls. Next door, the NFL Network broadcasted the silence in the South Florida war room. The thrill of victory and agony of defeat, side by side, in real-time.

The door suddenly swung open, and Commissioner Goodell and 49ers CEO Jed York strode in with NFL vice president of special events Frank Supovitz, all smiles, handshakes and hugs. Somebody opened a bottle of champagne. Don Lockerbie, a member of the South Florida delegation and a friend from my days with the San Francisco Giants, walked in with two bottles of wine for us to toast our victory. It was a classy move. They still had hopes of being awarded the 51st Super Bowl, so we wished them well.

We were then asked to meet with members of the press who were waiting down the hall to report the verdict. It was fun to share the excitement of the moment with the national and Bay Area reporters in attendance as celebrations were already happening back home.

Soon we learned Houston had been awarded the 51st game, so we made our way next door to hug and congratulate them as well. The South Florida green room was now empty except for the catering set-up in the hall; they were already making their way home after being shut out.

The next morning, waiting for our Virgin America flight back to San Francisco, the reality began to sink in. We had just been awarded a Super Bowl, and not just any Super Bowl. The 50th Super Bowl. The National Football League’s Golden Anniversary. The biggest Super Bowl the NFL has ever celebrated. Now, we actually had to make it happen.

Holy shit.

It's Almost Time! What People Are Saying

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The countdown is to May 18! We cannot wait to share Big Game, Bigger Impact with you! In the meantime, we'd like to share some advance thoughts on the book from friends and colleagues from the San Francisco Bay Area community.

So many people were instrumental in the making of Big Game, Bigger Impact because, at its heart, this book is about how people from around the Bay Area came together in partnership to redefine the Super Bowl experience and ensure its legacy would be felt long after the last whistle was blown. We are so thankful to those who read the many drafts of this book, who helped us jog our memories along the way, and for their words of encouragement and support. 


Big Game, Bigger Impact takes you behind the scenes for an insider's peek into how the power of sports can create positive change. Gallagher and Martin make a fascinating business case for corporate social impact. A must-read for any executive looking to grow their business in a community.

Larry Baer
CEO of the San Francisco Giants


Fittingly set in California's Bay Area, a destination synonymous with innovation and creativity, Super Bowl 50 redefined the consumer experience for large-scale sports and entertainment events. Big Game, Bigger Impact tells the compelling story of an effort that paid dividends for California.

Caroline Beteta
President & CEO, Visit California


There’s nothing bigger than the Super Bowl. And there’s never been anything bigger than the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl. It takes a real village to pull off something like that—a village of public and private sector giants! Big Game, Bigger Impact provides a fascinating look into what it took to accomplish something as big as the golden anniversary Super Bowl in a complicated city like San Francisco. It should be required reading for all organizers of world-class events.

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr.


For Super Bowl 50, we established an ambitious goal of ‘redefining’ the Super Bowl experience. This book recounts the incredible story of how that all happened [during our three-year journey together]. Pat and Stephanie tell the inspiring story of how we accomplished our mission, and how the San Francisco Bay Area came together to ensure that Super Bowl 50 would set a new standard for global sporting events going forward.

Keith Bruce
CEO & President, San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee


Big Game, Bigger Impact is the inspiring true story of how the San Francisco Bay Area community came together to redefine the Super Bowl experience. Pat Gallagher and Stephanie Martin shine a light on how amazing things can happen when people come together in partnership. This book is not only relevant for those looking at mega events, the lessons learned apply to those contemplating any business or community event or activity. Besides, it’s an intriguing read that provides life lessons for all of us. I highly recommend it!

Joe D'Alessandro
President & CEO, San Francisco Travel


In Big Game, Bigger Impact, Pat Gallagher and Stephanie Martin tell of the amazing journey of bringing Super Bowl 50 to the Bay Area, after a 31-year drought. In the Bay Area, we set high expectations for anything we do. Not only is the story a great read, but along the way, Pat and Stephanie share how our community came together to deliver the most important Super Bowl to date. They tell the story of how it all happened, and the lessons learned that can be applied to any massive business endeavor.

