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Super Bowl snafus could spark sponsorship revolt

Super Bowl Cowboys Stadium Football

When we last were paying attention to Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News, who hates PFT (take a number) and about whom we’re frankly ambivalent, he was posting on Twitter a warning for Howard Eskin of WIP radio, who’s pinch hitting today for Dan Patrick.

“Howard Eskin is a scumbag and he’d be wise not to get near me,” Domowitch said.

Today, Domowitch has some interesting news about a little-known wrinkle in the Cowboys Stadium Clusterfudge.  The manpower drain created by the temporary seating fiasco had an impact on the big-ticket tailgate party, which could do more harm to the bottom line that the class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of the fans affected by the failure to get the place ready to accommodate them all.

Domowitch reports that many executives with big-money sponsors were forced to wait in line up to 2.5 hours to get into the tailgate party.  And now the league is scrambling to keep those sponsors as sponsors.

“It was a disaster from the start, with no signs or people directing people to the [VIP] parking lot or the drop-off area,” a source close to the situation told Domowitch.  “The seating issue became all encompassing.  Anyone in an authoritative position was brought inside to help calm people who lost their seats.  That took people away from outside the perimeter.

“In the past, you couldn’t miss where you were supposed to go.  You’d get off a bus or out of your limo and there would be someone there to tell you, ‘Tailgate party right this way.’  This one, no one had any idea where to go.  VIPs and sponsors were being funneled in [to the stadium] with regular fans.”

Per Domowitch, companies like FedEx and Castrol Motor Oil have threatened as a result of the handling of the situation to pull out as sponsors for next year’s Super Bowl.

The acrimony wasn’t confined to sponsors.  Domowitch reports that Saints owner Tom Benson was “furious” with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones after Benson’s granddaughter and team co-owner Rita Benson LeBlanc was denied a courtesy limo ride from the airport to her hotel because Jones’ vow of such transportation for his business partners applied only to each team’s “principal” owner.

League office employees displaced by the relocated fans also weren’t happy.  For example, the family of former player and current exec Merton Hanks had to give up their seats and watch the game in a tent outside the stadium.  Frankly, we think that every league executive (up to and including the Commissioner) should have happily given up their seats to ensure that all of the paying customers would be able to get what they paid for.  So if Hanks is upset that he was bumped, he should be upset only if others with equal or lesser spots on the NFL’s organizational chart weren’t.

In the end, the NFL fell 400 short of giving everyone with a ticket admission to the game.  Nearly two weeks later, the NFL continues to fall short, in our view, when it comes to making it right.

Domowitch believes that NFL executive V.P. of business ventures and Chief Financial Officer Eric Grubman, who was made to take the public bullet via a variety of media appearances, will eventually lose his job, along with senior V.P. of events Frank Supovitz will lose their jobs.  As Domowitch explains (and as we’ve previously mentioned a time or two), the guy who was deemed ultimately responsible for the Janet Jackson incident quietly left the league landed in a better job with the Browns.  Though Domowitch says that John Collins currently is in witness protection, he actually has a pretty big job with the NHL.  Which is pretty much the same thing as witness protection.

It remains to be seen whether Grubman and/or Supovitz will be working for the Browns or the 49ers or some other team in the not-too-distant future.  We’ve got a feeling, however, that none of the folks who take the fall for the fiasco will be working for the Cowboys.

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44 Responses to “Super Bowl snafus could spark sponsorship revolt”
  1. buccaboo says: Feb 18, 2011 10:07 AM

    Poor Babies. Waaaaaaaaaa

  2. satanphoenix says: Feb 18, 2011 10:14 AM

    The Arizona 2015 superbowl committee wishes to thank Jerry Jones for insuring their upocoming victory in the selection process

  3. h8dansnyder says: Feb 18, 2011 10:16 AM

    “VIPs and sponsors were being funneled in [to the stadium] with regular fans.”

    The horror!

  4. jimmysee says: Feb 18, 2011 10:16 AM

    Yea — but Aaron Rodgers DID go to Disney World!

  5. rdssc says: Feb 18, 2011 10:21 AM

    And all fans of the NFL can sleep better at night knowing Jerry Jones is the lead negotiator for the owners during the CBA talks.

  6. heyooooh says: Feb 18, 2011 10:21 AM

    Rich sponsor: “Where is the caviar tailgate tent? What do you mean there isn’t one? Oh the humanity!”

    They certainly deserve the higher end experience given how much money they pay. But it is funny to hear the nature of their complaints.

  7. waitingguilty says: Feb 18, 2011 10:25 AM

    When this is all said and done, Jerry will have more egg on his face than if he’d pulled a swing shift at Waffle House.

  8. clintonportisheadd says: Feb 18, 2011 10:27 AM

    “This one, no one had any idea where to go. VIPs and sponsors were being funneled in [to the stadium] with regular fans.”

