Sleep Number is proud to be a Founding Partner of the Super Bowl Host Committee. What’s it like planning the Big Game’s Media party and other event activations? Read our interview with Jill Madison, Co-Vice Chair of the Super Bowl Media Party Committee, and Sleep Number Brand Experience Manager.
Jill Madison has spent the last year and a half joining 13 other professionals monthly to plan the Big Game’s Media Party. This is in addition to monthly Leadership 52 committee meetings, quarterly luncheons, and weekly internal Sleep Number team meetings. The Super Bowl is 24/7. Oh, and did we mention this is on top of her regular day job???
Jill Madison (far right) poses in one of the activations she and Angela Gearhart, Vice President, Brand Experience helped create.
Jill, what does it mean to be on the Super Bowl Host Committee?
Planning an event this large takes a village and their mom. This is the coolest thing I’ve been a part of in the last five years that I have been with Sleep Number. There are about 23 different committees planning behind the scenes to ensure this year’s Big Game welcomes 1.5 million guests to Minnesota, without a hitch. I’m the Co-Vice Chair of the Super Bowl Media Party Committee, which hosts a party for about 5,000 reporters at Nickelodeon Universe in the Mall of America. During the party media members have an opportunity to participate in whatever fits their speed whether that’s lounge areas to sit, party music areas to escape, great food, drinks, etc... there’s something for everyone—including a celebrity performance.
How many days of activities are planned in the Twin Cities for the Big Game?
What most people don’t realize is, the Big Game lasts 10 days, with different activities occurring daily leading up to Sunday’s kickoff. Ten days of Minneapolis activations put a huge spotlight on Minnesota to showcase the people, culture, and break down stereotypes. It’s about connecting people and making business connections at Fortune 500s and small businesses that live long after the Big Game. I’m a proud piece of the puzzle helping bring things together. It definitely takes a village, and we have the right people helping.
In addition to the Super Bowl Media Party, what activations have you been planning for Sleep Number?
For Sleep Number, we also have two outdoor activation's open to the general public. The first is a virtual reality (VR) experience that lets people wear a VR headset and test their quarterback-throwing accuracy when they’re well-rested vs. when they’re sleep deprived. The second activation gives people a chance to go on a ride with our new Sleep Number 360™ smart beds.
How does the cold Minnesota weather factor into your outdoor activation plans?
Because it’s February in Minnesota, the weather can be unpredictable. When planning the outside structures to go around the Sleep Number® beds, we had to think about how the structures would respond to snow, and the weight of snow on a tent. But, we’re prepared for it to be 30 degrees, or -40 (yes, that’s negative 40); last year’s temperatures were in the 50s/60s during the Big Game week, so you never know. We’ll embrace it all!
What happens the final days before the Big Game 10-day activations open to the public?
The days leading up to the Big Game become really exciting. The teams button up final details, conduct the final host committee meetings, and train volunteers. I talk 5-10 times per day with volunteers, and more than 30 vendors. I feel really good about our plans. Now it’s just a matter of going through the daily checklist.
How have you stayed sane during all this planning?
My mind is always racing. I have a Sleep Number bed and am just barely getting the restorative sleep I need. My phone is buzzing non-stop. This is a 24/7 gig, and it’s easy to get into a 24/7 grind. But, I always walk away from our planning meetings feeling inspired. Euphoric. Impressed. This is something I get to tell my kids about someday. My daughter is too young to know I’m helping plan the Super Bowl, but I’ll have a piece of Minnesota history to share with her when she’s older. I make sure I pick her up from daycare every day and log back onto my computer after she’s asleep.
Event planning isn’t for the faint of heart. Why do you do it?
I love seeing a fan smiling and enjoying something I’ve thought about non-stop for the past year. That’s when I catch my breath and smile because it’s so cool to see it come to life. But, when this is all over, I’m going to hang out on a beach somewhere with my daughter for a couple weeks. 😊
Sleep well, Jill! It’s well deserved.
Jill’s Sleep Number® setting is 35
Her SleepIQ® score ranges from 67-75
To read more behind-the-scenes coverage of the Big Game, read how the Mayo Clinic is educating about human trafficking in their activation.