Joe Davis
Senior Partner and Managing Director
Boston Consulting Group


Superbly crafted exposition of behind-the-scenes of a highly successful mega-event. Rich learnings for both sports management in general, and for the planning and the execution of complex events with multiple stakeholders and a global audience.

George Foster, Ph.D.
Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Management
Graduate School of Business, Stanford University


Big Game, Bigger Impact outlines the gold standard of how a community thrives when we work together! As one of the $500,000 Game Changer Grant recipients from the Super Bowl 50 Fund, Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY) was able to expand and deepen our work with at-risk and system involved juvenile justice youth in the Bay Area. I see firsthand the impact Super Bowl 50 has on our community and am so grateful!

Christa Gannon
Founder & CEO, Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY)


Big Game, Bigger Impact is a blueprint for leveraging a large-scale event to create real, positive change. It was an honor to work alongside Pat Gallagher and Stephanie Martin on Super Bowl 50; it had a lasting impact well beyond the game ended, and their book chronicles that journey with thoughtful reflection. I’m hopeful this story will inspire future events to follow in our footsteps.

Daniel Lurie
CEO and Founder, Tipping Point
Chairman of the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee


In the San Francisco Bay Area, we constantly challenge the status quo and our approach to hosting a Super Bowl was no different. In Big Game, Bigger Impact, Pat Gallagher and Stephanie Martin pull back the curtain on how our community came together to show the world not only how a Super Bowl could be run, but also the kind of legacy it could create across our region. 

Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, State of California


Super Bowl 50 was a milestone event for the NFL. It was a year-long celebration that not only honored our past, but set the tone for the next 50 Super Bowls. Our vision required great partners and innovative ideas. The San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee served as the unique partner we needed. In this book, Pat Gallagher and Stephanie Martin capture the spirit of this milestone year--how they captivated the region, navigated through challenges, and left a powerful, positive legacy across the entire Bay Area.

Peter O'Reilly
NFL Senior Vice President of Events


Big Game, Bigger Impact is the story of how the Super Bowl can be so much more than just the world’s greatest sporting event. The authors Pat Gallagher and Stephanie Martin remind us how much can be accomplished when a community comes together to pursue a goal. They explain how the Bay Area formulated a winning game plan, executed it to near perfection and ultimately scored.

Carmen A. Policy
Napa Valley Vintner & Former President and CEO of San Francisco 49ers


Big Game, Bigger Impact captures the essence of hosting a Super Bowl, from the day-to-day blocking and tackling to the strategies that can result in championship experiences for fans. Pat Gallagher and Stephanie Martin deliver an important read for anyone in international event management as well as a model for how events like the Super Bowl can make a real difference in their host communities. 

Daniel Rascher, Ph.D., CVA
Professor & Director, Sport Management Program, University of San Francisco
President of SportsEconomics, and Partner at OSKR


Pat Gallagher and Stephanie Martin take us behind the scenes to tell the story of how Super Bowl 50 broke new ground—engaging a region from Sonoma to San Jose, bringing millions to Super Bowl City in the middle of San Francisco, and creating a philanthropic legacy to support nonprofits across the Bay Area.  Whether you’re a veteran sports marketer, a business leader, or a fan who has always wondered what goes into making this huge sports event happen, you will enjoy and learn from Big Game, Bigger Impact. 

Becky Saeger
Former CMO, Charles Schwab and EVP Marketing, Visa


I experienced firsthand the power of the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee's philanthropic efforts as the CEO of Juma Ventures, a recipient of the $500,000 Game Changers Award.  The investment helped accelerate the impact we are making with low-income youth. Big Game, Bigger Impact reveals the thoughtful steps taken to ensure the community benefitted in a meaningful and lasting way! 

Marc Spencer
CEO, Juma Ventures


With millions of dollars in economic impact and direct investments in local businesses and nonprofits, Super Bowl 50 is a real-life example of how global sporting events can leave a lasting legacy. Pat Gallagher and Stephanie Martin have taken the principles that established their solid professional records, and applied them to the biggest stage possible in America, the Super Bowl. In Big Game, Bigger Impact, the authors share the roadmap their organization followed and the moral compass that guided them.  

