How Miami used Super Bowl LIV to showcase its revitalization

What Miami Downtown Development Authority did in the lead up to the big game.

Image via Getty Images
Image via Getty Images

Campaign: Downtown Miami’s Super Bowl Glow-Up
Company: Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA)
Agency partners: Schwartz Media Strategies
Duration: March 2019 - February 2020
Budget: $30,000

In the lead up to Super Bowl LIV, based in Miami, the Miami Downtown Development Authority initiated a multi-part campaign to spotlight the city’s revitalized downtown.

The last time Miami saw a Super Bowl was 10 years ago,” said Tadd Schwartz, president of Schwartz Media. “It was a completely different place.”

In the interim, more than 50 hotels went up in Miami’s urban core, the city’s population nearly tripled and a number of cultural institutions opened.

Leading up to the 2020 Super Bowl, Schwartz Media’s job was to highlight downtown Miami’s vibrancy and resurgence.

“The idea was to create a campaign that bookends where we were 10 years ago and where we are today; one that would help us get that story out using the Super Bowl as a news peg,” Schwartz said.

In March 2019, shortly after Super Bowl LIII, Schwartz Media began sending tailored pitches to the media about downtown Miami.

“The baton had been passed and we could really get consumers to begin focusing on Miami,” said Aaron Gordon, a partner at Schwartz Media.

The efforts lead to long-lead articles in a number of national outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, which wrote about the growth of Miami’s hotel market.

In September 2019, Schwartz Media organized a press trip, sending a half-dozen journalists from a variety of publications to Miami for a tour of the city’s cultural institutions as well as the Super Bowl venue. Altogether, the press trip cost $1,500.

“We leveraged our relationships with stakeholders and museums to keep our budget down,” Gordon said.

From there, the agency worked on developing a series of videos highlighting the best of downtown Miami, including interviews with local business owners. Much of the content was taken from videos made for Amazon, back when the company was selecting a second HQ.

Two weeks before the Super Bowl, the videos appeared in a social media advertising campaign that targeted sports fans across the country and drove traffic back to the Miami DDA website.

“It was a tourism guide,” Gordon said. “We were using the Super Bowl as a vehicle to get in front of potential businesses and people who might want to move here.”

The campaign generated more than 15 earned media placements, including write-ups in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.

The two-week paid social media ad campaign, which had a budget of $5,000, resulted in 110,000 video plays and 11,000 direct visits to the Miami DDA website.

The campaign also generated 15,000 video plays and 10,000 social media engagements organically.

For Schwartz, the biggest win was watching Miami’s coverage during the Super Bowl. Instead of simply focusing on Miami’s beaches, the broadcast featured numerous live shots from downtown, including aerial footage of the city center.

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