Super Bowl LVIII Promotions Student Competition – Winning Entries!

Published by Chris Lindauer on

In conjunction with Super Bowl LVIII, Sports Career Consulting hosted a student competition that challenged students to create a point-of-purchase promotional display representing a consumer goods brand tied to the Big Game.

We had a lot of highlights this year, with quite a few submissions that offered pretty cool interactive engagement opportunities. Students offered creative packaging and display ideas that featured QR codes, sweepstakes promotions, hashtags encouraging social media interactions, and more. We expected to see more promotions with Taylor Swift tie-ins. Still, several submitted displays were a little too Swiftie-centric, forgetting almost entirely about leveraging the Super Bowl to promote the product.

Thank you to all the schools who participated. We hope you and your students enjoyed the activity. Entries were evaluated on creativity and how well students demonstrated an understanding of promotion. We more than one hundred entries, but the winning submissions came from students who not only found creative ways to promote a product but also developed the best strategies and plans for boosting product sales. The top submissions also did a great job tying the display they created to additional activations that would support the marketing campaign.


First Place: Gatorade “Pour Your Prediction” (Grant High School, Oregon)

Congrats to Nate and Tristan at Grant High School in Oregon for winning SCC’s Super Bowl LVIII Promotions Competition!

Creative, engaging, memorable…there was a lot to appreciate with this year’s winning display. According to Nate and Tristan, the goal was to “combine the past with the future” with this Virtual Reality point-of-purchase display. Grocery shoppers can simulate the experience of the iconic “Gatorade Shower” in-store, powered by VR. Positioned near the entrance of the store so shoppers can’t miss it, the display experience is described as “As one enters the display, they’ll notice several cardboard cutouts of players on the 49ers and Chiefs posing in action, only to have their football replaced with bottles of Gatorade. Next to them will be signs prompting shoppers to enter the #PourPrediction challenge. Behind the cutouts will be lines of refrigerators hosting the new San Francisco Squeeze and Kansas City Quench flavors. There will also be several of the famous Gatorade jugs placed around the booth for fans to purchase, which will be bundled with the limited edition flavors in powder form. The virtual reality experience will be located in the middle of the supermarket, and the software will be designed to function without an attendant.

Within the virtual reality experience, fans will get to experience what billions have dreamed of doing since the first jug was dumped. The simulation will start by prompting users to select one of the two competing teams. After this, they will take the place of the selected team’s head coach and will choose a game-winning drive from a virtual playbook presented to them. Each play will have a special Gatorade-themed name. After the play is completed, the player will get to simulate having Gatorade dumped on them, which will change color depending on the play.”

What makes this work is not only the increased engagement that the display will no doubt create but also the leveraging of the promotional opportunity to sell an entire line of Gatorade products, not just its traditional sports drinks. The display would also feature Gatorade jugs, powdered drinks, and other Gatorade-branded products, including two limited-edition flavors created just for the Super Bowl. The attention-to-detail in making sure the display is self-sufficient enough to function without the need for an attendant or staff was a nice touch, and the inclusion of a sweepstakes promotion and use of a hashtag that encourages fans to post on social media really helped to tie everything together.

This was really well done. Congratulations!

Runner Up: “George SKittles” (Grant High School, Oregon)

This was such a fun idea from Oscar and Ryan at Grant High School, who took second place in this year’s pop display competition. Pairing one of the game’s biggest stars, 49ers tight end George Kittle, with Skittles for a special edition Super Bowl package was such a clever idea that we are surprised this didn’t actually happen!

Oscar and Ryan developed Super Bowl-themed packaging for Skittles candy that featured the face of the 49ers star, with an “X” through the “S” in “Skittles”, along with a color scheme (red and gold) that aligns with the San Francisco 49ers’ brand colors.

They also included a sweepstakes promotion by including 10 “golden tickets” in Skittles packages with a chance to win Super Bowl tickets and an autographed George Kittle jersey. The in-store display featured a life-size cutout of Kittle, positioned at an end cap where fans could buy Skittles candy in both the limited-edition packaging and traditional packaging and from a candy machine. Because Skittles is a NFL sponsor, Oscar and Ryan wisely leveraged the league’s wide reach to promote the campaign through the NFL’s social media channels.

This was fantastic!

Third Place: Reese’s Mini Cups (James River High School, Virginia)

The third place finisher in this year’s competition is from James River High School in Virginia. Similar to the George “Skittles” promotion, Savannah’s concept also included a sweepstakes with a hidden prize inside select packaging. However, her version, designed to increase sales of Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups, included a hidden replica Super Bowl ring.

Savannah also created limited-edition Super Bowl packaging to help attract the attention of shoppers, and we thought it was a really smart decision to expand the number of displays beyond just grocery and into big box stores, convenience stores, and other retailers, pretty much anywhere Reese’s mini cups can be purchased. There is no question that this would help to increase sales.