Dr. William A. "Bill" Sutton
Founder and Director, Sport and Entertainment Business Graduate Program, University of South Florida
Principal, Bill Sutton & Associates


From our first meeting, it was clear that Pat and Stephanie were going to bring the best of the Bay Area to the Super Bowl and re-write the playbook along the way.  Big Game, Bigger Impact brilliantly captures the exciting journey to Super Bowl 50, with anecdotes, behind-the-scenes stories and wisdom that both entertains you and makes you think. A must-read for innovative thinkers and sports fans alike.

Lorraine Twohill
SVP Marketing, Google


Whether or not you’re a football fan, Big Game, Bigger Impact, is an inspirational must-read story for anyone wanting an insider play-by-play on how to give back to community, big time. Having first-hand experience working with the Host Committee, I saw the real impact they made on our nonprofit. Authors Pat Gallagher and Stephanie Martin bring you on the field and inside the board rooms with a fast-read, story-filled playbook with insights that anyone who wants to give back can learn from.

Villy Wang
Founder, President & CEO of BAYCAT
TED Speaker


To deliver the most spectacular Super Bowl to date, we knew cities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area had to come together in a way they never had before. The way our community galvanized not only exceeded expectations, but also resulted in a win for the entire region in making the event the most philanthropic Super Bowl ever. Big Game, Bigger Impact provides not only the blueprint for how it was done, but also lessons that can benefit any business leader.

Jed York
CEO of the San Francisco 49ers


I was proud to be part of the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee effort and even more proud of how the Bay Area community put on a Super Bowl experience of a lifetime. In the Bay Area, we know a lot about being champions, and with Super Bowl 50, we had the chance to shine once again; (Host Committee CEO) Keith Bruce and I could attest to that. In Big Game, Bigger Impact, Pat Gallagher and Stephanie Martin share the story of how our community came together and set the bar for how all future Super Bowls should be experienced. 

Steve Young
Pro Football Hall of Famer, 3-time Super Bowl Champion and Super Bowl XXIX MVP

4 Ways Successful Leaders Can Help Their Teams During Crunch-Time

When your team is drinking fully from the fire hose, this is when leaders are needed most

We’ve all been there. When you are working towards a significant milestone, there never seems to be enough hours in the days and tensions can be high. Everyone feels the pressure to perform, especially when the project requires multiple employees to come together to accomplish the task. When immoveable deadlines approach and days get shorter, workloads explode and so too can the patience of your hardworking staff. During these times, some team members – particularly those new to the task – can run the risk of falling apart.

Stress at work is nothing new, but its effects can be significantly diminished in environments where leaders make the wellbeing of their team members a consistent priority. According to Dr. Jane Dutton and colleagues at the University of Michigan, managers who demonstrate compassion enable their employees to better cope with challenging environments and circumstances, and are themselves more strongly perceived as real leaders.

Here are a few ways leaders can keep their teams motivated as the pressure to perform inevitably builds.

1) Remind team members why their contributions matter.

Motivating a group of people to work tirelessly together requires more than the plan itself. To continuously fuel the passion necessary to make a vision reality, leaders must help employees understand how their roles directly contribute.

By enabling your employees to understand the goals of the project, what success looks like and how their work is critical to that success, you not only better engage your team members, you can also stoke their desire to play an active part in achieving success.

When time is running out and the to-do list is only getting longer, it might feel necessary to resort an order-taking model, but crunch-time is when employees need to feel the most engaged. When time short, reinforcing with employees that their work matters not only energizes team members in the short-term, but also reconnects them to your organization’s mission.

2) Recognize success along the way.

The best – and most respected – leaders are more concerned with making their team members the heroes rather than receiving individual accolades. But recognition shouldn’t be saved for only the project’s completion. Taking the time to recognize and celebrate individual contributions along the way can be an ingredient in the glue that holds a team together.

To make recognition meaningful, it needs to be specific to the individual and show how his or her work made real contributions, and it needs to be public. It is important for leaders to acknowledge the ongoing contributions of team members individually, but being recognized in front of their peers delivers another level of satisfaction for employees.

When we were working on Super Bowl 50 as part of the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, we held monthly All-Hands meetings to not only ensure every staff member was up to date, but also to provide the opportunity to recognize someone in front of the group. We created the “Team Member of the Month” award – which recognized one person’s specific contributions in helping us to meet the organization’s goals – and gave each awardee a bobblehead.

