Mike Kennedy, Super Bowl XLII Host Committee chairman, says the goal was to make state residents "ambassadors" on its behalf and help recruit volunteers.
"We needed an emotional tool - something recognizable," says Melanie McBride, VP and PR department leader at EB Lane. A brainstorming session led to the birth of Spike, a seven-foot-tall football with white gloves, blue running shoes, and sunglasses that reflected the different landscapes of the state.
EB identified various existing events that drew a minimum of 1,500 people to plan Spike's Game Ball Road Trip, a 42-stop, yearlong trip across the state.
The effort kicked off with a February 6, 2007, press conference to introduce Spike at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, site of the big game. From there, Spike's statewide tour began. He presented each town's mayor with an official Super Bowl XLII Game Ball for the community to display.
The team also made sure to direct attendees to AZsuperbowl.com at the start of each presentation. The Web site address was also printed on the back of the strap that held the sunglasses to Spike's head.
"Spike has probably been the best thing about this effort," says Kennedy. The mascot interacted with more than 144,000 Arizonans on his trip.
Between June and December, the Spike Road Trip page on the Web site garnered 29,143 unique visits. The effort also helped recruit about 7,500 volunteers.
Kennedy says that if Arizona bids to host any future Super Bowl, EB Lane will likely be on the team.
SB XLII Host Committee
PR Team: Super Bowl XLII Host Committee and EB Lane (Phoenix)
Campaign: Spike, the Super Bowl XLII Team Captain, 42-City Road Trip
Duration: Feb.-Nov. 2007