The Super Bowl is one of the most popular events of the year, attracting football fans from all over the world. Fans that aren’t lucky enough to snag tickets to the game often travel to the city hosting the event anyways so they can participate in the fun activities leading up to the game. Because this game attracts so many people, it’s not surprising that brands often host experiential marketing events in the days before the event. Here’s a look back at some of the best Super Bowl experiential marketing events:

Sleep Number’s Virtual Reality Event

Earlier this year, Sleep Number inked a deal with the NFL to become the league’s official sleep and wellness partner. To celebrate this partnership, Sleep Number hosted a massive experiential marketing event at the Super Bowl Live Fan Festival days before the game.

At the event, guests had the opportunity to wear a virtual reality headset to play virtual football. First, guests were asked to stand at the 50-yard line and throw virtual football in order to hit moving targets. Then, Sleep Number adjusted the experience to show participants what it would be like to complete this task while sleep deprived. Although each participant was wearing a virtual reality headset, bystanders could watch what was happening on large TV screens broadcasting the participant’s view of the virtual field. This entertaining event was not only fun for guests, but informative as well. Thanks to Sleep Number, guests learned the importance of getting a good night’s sleep.

Microsoft’s NFL Experience

Microsoft traveled to Houston in 2017 to host its NFL Experience event in the days leading up to last year’s game. The event took place inside a hard-to-miss dome that grabbed the attention of curious football fans passing by. Once inside, guests were able to use Microsoft Surface tablets to design custom gear, including jerseys, helmets, and footballs. Although Microsoft did not actually produce these customized items for guests, they did project the designs on the large screens inside the dome so everyone could admire the unique designs.

Courtyard By Marriott’s Super Bowl Sleepover

Courtyard by Marriott is the official hotel of the NFL, so of course they were one of the many brands to host an experiential marketing event during the Super Bowl weekend. For the third year, the brand hosted the Super Bowl Sleepover contest, which gives one lucky fan and a guest the chance to spend a night in the stadium where the game will be played. But, the winner was definitely not sleeping on artificial turf. To accommodate the winner, the brand transformed one of the luxurious ground-level suites into a Marriott hotel room.

Football fans could enter the contest months before the big game by posting photos on social media with the hashtag #CourtyardSuperBowlContest that demonstrated their passion for the sport. The brand gave the lucky winner exclusive access to Super Bowl events and tickets to the game in addition to allowing him and his guest stay in their converted stadium suite for the night.

NASA’s Future Flight

Much of NASA’s work is performed in the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, which is why the agency decided to host an event at last year’s Super Bowl in this city. The goal of the Future Flight event was to give attendees the chance to experience what it was like to shoot into space. To accomplish this goal, NASA asked guests to strap themselves in and put on a pair of virtual reality goggles. Once the guests were safely in place, their seats began ascending vertically into the air before dropping 64 feet to the ground to simulate landing back on Earth. The movement of the chairs combined with the imagery broadcasted through the goggles made the experience feel incredibly real. It’s safe to say that NASA achieved their goal of showing guests what it felt like to explore space!

Verizon Up Members Only Lounge

Many brands host experiential marketing events to raise brand awareness and win over new customers. But, Verizon took a different approach with its Verizon Up Members Only Lounge in Minneapolis this year. Instead of inviting the public to the event, Verizon only allowed members of its Up rewards service inside. The lounge area was heated, so people were eager to get inside to escape the freezing temperatures in Minnesota. Guests who made it in were able to kick back and relax, enter contests to win valuable prizes, including tickets to the game, and meet current and former NFL players. Since the lounge was built with glass walls, people who could not get inside were able to see exactly what they were missing out on. This event was designed to thank customers for their participating in the rewards program and entice others to join to sign up—and it was a success!

American Express Goes Into the Woods

Another event that was designed to reward current customers was the American Express Goes Into the Woods activation. This event, which was named after Justin Timberlake’s recently released album, had a rustic feel inspired by his music. Platinum and Centurion American Express members were able to listen to clips of Timberlake’s new music before anyone else. Timberlake—along with other artists featured on his record—also made an appearance at the event to discuss the meaning behind his new music and his songwriting process. As if an appearance by an A-lister were not enough, American Express also set up stations where guests could create custom scents, t-shirts, and vinyls.

Are you interested in hosting an experiential marketing event? If so, get in touch with the team of experts at Factory 360 today. Let us plan and execute the perfect experiential marketing event for your business needs.

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