While it might seem like a small way to recognize our employees, those bobbleheads were displayed proudly on employee’s desks because they were a symbol of something much bigger. Those moments helped us to thank our team members personally and publicly for their efforts, and reinforced the importance of each person’s role in helping us to redefine the Super Bowl.

3) Break down siloes.

In busy times, it’s easy to have tunnel vision, and focus on just accomplishing your own tasks and not the bigger picture. But when the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, it can be catastrophic.

Nothing can derail a plan quicker than a siloed organization. To keep a project moving forward successfully, one of a leader’s most important responsibilities is ensuring the other departments are aware of developments, progress made, problems needing to be solved and any other bumps in the road.

The most successful organizations are driven by interdepartmental dialogue and cooperation. Every leader should actively encourage cross-departmental collaboration and make sure their people were talking with one another. Besides, having a “boundaryless organization” – as former GE chief Jack Welch calls it – also promotes teamwork and is a much more fun way to work.

4) Step in when necessary.

If team member is struggling, you owe it to everyone on your team to step in. As a leader, having empathy for others is not a weakness, it’s strength. Effective organizations demand commitment, focus and teamwork, but exceptional ones do all of that as well as adopt a culture where people look out for one another.

Whether it be professional or personal, adversity can come at unexpected times and from unexpected places. Being an effective leader demands that you act swiftly to help get that team member back on track. This doesn’t necessarily mean solving the problem for them, but instead providing coaching about possible paths forward or sometimes just being an active listener and sympathetic ear.

It’s also important to remember that if you fail to intervene, you not only let your struggling team member down, you let the rest of your team down as well. By helping individual team members regain their footing, the team will recalibrate as well.

As Sheryl Sandberg said in her book Lean In: “Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about.”

In summary, leaders can have a marked effect on the wellbeing of their employees, particularly during times of stress. By enabling team members to see how they play a critical role in the organization’s success and recognizing that role, leaders can enable employees to better handle the pressures of work, and ultimately develop stronger, more resilient teams.

The Making of Our Chapter Titles

In writing Big Game Bigger Impact, we wanted to share not just what the Host Committee did, but how we did it. Among stories from our two-year run-up to Super Bowl 50, we have highlighted the organizational values that drove us, as well as some of the lessons we learned along the way, lessons that we believe could benefit any business and, in particular, ones that are just starting up.

As you read, we will also subject you to some of Pat's favorite tongue-in-cheek phrases in the form of chapter titles, little sayings that he would use around the office to the amusement or, more often, to rolling eyes of the rest of the team. Some just came to him,  some he repurposed from other sources, but they made their way into our daily Host Committee vernacular.  

One of the longest serving executives in San Francisco Giants‘ history and the creative mind behind some of the Giants’ most legendary marketing campaigns, Pat is renown throughout the Bay Area for the impact he has had on the sports industry, his flair and personality, and his ability to make everything fun. And fun is what he brought to the Host Committee.

Big Game Bigger Impact Table of Contents (and Pat's catch-phrases):

Chapter 1
“We Do Things Here with A Twinkle in Our Eye”– Our Approach to Bidding on a Super Bowl

Chapter 2
“Doing God’s Work”– Creating Our Vision and Values

Chapter 3
“L Stands for Loser” – Breaking from Tradition

Chapter 4
“Turning Over Rocks” – The Art of Partnership Sales

Chapter 5
“Creating the Secret Sauce” – Telling Our Story

Chapter 6
“Building the Plane as We Flew” – Making Plans and Planning for Change

Chapter 7
“Only 70,000 People Get to Go to the Game” – Creating Opportunities for Participation

Chapter 8
“What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” – Lessons from the Field

Chapter 9
“The Clock Rules All” – Time to Get the Word Out

Chapter 10
“Adult Supervision” –Taking the Magic of Super Bowl into the Community

Chapter 11
“Growing the Flock” – Developing Brand Ambassadors

Chapter 12
“Drinking from the Fire Hose” – When Leaders are Most Needed 

Chapter 13
“Using Tech for Not Only Tech’s Sake” – The Search for Relevant Technology

Chapter 14
“No One Wants to Know how the Sausage is Made” – Responding to the Unexpected

Chapter 15
“Cleaning Up After the Elephants” – Time to Fulfill Our Promises

Chapter 16
“Giving Away the Game” – Why We Wrote This Book

 

How to hire for a culture of success by turning to your company's vision and values

Developing a vision and values may not feel like important first steps in building a business, but they help define your internal culture, organizational identity and how you attract and retain employees. According to management professor Mark Lipton, a clear compelling vision can make a marked positive impact on organizational performance and serve as a beacon for a company’s direction.