While the additional promotion elements were fantastic, what helped this display earn a top-three finish was how much Savannah prioritized the details of the display. After all, the main focus of this competition is to encourage students to create something that captures the attention of shoppers, and the attention to detail in colorways, branding, etc. in this display would definitely accomplish that goal.

Great work!

Fourth Place: Papa Murphy’s Vending Machine (Desert Pines High School, Nevada)

This year’s competition was initially intended to reward the top three entries, but we made an exception and will award a prize to the fourth-place finisher based purely on how unique the idea was. Quitzia, a student at Desert Pines High School in Nevada, recognized the importance of this event (the Super Bowl) to pizza brands. It was such a fun concept that we had to give some props.

The goal of this competition is to create a promotion that will leverage the Super Bowl to drive sales. Quitzia came up with a solution that could help automate the pizza-making process in a way that would increase efficiency and help maximize the number of pizzas sold by introducing a pizza-making vending machine at Papa Murphy’s. Not only would this “functional” display capture consumers’ attention because of its uniqueness, but it could (in theory) double the production on game day.

The way it would work is consumers would enter the store and have the option of getting in line the same way they traditionally would order a Papa Murphy’s take-n-bake pizza, OR step up to the vending machine, select their toppings, pay with a credit card, Apple Pay etc., and the machine would produce the requested pie in a Super Bowl box. Love it!

Great idea, Quitzia!

Congratulations to the students who finished in the top four! We have gift cards coming your way!

While only four students won prizes, we wanted to recognize a few more students for a job well done.

Honorable Mention:

Verizon Promotion – Danny at Guilderland High School in New York hoped to tap into the power and influence of celebrity by aligning with Taylor Swift and Anna Frey for a display that featured a goal post shaped like the Verizon check mark. The displays would be placed in stores, malls, and any other retail spaces where consumers could be shopping for mobile devices and services.

Pringles Promotion – Elijah, Preston, Bryce, Carson, and Eyan from Galax High School in Virginia also found a creative brand-centric design for a football goal post with a Pringles promotion that used the iconic Pringles mustache as the crossbar with the posts built from cans of the popular brand of Chips. In addition, the group decided to cross-promote with Little Caesar’s, offering a coupon code for 25% off the purchase of a pizza on the bottom of the chip packaging.

Stanley Promotion – Lily and Grace from Deep Run High School in Virginia tapped into the latest viral product craze with a display featuring licensed Stanley cups. The promotion included cups featuring logos from both Super Bowl teams, and a third option with the NFL logo for fans of all other teams.

Kleenex – Students in Mrs. Fields’ classroom at Memorial High School in San Antonio introduced one of the most unique brands as part of the promotional display in this competition…Kleenex. Why Kleenex? They’re needed during the emotional Super Bowl ads. Such a clever product idea, and they also did a great job with the actual display.

Pepsi Brands – Maijae at Chavez High School in Arizona included several really fun elements as part of a campaign promoting a variety of PepsiCo brands, including MTN DEW, Pepsi, and Brisk. The display features a stadium designed using the brands soda boxes with cardboard cutouts of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. Maijae strategically introduced the displays in stores a full month prior to the Super Bowl to maximize sales opportunities, and included a variety of digital marketing aspects like QR codes, a microsite, social media components, and text messaging.

Dick’s Sporting Goods – Another group of Grant High School students, Erin, Malina, and Dagny, chose to create a display at Dick’s Sporting Goods promoting Kristin Juszczyk’s new clothing line. Kristin is the wife of 49ers’ player Kyle Juszczyk, whose designs have found their way to players on the Kansas City Chiefs, the Detroit Lions, and the Green Bay Packers, and celebrities such as Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner, Brittany Mahomes, and Simone Biles. This was a really unique spin on this project.

Flat Screen TVs – Parker and Zavier from Hinsdale South in Illinois did not specify a specific brand of TV as part of their promotion, but they offered one of the best reasons for choosing this product category…because “every fan who broke their TV watching needs to buy another one”, a reference to all the viral videos after the Big Game of people breaking TVs after the game’s outcome didn’t turn out in their favor.

Starry – To promote Pepsi’s newest flavor, Starry, students from Parsippany High School in New Jersey (Kenny, Nick, Joe, Darren, and Jerin) teamed up with Ice Spice to help draw attention to the product in stores. With speakers built into a Super Bowl display with several shelves containing cases of the product, Ice Spice music would help to attract consumers. The promotion would also include product samples, which is a great idea considering this is a relatively new product.

Thanks again to those who participated. We look forward to seeing what your students come up with next year!

Categories: Blog

Chris Lindauer

After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.