    ———–

    Oh the horror! The horror! Pampered excs being forced to mingle with the unwashed masses. Is there no end to this humiliation America’s corporate masters must suffer?

  9. sportsjustice says: Feb 18, 2011 10:27 AM

    I have a great solution that would make everyone happy: Don’t Let Dallas Host Another Super Bowl. They made the greatest sporting event in the world seems like amateur hour. They had something like 3 years get ready and they blew it. If Texas wants another Super Bowl, play it in Houston.

    How about the Super Bowl go back to the state of California? It’s been since 2002 since Cali has hosted one, they should have one there every other year. Also, New Orleans needs to get back in the rotation and for good. That city knows how to host and knows how to party. Arizona wasn’t bad either.

  10. jutts says: Feb 18, 2011 10:28 AM

    All I have to say is that Goodell is the worst commissioner in pro sports. $10 million buys a lot of ass kissin and doing what ever it takes to make the league grow. Sure, growth is good, but not at the expense of the Fans. Which I feel is what the league should be concerned with. Not how much more profit can we make. Just like politics. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

  11. clintonportisheadd says: Feb 18, 2011 10:32 AM

    The acrimony wasn’t confined to sponsors. Domowitch reports that Saints owner Tom Benson was “furious” with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones after Benson’s granddaughter and team co-owner Rita Benson LeBlanc was denied a courtesy limo ride from the airport to her hotel because Jones’ vow of such transportation for his business partners applied only to each team’s “principal” owner.

    ——————-

    Its things like this that make you think that the folks in Egypt and Iran who threw out the ruling classes maybe were on to something…

  12. realitypolice says: Feb 18, 2011 10:34 AM

    Per Domowitch, companies like FedEx and Castrol Motor Oil have threatened as a result of the handling of the situation to pull out as sponsors for next year’s Super Bowl.
    =========================

    Don’t bet on it.

    Companies aren’t going to scrap a center piece of their marketing campaigns, which the Super Bowl certainly is, over some hurt feelings about a VIP party.

    Oh, they’ll make lots of threats, but those threats will be nothing more than a bargaining tool to get a better deal next year.

    Oh, and BTW, Paul Domowitch is a self-important, blowhard, jackwagon.

  13. giablommi says: Feb 18, 2011 10:39 AM

    I feel a lot more for people who were fans of the two teams playing who paid through the nose for tickets to actually go to the game and who got the bait and switch from the league than a bunch of fat cats on an all expenses paid corporate vacation there for the sole purpose of hobnobbing with the rich and famous so they can see and be seen.

    Strange as it may be to say, as I diehard fotball fan I really have no desire to ever go to a Super Bowl in my lifetime. All I’ve heard about this Super Bowl is a bunch of entitled elitests wining and dining at VIP tailgate parties, the media bitching and moaning about one thing or another, or about how the halftime show sucked. In other words, the Super Bowl has become about everything except the game itself.

    Maybe it’s just me, but all I really cared about was the three and a half hours from kickoff the trophy presentation. Everything else is garbage.

  14. tombradyswig says: Feb 18, 2011 10:40 AM

    Only in Jerry’s world!!!!!
    Priceless!!!!

  15. ihateannouncers says: Feb 18, 2011 10:41 AM

    VIPs and sponsors were being funneled in [to the stadium] with regular fans.”

    ===================================

    Oh the humanity!! While it is hard to shed a tear for these people, it will give the NFL a real scare from the people it really cares about…sponsors.

  16. lbijake says: Feb 18, 2011 10:45 AM

    Domo is a great sportswriter and there by definition has nothing in common with Howie. Howie is a blatant shill for Reid and the Iggles and prior to that had his lips surgically attached to Charles Barkley’s backside. Keep up the good work Domo, were reading you.

  17. FoozieGrooler says: Feb 18, 2011 10:49 AM

    The “little guys” who were inconvenienced are left getting screwed around by the NFL and Jerry Jones.

    But now, the big money people who attended were also inconvenienced, well by golly we’d better do something about it!

  18. youboettcha says: Feb 18, 2011 11:12 AM

    It should be pretty easy to make it right. All they have to do is have an extra commercial break during next year’s Super Bowl, at $3 million per commercial. I’m pretty sure $15M would help make up the difference.

  19. richm2256 says: Feb 18, 2011 11:16 AM

    There is only one person who is responsible for the worst Super Bowl in history:

    Jerry Jones

    Jones worked his butt off to get this event for his brand-new stadium, and set the goal at having the largest SP crowd in history, and then went about it like he had never thrown a party in his life. These two guys from the league MUST have had experience with staging previous Super Bowls, and obviously had done a good job or they wouldn’t have been in position for THIS one. Jones should have simply given them everything they needed, and clearly he did not.