Visions need to challenge people, evoke a feeling that draws people towards wanting to be a part of something quite special. When a vision is framed as something that is achievable within a set amount of years, then it falls into the terrain of a strategic plan."

Wednesday Wisdom Super Bowl 50 Hiring

In our case with the Host Committee for Super Bowl 50, we needed a small, dedicated team with individuals who knew how to 1) make an event of this magnitude actually happen 2) meet the needs of our incredibly diverse region, the San Francisco Bay Area, and 3) strike a delicate balance when items #1 and #2 were at odds. To help us find these people, we turned to our values to guide us. 

Here are some of the things we shared with candidates so they could make an informed decision about wanting to join our family, and we could make informed decisions about their motivations:

  • Our commitment to creating a Super Bowl experience that would be uniquely Bay Area, and celebrates our communities and people like no other event had ever done before.
  • What success could look like if we did this right. In our case, we wanted to be the most giving, most shared and most participatory Super Bowl to date.
  • We believed good ideas would come from every part of the organization, no matter your title or years of experience, so we needed people who were willing to step up and contribute.
  • The importance of looking out for each other and taking care of one another along the way.
  • We would be transparent and will expect them to be the same.
  • That they would work harder than they had ever worked before, but this work would result in something they would remember and could be proud of for the rest of their lives.

Our prospective hires got to hear from the beginning how they would not only be actively involved, but also how they would have the opportunity to really make a difference.

Remember, during the hiring process, it’s important to set realistic expectations of what the job entails with any prospective candidate without sugarcoating it because, on average, one-third of new hires quit their job after just six months of employment. By helping candidates to understand their role, how they can contribute and what is really expected of them from the onset, it can help identify those who should be on the team, and those who shouldn’t.

Big Game Bigger Impact Goes on Sale May 9

We're excited to share our book goes on sale this May 9! In a little more than a month, you can purchase Big Game Bigger Impact through outlets such as:

  • Amazon
  • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Book Depository
  • Books a Million
  • Chapters

What will you find inside the pages? Big Game Bigger Impact takes you through the 2+ year build-up to Super Bowl 50 with an insider's look into everything from the region's bid to host the Super Bowl to the planning and preparation to how the events unfolded during Super Bowl Week, as well as the lessons we learned along the way, lessons we believe could benefit any business.

Some of the things you will learn include:

  • Our approach to bidding on a Super Bowl, done in the San Francisco Bay way "with a twinkle in our eye" 
  • What it feels like to pitch the NFL owners on hosting a Super Bowl, just as if you were in the room with us
  • How Super Bowl 50 was able to be the most giving to date, as well as recognize some of the region's most impactful nonprofits in new ways
  • What a Super Bowl Host Committee actually is and what it does
  • Why we built the Host Committee to be a mission-driven organization, and how we put our vision and values into action
  • How we recruited 5500+ volunteers, and the impact they had as ambassadors for not only Super Bowl 50 but also for the whole region
  • What it was like to work with some of the Bay Area's most beloved pro football legends, as well as take the Lombardi trophies they won on tour
  • The Host Committee's approach to fundraising, and how in sales, the first dominoes to fall can often be the most important
  • How we enabled partners and team members to understand how they could be active contributors to the project's success
  • How you have to plan for change and respond to the unexpected when you are "building the plane as you fly it"
  • How thousands of people came together to create opportunities for residents to join in Super Bowl 50 celebrations across the region
  • How leaders can help their teams during crunch-time and the importance of celebrating little wins along the way

You will find insights, observations and perspectives, and we hope, some fun stories along the way.

Big Game Bigger Game