It’s that time of year again: When the guttural excitement of a flying pigskin renders us child-like as we cheer from our couches with our favorite brew in one hand and a buffalo wing in another. And, while I’m disappointed that my beloved New England Patriots won’t be going for the big win, I still can’t help but feel the infectious joy that is THE Super Bowl.

The branding, the commercials, the halftime show, the fanfare, the nachos (yes, bring on MORE nachos). There’s something so exhilarating about this annual tradition that last year’s Super Bowl matchup became the most-watched show in TV history. As we head into Super Bowl weekend, I can’t help but get a bit (or, a lot) revved up for the show down and all of the unique branding and PR details that have made it the most anticipated one yet.

The Golden Game

We all know that if you have the privilege to go to the Super Bowl, you are definitely holding a proverbial “golden ticket.” But, this year the NFL has taken this to the next level, pushing the “Golden” Super Bowl 50 with different promotions throughout the football season. Gold stripes marked the 50-yard lines of each NFL stadium, the Lombardi trophy will be adorned in 18-karat gold plating, and this year’s big game will be played in California – the “Golden State.”

Nixing the Numerals

For the first time in NFL history, the significant Roman numerals that have been used for decades to designate each iteration of the Super Bowl have been sidelined. And truthfully, for the better: This year we would be looking at “Super Bowl L.” Instead, 2016 is the year of the 50th Super Bowl – a tribute to a milestone that has shaped American and athletic culture. However, the NFL reported they will return to roman numerals for Super Bowl LI (51) 2017.

Gridiron and Gridlock

Super Bowl 50 will be played in Santa Clara, California – roughly 45 miles South of San Francisco. While definitely a distance from arguably one of the biggest tech cities in the country (home to companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Uber), not everyone is excited about its arrival.

Uber, a San Fran-born company, had partnered with the NFL to become “the official ride hailing app of Super Bowl 50.” That is until three weeks ago when Uber boycotted this agreement entirely – citing traffic, tourists, and football fans. In turn, the influx of people meant drivers were earning below minimum wage because they couldn’t transit around the city due to traffic.

As I tuck away my Brady jersey for the season, and prep my crockpot for homemade chili, I look forward to the hoopla, the craziness, and the sound of resounding cheers from the sidelines. While I may not be rooting for any one team in this year’s playoff, I definitely am a fan of Super Bowl 50’s PR and branding. And, that’s a winning touchdown in my playbook.

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