    Instead of the biggest Super Bowl ever, we got the biggest Super Bowl FIASCO ever.

    Seriously, the Cowboys’ season was over and there were no playoff games scheduled. There is no reason why the planning for those “temporary” seats couldn’t have been already done ahead of time and the seats installed a MONTH before the Super Bowl. Extra personnel and signage should have been in place. There is NO reason for this debacle.

    The blame for this rests directly at the feet of Jerry Jones, who acted like a guy throwing his first tailgate party and showing up with more buns than hot dogs, a six pack of beer for 10 guys, and no chips.

  20. bordner says: Feb 18, 2011 11:16 AM

    “In the past, you couldn’t miss where you were supposed to go. You’d get off a bus or out of your limo and there would be someone there to tell you, ‘Tailgate party right this way.’ This one, no one had any idea where to go. VIPs and sponsors were being funneled in [to the stadium] with regular fans.”
    ———————————
    Actually, we found one of the VIP entrances very easily. It was the “regular fan” entrance we had problems finding. And the dude working the gate at the VIP entrance was the most helpful employee that we encountered as we tried to get into the stadium (then again, he was the only employee that we encountered as we tried to get into the stadium). After he told us we couldn’t enter there unless we had a special VIP pass, we asked him where we needed to go to get in and he told us, “I don’t know… down that way I think” and nodded his head to his left. We didn’t see any other employees or stadium staff members until 2 hours later after we had finally made it through the mob to get to the entrance and the ridiculous line to get to security.

  21. toe4 says: Feb 18, 2011 11:17 AM

    Castrol Motor Oil isn’t going to pull out of a chance at sponsoring the Super Bowl being held at Lucas Oil Stadium.

    By the way, MF, you have it backward as to league execs giving up seats. The highest rung ought to have given up their seats first and it trickled down… not the other way around.

  22. jefedejefes13 says: Feb 18, 2011 11:19 AM

    I’m with sportsjustice. Don’t have any superbowls in Dallas at least for the next 15 years. They had time to prepare and blew it.

  23. snnyjcbs says: Feb 18, 2011 11:20 AM

    VIP seating area? lol, everyone today is a VIP, what a crock. The real VIP’s were not even at that Party.

  24. jimmysee says: Feb 18, 2011 11:21 AM

    h8dansnyder says:
    Feb 18, 2011 10:16 AM
    “VIPs and sponsors were being funneled in [to the stadium] with regular fans.”

    The horror!

    ————————————————————–

    “The rich are just like you and me. Only more so.”

    “For our last number, I’d like to ask your help. Would the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands. And the rest of you, if you’ll, just rattle your jewelry.” — John Lennon

  25. olcap says: Feb 18, 2011 11:34 AM

    So now we’ll begin to see who’s REALLY important to Roggy Goodell and his NFL, and it certainly is NOT the fans, but the bigwigs. You can bet the farm that the NFL will not only bend backwards, but will become contortionists for the “VIPs” that they PO’d at the superbowl. Pay attention folks, this will get VERY interesting, and Roggy’s hypocrisy will be on full display over this one.

  26. chrisbermansdoublechin says: Feb 18, 2011 11:41 AM

    don’t know what Eskin did LATELY to tick off Domowitch, but reading that comment about Eskin being a “scumbag”, … Domo just became my favorite writer, … just for the record, Eskin isn’t even popular at his own station, one caller provoked Hugh Douglas on the air, by comparing him to Howard Eskin, & while the caller was joking, it was obvious that that comment got under Hugh’s skin, … & I have the feeling he’s not the only one at WIP who feels that way.

  27. johnjay1178 says: Feb 18, 2011 12:02 PM

    I always feel all warm and tingly when the Cowboys/Jerry Jones/Dallas fail at something.

  28. georgeanderson2 says: Feb 18, 2011 12:12 PM

    Jerry Jones has hired a poor ticket sales staff, and they were caught up in the days activities rather than doing their game day responsibilities in helping the NFL on it’s grandest stage. Jerry Jones has hired people to oversee aspects that he can not on a game day, it ultimately comes back on Jerry for hiring these people, poor management on this day.
    It also falls on the NFL who at these events are awful at communication with the local staff. The NFL brings in their own security who do not know anything about the stadiums, so when asking the security staff for help they are just as clueless as the person looking for what they need. That falls on the league and it’s ego of control. The league needs to trust the franchises at these stadiums to run these events properly, instead of walking in and screwing it all up. The league would save alot of money by working with the franchises instead of using their own staffs.

  29. granadafan says: Feb 18, 2011 12:15 PM

    Here’s my proposal for future Super Bowls. The NFL should have a gigantic tent set up next to the stadium for the VIPs, celebrities (pseudo or legit), sponsors, hangers on, corporate shills with all the frills and lots of cameras (because that’s what they really want) and the best big screen TVs for the game. The network will promise to cut away with gratioutous celeb shots. Heck, give them a free swag area too. Then they can come away happy and pat each other on the back and tell each other how great they are.

