Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach is executive chairman for the Americas at Jones Lang LaSalle—a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate—and also chairman of the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee. We talked with him recently about 2011’s big game in Arlington.
D: The Super Bowl has become an american Cultural phenomenon. But it’s Still Nothing More than a gigantic Football Game, right?
Roger Staubach: Actually, it will be the largest and most impactful event in the history of North Texas. It’s an event that will attract thousands of people to the region and generate hundreds of millions of dollars of economic activity. The Super Bowl also generates the largest annual viewing audience of any television show in the world. In fact, Super Bowl XLIV earlier this year was the most watched show in television history.
I sense the NFL is surprised how seriously we’re taking the job of hosting the game.
Ours is the largest host committee in Super Bowl history. Two-hundred and seventy-nine regional leaders are on the committee. Many are also serving on the committee’s standing action teams. The action teams address the host committee’s commitments relating to transportation, security and public safety, aviation, regional volunteer recruitment and management, engagement of women and minority-owned businesses, special events, sponsorships, government relations, financial management and accountability, and other responsibilities essential to the production of a successful Super Bowl.
Since the NFL awarded Super Bowl XLV to North Texas in May of 2007, this group of dedicated volunteers representing Collin, Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant counties has worked diligently, developing an infrastructure to enable North Texas’ first-ever Super Bowl to be a meaningful and enjoyable experience for North Texas’ families and organizations—and to showcase our region’s unique personality.
We understand North Texas’ approach to Super Bowl XLV is very different from that of any previous host committee. How so?
Typically, host committees are small in number, representing leaders from a particular city. The North Texas host committee is the largest in Super Bowl history, because it represents a region and includes the mayors of Arlington, Dallas, and Fort Worth, and other regional influencers ranging from the chancellor at Texas Christian University to the conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Also, the Super Bowl is usually comprised of events and activities of various kinds and produced over a 10-day period culminating with the NFL Championship game. Super Bowl XLV will include a historic 12-month countdown that will include concerts, receptions, children’s events, festivals, and other programs of various kinds presented by the host committee throughout North Texas, providing unprecedented regional involvement and participation.
The committee apparently has been pretty productive in a number of areas. Can you talk about some of them?
The host committee commissioned the design and raised $1 million in grants to underwrite the first education program ever created to operate in conjunction with the Super Bowl: Service Learning Adventures in North Texas, or SLANT 45. This program will involve 20,000 elementary school children who will participate in service-learning projects of various kinds during the year. In addition, $2 million in grants were confirmed to establish Super Bowl XLV’s Youth Education Town in a challenged neighborhood where at-risk children live, many of whom are homeless. The YET will offer children tutoring, mentoring, career training, computer education, and access to sports and recreation programs.
We understand you’re also setting a new pace with the Taste of the NFL and other programs.
The host committee confirmed the first-ever title sponsorship for Taste of the NFL, the Super Bowl’s only NFL-sanctioned charitable event, with the goal of raising $1 million to be allocated to North Texas and Tarrant County food banks, in addition to food banks in the 31 other NFL cities. The largest grant in NFL history was secured to underwrite a Super Bowl Emerging Business Program, dedicated to assisting minority- and women-owned companies in competing for contracts to provide Super Bowl products and services. And, the NFL and host committee announced 17 venues in four North Texas cities to host Super Bowl events, validating our commitment to make Super Bowl XLV a regional experience.
Cowboys Stadium is sort of central to all this, isn’t it?
The Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium in Arlington, the home of Super Bowl XLV, is the most spectacular sports venue in the world. The stadium may accommodate as many as 100,000 people for Super Bowl XLV, which will be among the largest audiences ever to attend an NFL championship game. However, the number of people throughout the region and beyond who will be involved in Super Bowl XLV’s 12-month countdown will be extraordinary, making the Super Bowl the biggest and most dynamic event in the region’s history.
What do you think the long-term impact of the big game will be?
Super Bowl XLV’s legacy will be new friendships and partnerships developed throughout the region that provide the structure required to introduce North Texas into the cycle to host future Super Bowls, and to attract national and international sports, entertainment, and cultural events to the region. In this context, Super Bowl XLV will be a catalyst to bond the region like never before in its history, and prepare North Texas to be a place where the most extraordinary events are presented.