Comcast Corp. and the NFL Network have some big plans for the Big Game. With Super Bowl XL scheduled for Ford Field in Detroit on Feb. 5, the nation’s largest cable systems operator and the pro pigskin programmer look to execute a game plan aimed at raising their profiles in the area and with visitors embarking to Motown for the National Football League’s championship contest.
“We did some things with Comcast in Jacksonville [site of Super Bowl XXXIX], but this is a much more extensive effort,” said NFL Network vice president of affiliate sales and marketing Art Marquez. “One of the great things NFL Network can do is provide a lot of different opportunities for the host cable company to associate itself with the Super Bowl.”
In addition to presenting 11 billboards and 10 co-branded bus wraps in the area, the parties are teaming on an effort that will reposition NFL Network, which is providing 100 hours of Super Bowl-related coverage — 60 of them live, during the week of the game — from digital to analog from Jan. 23 through Feb. 7.
The channel will also feed NFL Network HD full-time to Comcast systems in the Jacksonville designated market area, which includes counties in Florida and Georgia.
Marquez said that 295 area hotels, representing nearly 27,000 rooms in the Detroit market, also will have access to NFL Network, with Comcast providing service to 230 of them.
The cable company will also serve as backbone provider to the Super Bowl media center, providing high-speed Internet access and Wi-Fi service and giving journalists a look at NFL Network on Demand.
At the annual Motown Winter Blast festival, Comcast will have a display area that will screen the network’s HD and on-demand product.
NFL Network and Comcast are also giving away a rare commodity — a pair of Super Bowl tickets — at the NFL Experience, the league’s fan fest at Cobo Hall, on the Friday night before the game. Those who sign up for the on-site giveaway can examine Comcast advanced services at its truck parked there.
Contestants can also enter the promotion at Comcast.com and ComcastLocal.com, the Web site for the company’s area sports channel, said Jerome Espy, director of communications for Comcast Michigan.
Kicking off Feb. 1, Comcast Local will also dedicate itself to Super Bowl XL’s arrival, functioning as a happenings-guide and providing coverage of the day’s NFL-related activities.
On game day, Comcast and NFL Network will “brand wrap” the Sunday Detroit News and Free Press. In the stadium, Comcast will showcase the company’s video and high-speed services, according to Espy, who said Comcast will be part of 13 Super Bowl events overall.
“This is great exposure for our company. Working with NFL Network is helping us put our best foot forward for visitors and within the community we serve,” he said.
NFL Network officials value the various forms of exposure emanating from the branded and co-branded plays at upward of “eight figures.”