Dissecting the Details in ‘Dena

#TampaBay2017 takes a closer look at the key intricacies of the BCS’s Grand Finale.


Florida State and Auburn treated fans everywhere to an incredible show last night!

The two teams left little doubt as to why College Football is experiencing an unmatched growth in popularity. Together, along with over 90,000 of their closest friends, they sent the Bowl Championship Series out in style. While the action on the field was unforgettable, #TampaBay2017 was focused on taking in the behind-the-scenes details in order to prepare for our opportunity to host the (new) College Football National Championship three (quick) years from now. Amidst a sea of notes and pictures taken, here are a few overarching key takeaways that we’ll share…

First, the importance of a “360-degree brand”. Most marketers describe a “360-degree brand” as a well-oiled campaign that constantly stimulates the consumer or audience using a variety of touch points. We gave you a brief intro a few days ago as to what we would be looking for at this weekend’s final BCS Championship as we touched down in Pasadena. We said “décor” was on our watch list, but scratch that, let’s call it a “360-degree brand” instead.

We were reminded throughout the trip that every event can also feature a “360-degree brand” of a more basic meaning. It’s when you can stand in one place and turn in a complete circle and always see an event’s presence in the community through “look and decor” (signage). Here’s a really cheesy analogy (that I can’t believe I’m typing), it’s almost an event signage “hokey pokey” of sorts (turn yourself around and if you see the event brand somewhere, that’s what it’s all about! #firstandlasteverhokeypokeyreference #sorry)

Have no fear #TampaBay, we’re fortunate to have one of the best in the business on our @SportsTampaBay team when it comes to event branding and signage: @JAughey_TBSC. While he’s great at everything he does, event branding is right near the top of his talent list, with an unparalleled eye for new and innovative “signage real estate”. His event branding resume includes several of the events on this list.

From window decals to custom banners to trash receptacles, we’ve witnessed some excellent examples of event branding after visits yesterday to some of the participating hotel properties, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and the BCS Media Center in Newport Beach. We’ve documented several event branding examples and it will be great to compare them to our existing element list from recent events to further enhance our “360-degree wow factor” for #TampaBay2017.

Second critical factor for hosting: It’s definitely important to “look” the part as described above, but it’s even more essential to “play” the part. How do we do that? Our warmth. While we’re proud of Tampa Bay’s warmth in terms of temperature, the unwavering warmth of our community from a welcome and hospitality standpoint is what will really make our mark with #TampaBay2017.

The Rose Bowl did a tremendous job of having knowledgeable, well-trained and visible volunteers strategically placed in numerous key locations. Diving deeper, we also liked the use of the term “Fan Assist” stations as opposed to the traditional “Information” booths seen at prior events. “Fan Assist” seems far more welcoming and inviting for those looking to have a question answered both quickly and accurately. It’s the little things that can make a big difference when it comes to fan experience (and everything else in life).

One of the strengths of our bid to host the College Football National Championship was the strong track record of volunteers for our previous major events. Our volunteers’ “warmth” has been the backbone of every successful major event we’ve hosted. In addition to the 2017 event, we’re fortunate to be hosting the 2015 NCAA Women’s Final Four and 2016 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four. There’s no doubt we’ll need all hands on deck with each of these great events as we work to shine with the eyes of the country on Tampa Bay. We’ll definitely keep you updated in the days ahead of ways to get involved through our website.

“Looking and playing the part” are obviously only a basic general snapshot of numerous key takeaways from our “Pasadena with a Purpose” scouting mission. Thanks for following along. While yesterday was the BCS’s final “gameday”, each of the next 1,097 days will be “gameday” for us as we prepare for #TampaBay2017, my friends. The College Football Playoffs are now officially here and our hometown could not be more excited to be a part of it!