Will Small Business Be the Real Super Bowl Winner?

By Small BusinessFOXBusiness

The commercial tie-ins to major sporting events are more important -- and visible -- than ever and the NFL’s Super Bowl may be the biggest man on campus.

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Every year we breathlessly await the premieres of those clever Super Bowl ads and it takes players on the winning team about five milliseconds to start sporting caps emblazoned with their team logo and embroidered type proclaiming them Super Bowl Champs.

Small businesses 'will receive'

If only there were a way for small businesses to benefit from a little bit of this Super Bowl madness. Well, there is. The NFL in conjunction with local Super Bowl host committees has a “Business Connect” program that aims to benefit small businesses located in the general area where the game is held. Although it’s too late to apply for this year’s business connect program, here’s a list of products and services that it includes:

Building Materials, Carpenters, General Contractors, General Laborers, Painters, Catering/Restaurants, Food and Beverage, Event Planning, Entertainment, Tables and Chairs, Tenting, Furniture, Printing/Graphics, Signs and Banners, Security, Staffing, Transportation, Venues, Decorations, Balloons, Florist/Flowers, Gift Baskets, Gift Items, Novelties/Promotional Items, Media/Public Relations, Audio Visual, Sound, Video Equipment, Lighting/Staging, Pyrotechnics, Set Design and Construction, Courier Services, Electricians, Electronics (Wire and Supplies), Office Supplies, Photography/Video, Port-O-Lets, Waste Removal, Barricades, Carpeting/Flooring, Equipment Rentals, Fencing, Generators, Golf Carts, Hardware Supplies, Heavy Equipment, Linens, Pipe and Drape, Scaffolding, Tour Services, Trailers, Vans, Banking, Computer/web, Consulting, Employment agencies, Janitorial services, and Temporary staffing agency.

Super Bowl 50

Applications are being accepted for next year’s Super Bowl Business Connect Program, which is being held in the San Francisco Bay Area’s new Levi’s Stadium. Businesses in the nine Bay Area counties can apply. However, the program is limited to businesses that are certified as minority-owned, women-owned, disabled veteran-owned, or lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Small business owners and local communities should steal this page out of the NFL playbook. While few cities will ever host a Super Bowl, there are all kinds of major yearly sporting events, such as tournaments and races. If there is one near you, see if they have an outreach program to local small businesses. If not, have your chamber of commerce and other business organizations, lobby the promoters to get something going.

Of course, when these kinds of events come to your town, there are many ways you can use them as tie-ins to sales and marketing campaigns. I will note, however, that if you don’t want the NFL to come down on you like a 350-pound lineman, you need to steer clear of using the term Super Bowl for commercial purposes. They are very protective of that trademarked name and in that way they are far from alone in the world of big-money sports. Apparently using the phrase “Super Sunday” is okay and your customers will know what you’re talking about.

So, get creative, get organized and find ways that big events can kickoff major sales in your small business.

This post originally appeared on THE Small Business Expert blog here.

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