    The NFL should leave the actual stadium for the real fans, the ones who care about their teams and not some VIP who wants to be seen on camera rubbing shoulders with a reality star.

  30. listenupcupcake says: Feb 18, 2011 12:39 PM

    Jerruh effs up.

    Again.

    More-balls-than-brains-Jones squats on a few oil leases, lucks into millions, and thinks he’s a smart businessman. He’s more like a dumb joke. Almost everyone gets it, but the Jerruh.

    If Goodell and NFL admin is paying more attention to this botoxed windbag than those owners with at least half a brain and some feel for the game, the golden goose is a dead bird walking.

  31. listenupcupcake says: Feb 18, 2011 12:43 PM

    PS – Eskin is an ass, an idiot, a self-promoting windvane of inconsistent and usually unsupportable “opinion;” his professional and personal depth is measured in microns. He is the Jerruh of sportscasters. But hey, he has a nice beard….

  32. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Feb 18, 2011 12:46 PM

    “Per Domowitch, companies like FedEx and Castrol Motor Oil have threatened as a result of the handling of the situation to pull out as sponsors for next year’s Super Bowl.”

    SO did these executives spend their company’s money(and their shareholders money) just so THEY could go to a party? Wasn’t the sponsorship about THE COMPANY and advertising in front of all these people. IF they wouldn’t sponsor the Super Bowl because they didn’t get, personally, to go to some party…they should be fired for misuse of corporate funds.

  33. skoobyfl says: Feb 18, 2011 1:15 PM

    The Billionaires had to cohort with those regular old Superbowl Millionaires, what in the heck is the world coming to ??

  34. closisgood says: Feb 18, 2011 1:17 PM

    You guys STILL hating on Jerry still don’t accept that this was the LEAGUE’s mishap? Either way, doesn’t matter what any of you post on here.

    Superbowl 50 will be played in Arlington, groundwork is already there.

  35. realkelevra says: Feb 18, 2011 1:27 PM

    You no what solves this on a level satisfying in multiple ways for me, a multi-year ban on Super Bowls in Dallas.

    Sounds like the majority of the fiasco’s responsibility falls in the laps of Dallas.

    This will undoubtedly prevent similar future mistakes from other super bowl cities, and Jerry Jones doesn’t get his perceived chunk of the lime light.

    Little in the NFL makes me happier than to see “America’s Team” and its unlikeable owner wallowing in muck.

  36. 3octaveFart says: Feb 18, 2011 2:36 PM

    closisgood says: Feb 18, 2011 1:17 PM

    “Superbowl 50 will be played in Arlington, groundwork is already there.”

    ..and Dallas won’t be playing in it.
    Again.

  37. steelersmichele says: Feb 18, 2011 2:59 PM

    closisgood says: You guys STILL hating on Jerry still don’t accept that this was the LEAGUE’s mishap? Either way, doesn’t matter what any of you post on here.

    We’ve had 45 Super Bowls. After 44 of them, you never heard anyone complain about the accomodations.

    I have no doubt if the SB went off without a hitch, Mr. Jones would be taking ALL of the credit.

  38. steelerfan9598 says: Feb 18, 2011 3:56 PM

    Oh no, NOT THE VIP’S! They had to wait in line too? What is the world coming to?

  39. whatevnfl says: Feb 18, 2011 6:07 PM

    Why do I have a feeling that all the big shot NFL people with tickets ended up in suites while the low level people probably ended up watching the game in a muddy parking lot.

  40. doe22us says: Feb 18, 2011 10:41 PM

    still wondering how those that paid $200 to sit outside felt, any comments smdh

  41. MichaelEdits says: Feb 19, 2011 12:13 AM

    Hahahahahahahaha!!

  42. moochzilla says: Feb 21, 2011 7:53 PM

    Jerry Jones only considered one fan when he put all this together.

    That fan…himself.

    This was a party for his ego. He could have cared less about anyone or anything else.

  43. moochzilla says: Feb 21, 2011 7:55 PM

    And Goodell is good at what part of his job?

  44. moochzilla says: Feb 21, 2011 8:00 PM

    “SO did these executives spend their company’s money(and their shareholders money) just so THEY could go to a party? Wasn’t the sponsorship about THE COMPANY and advertising in front of all these people.”

    Programs like this are affinity marketing – the owner of CMO happens to like the team and wants the free seats and VIP treatment. It’s all about the owner / company ego.

    The exposure you get for your dollar is among the least efficient methods of advertising. It isn’t about effectiveness or reaching a desirable target.

    I have been in the ad business for 2 decades. Sports sponsorships are a total waste of money for most of the advertisers who buy in.

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