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Game Winning Strategy Brings Team AFR Home as Champs!

Posted: 2.06.13
Category: Special Events

WHOOOOO! We are still energized and riding high from our Super Bowl performance. Okay, we’re kidding and cannot lie; we’re exhausted, but really happy about our Super Bowl performance.

While 108.4 million viewers watched the festivities from the comfort of their living rooms, we were boots on the ground in NOLA where in 14 days, 25 of our semis from 17 locations cross the country dropped off thousands of furnishings to one 40,000 square foot location and then we delivered it all to 82 events around the city. That breaks down to 164 installations and strikes between 45 employees, 6500 man-hours and 90 blistered and extremely sore feet.

It all looks so easy from the comfort of the living room when everyone settles in for a great day of party food, crazy commercials, and an awesome game with a great half time show, but for us…reality is that it takes months of preparation that culminates in the 10 days leading up to Game Day. It is a test of sheer determination that requires the endurance of a champ. Mix in almost a million people in town for Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl, and logistics become a math puzzle fit for Albert Einstein.

Our preparation paid off as we moved from venue to venue with installations, handling change orders, and delivering additional product to our clients. With street closures, strict credentialing requirements and security perimeters that ran a quarter mile around the Super Dome, and the many facilities we had to navigate - execution had to be perfect in order to be successful. They were.

Popular styles and colors this year were muted with a variety of white, grays and brown and our Gramercy Collection won Super Bowl MVP!

It wasn’t all work and no play though, how could it be in New Orleans? Amongst all the hard work we still found time for fun and saw several people whose names you might recognize: Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, Tony Romo, Troy Aikman, Jerry Rice…just your everyday football heroes and many other notable musicians, DJ’s, chefs and celebs.

In true TMZ style, we have lots of insider information, and we’re going to answer some of the questions that you’ve been asking:

What was the hardest part of the job?

Manning the product, keeping everything organized and literally getting thousands of items to the right locations at the right time, in the right quantity. It can quickly become a logistical nightmare. We’ve done this for a few years now, and our clients have too, so pre-planning and production timelines become holy documents. It was flawless.
What was the biggest event you saw or worked on?

An event in a tent that spanned 400’ x 200’ and connected to a 4-story parking garage and then linked to the New Orleans Arena.  It was a huge party for 10,000 VIP NFL guests.  We were near the stage when One Republic and Matchbox 20 rocked the party that night. It was just a very cool experience.

What was the most memorable moment?

There were several, but the biggest notable was that everyone was just so nice. Our clients were the absolute best. People everywhere were just happy and friendly. It really made a tough job much easier. We were prepared for it to be a little crazier with Mardi Gras operating at the same time, but the city itself was just perfect.

Setting up in the Super Dome while Beyonce was rehearsing was pretty awesome also. Okay, it was really awesome!

Did you get to go to the Game?

Yes, and the rumors are true – the noise levels in the Super Dome are astronomical. It was hard to even talk to the person next to you…but wow, what ENERGY!

How is the Half Time Show to watch live as opposed to on television?

It’s not as perfect as what we see on television. But WOW! Beyonce put on one great performance, and it was interesting to note that it was the women in the audience that were going crazy over her. From a production stand point it was just really interesting to watch as an event professional.

And perhaps the most popular question of all…

What was it like when the lights went out?

It was an eerie experience since we really didn’t know what was happening, and all that was announced was, “Thank you for your patience, power is being restored.” They kept us in the dark. No pun intended. People were definitely anxious. It got hot quickly in the building; the ATM’s didn’t work so people couldn’t get food or beverages. It was just strange. It wasn’t a total black out like you might imagine as the emergency lighting did kick on. Most odd was seeing the players hanging out down on the field stretching and trying to keep loose. The situation could have escalated into a serious safety and security nightmare, but it didn’t and in the end, we can say we were there when the lights went out at the Super Bowl. Mostly though, we were really happy we weren’t in charge of the power.

So in closing, a special thanks to the people of New Orleans for your gracious hospitality and to our clients for giving us the opportunity to be a part of your teams and a spectacular Super Bowl experience! Last, but not least, here’s to what we believe to be the best team in the business, TEAM AFR!