For 70,000 Fans, StadiumTray Is Carrying On A Vital Tradition At Super Bowl XLIV

StadiumTray's Sun Life Stadium concession tray sponsored by Visa for Super Bowl XLIV.January 27, 2010: The Indianapolis Colts are returning to the Super Bowl for the first time in three years, having won Super Bowl XLI. The New Orleans Saints have never been to the Super Bowl. But on Feb. 7 in Miami, the "team" making its fourth Super Bowl visit will be StadiumTray.

StadiumTray serves as important a role off the field as Peyton Manning and Drew Brees do on the field. The product from Atlanta-based Spectator Advertising Solutions features graphically enhanced cardboard containers handed out at concession stands, enabling fans to carry beer, soda, hot dogs, nachos and chips safely back to their seats. About 25,000 trays have been designed to resemble Sun Life Stadium.

The NFL handles advertising space on the product, and this year the marketing partner is Visa. The tray will also have Super Bowl XLIV, American Football Conference and National Football Conference logos.

StadiumTray is provided free by corporate sponsors to stadium concessionaires. Fans will get them gratis when they order drinks (Pepsi has the pouring rights) and food at the 40+ group-operated concession stands handled by Boston Culinary at Sun Life Stadium (not including standalone carts and vendors walking among the seats). This year, that could mean a lot of sticky eyeballs for tray advertiser Visa, as some 75,000 people will fill the Super Bowl venue. At Super Bowl XLIII in 2009, 70,704 spectators consumed about 55,000 hot dogs, 14,000 burgers, 32,400 slices of pizza and 107,000 chicken tenders at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, according to Levy Restaurants, which handled food services at the game.

StadiumTray handed out at Super Bowl XXXVIII.StadiumTray was also at Super Bowl XXXVIII with Best Buy as the NFL's partner, at Super Bowl XXXIX with  McNeil Pharmaceuticals and Flexeril and in Detroit for Super Bowl XL featuring Motorola. The company said that "personal health issues of a key executive working with the NFL" prevented them from appearing at the three subsequent Super Bowls. "But he is now back and going full speed, so we are back at the Super Bowl," said Bob Citelli, principal and founder of @Sales and Marketing, Los Gatos, Calif., which handles marketing, PR and sales strategies for StadiumTray.

"When the NFL contacted me about providing StadiumTrays for the South Florida Super Bowl, they specifically requested that we design a tray with a commemorative look and feel featuring the Visa logo," said George Poston, CEO and president of Spectator Advertising Solutions. "Upon their approval of the final artwork, the NFL Events Department said that we had exceeded their expectations."

Poston said that Ramsey Fisher, design manager for Malnove Packaging and Design Solutions, Jacksonville, Fla., "which has produced millions of StadiumTrays," suggested using a "slightly larger tray than usual, giving us a larger imprint area on StadiumTray so we could reproduce the look of the field. It was a great idea and our graphics teams really rose to the creative challenge."

For those who don't spill beer on or leave their StadiumTrays behind, they can be considered Super Bowl memorabilia. At Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, the NFL teamed with Fox to celebrate a post-game episode of The Simpsons by having a number of StadiumTrays imprinted with the face of Homer Simpson.

Although StadiumTray has not been at the NFL's big game since 2006, Citelli was quick to point out that "there have been many other major sports events and venues working with us during that time frame." Among them, StadiumTray has featured the artwork/logos of such companies as Toyota, Trump Plaza, Verizon, Samsung and UPS at events including the World Series and MLB all-star games, the NBA Finals, NCAA bowl games and Nascar races. StadiumTrays are currently used at  Philips Arena, Amway Arena, Wachovia Center, Pepsi Center, American Airlines Arena, St. Pete Times Forum Arena and many sports and entertainment venues.

But being back at the Super Bowl falls into a creative category all its own. "This year we wanted something really unique for Super Bowl XLIV and I believe we have achieved that objective," said Poston.

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