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My Super Bowl #1 | The event host

Lester Bagley, Minnesota Vikings executive vice president of public affairs.  The team's US Bank Stadium will host Super Bowl LII

We had a 'Bring it Home' campaign [during the play-offs]. The Super Bowl is being played in our stadium so the campaign 'Bring it Home' was based on, 'let's bring the Vince Lombardi trophy home'. 

We came up short but the campaign went viral. We had T-shirts and hats and marketing materials that our community really embraced. 

We also asked business groups to light their buildings purple for play-off Friday going into the weekend. A ton of business and a ton of landmarks, like bridges, turned purple, also people wore purple gear on Fridays, so there was a ton of community energy and a lot of stuff on social media that went into it to drive excitement.

The Vikings are perhaps more engaged than perhaps any other team in the Super Bowl because, for example, in San Francisco the 49ers handed it over to the host committee and then they ran with it. The Vikings have been very much involved. We are a modest, Midwest community; the fan energy and grassroots support for this event is strong and we have a lot of the same partners and sponsors that the host committee does. 

There are a number of events that we are organising. There is a Viking House, which is a hospitality space for the week for our sponsors and partners. There is Super Bowl Live, which is the epicentre of the week-long celebration and we've invited our fans. So you'll see a lot of Vikings fans in the mix for the Super Bowl.  We also have marketing activations in Super Bowl Live and in the community. The Vikings brand will be prevalent.

The health of the NFL is strong. There has been a little dip in some of the TV ratings over the past year or two. But I think they bounced a little bit this year. There have been some protests and some issues that have impacted it but nine out of the 10 most-watched TV events in 2017 were NFL football. Particularly in Minnesota, we think we have a strong base with our partners and fans to weather any storm.

This is the second part in a series of interviews with Super Bowl stakeholders. To read the other interviews in the series, click on the links below:

My Super Bowl #2 | The official sideline cap supplier

My Super Bowl #3 | The investor

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