How Minneapolis Brands Are Making a Lasting Impact on Their Home Turf

Local activations extend beyond the Super Bowl

Minneapolis agency mono is focused on helping Super Bowl crowds and local children in need stay warm with on-demand hat service Cold AF. mono

The Super Bowl offers tremendous opportunities for brands to connect to consumers in host cities—and the cold of Minneapolis will give fans a little more motivation to head indoors and visit the 10-day Super Bowl Live festival, which is free for all and will be littered with eight to 10 blocks of hometown brands.

Minneapolis-based Target is hosting the Bullseye Lounge, which includes a collaboration with local outdoor clothing company Askov Finlayson, as well as national brands including Mountain Dew, Doritos and Skittles. Courtyard by Marriott is hosting Viking House and Endeavor Global Marketing is extending the brand’s “Super Bowl Sleepover” field-side suite fan contest to crowds at Mall of America with a VR experience.

“This is clearly a unique opportunity to for us to showcase our city, state and our company on a global stage,” said Beth McDonnell, CMO of U.S. Bank, which sponsors the Vikings’ stadium and hosts a lounge at Super Bowl Live. “We anticipate 200 million eyeballs on our brand during the 10 days of the big game festivities and we are beyond excited about it.”

Endeavor Global Marketing is extending Courtyard by Marriott's "Super Bowl Sleepover" fan contest with a VR experience.

But what happens when the sporting world’s greatest spectacle is over and the crowds go home, leaving a frigid February behind?

“The easiest thing we can do is host the game, have fun events leading up to it and generate a tremendous amount of economic activity leading up to the game,” said Jonathan Weinhagen, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, adding that the real challenge is yielding long-term benefits and solving one of the region’s problems.

“Like many markets across the country, we’re facing a worker shortage,” Weinhagen said. The state could have a worker shortfall in excess of 120,000 by 2020. “We’re thinking about it as a great opportunity to showcase what a great place Minneapolis and Minnesota are to work and do business.

Many local brands are working toward leaving a lasting impact on the droves of out of towners who will flood the Twin Cities for the Super Bowl.

U.S. Bank will accept American Red Cross donations through its ATMs during the 10 days leading up to Super Bowl Sunday and is launching its “Future Leaders” program honoring an inaugural class of college students highlighting “three incredible young people in the state of Minnesota” who “exemplify what we think future leadership will be,” U.S. Bank head of sponsorships Chris Lee explained.

Target's Bullseye Lounge features a partnership with local outdoor clothing company Askov Finlayson, as well as Mountain Dew, Doritos and Skittles.

Target provided a $300,000 capital grant and support to create a Wellness Hub providing free access to workout equipment, fitness and cooking classes at the People’s Center Clinics and Services in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.

Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee founding partner 3M is engaging in a series of initiatives, including a Legacy Fund offering grants to three Minnesota towns to promote a “healthier, more active future for kids.”

Minneapolis agency mono is focused on helping Super Bowl crowds and local children in need stay warm with on-demand hat service Cold AF, which donates proceeds to charity Operation Warm.

Super Bowl LII has already helped attract at least one business to the area.

Ride-share commerce platform Cargo permanently expanded to Minneapolis in early January, ahead of Super Bowl LII and Red Bull’s Crashed Ice event.

Cargo head of brand partnerships and merchandising Sabina Rahaman explained that Cargo prioritized Minneapolis “above and before many other markets” it otherwise may have expanded to first in part because of the Super Bowl and the events surrounding it.

“Because of the sheer traffic in the next couple of weeks, it made a lot of sense to go ahead and launch in Minneapolis” [in early January], she added.

This story first appeared in the Jan. 29, 2018, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.