Sonoma County tourism and wine were in front of more than 1 million people who visited Super Bowl City in San Francisco from Jan. 30–Feb. 7.
Over those nine days, more than 20,000 glasses of wine were poured at the Taste of Sonoma lounge and at two concession booths in the fan mall set up from the Ferry Building, according to the “trio” of vintner, tourism and winegrape grower groups spearheading the marketing effort.
Throughout the week, 55 Sonoma County vintners offered more than 150 wines from the various viticultural areas.
The destination sponsorship of Super Bowl 50 was a joint effort of Sonoma County Tourism, Sonoma County Vintners and Sonoma County Winegrowers.
Sonoma County wines also were featured at 14 events and programs throughout Super Bowl City and the Super Bowl in Santa Clara. That included the Super Bowl Host Committee’s VIP 50 Club and events before and after the game, such as an exclusive reception for the 2,500 media that covered the game.
“We scored a touchdown at the top sporting event in the nation,” said Ken Fischang, president and CEO of Sonoma County Tourism. “It was an excellent way to promote the tourism and agriculture industries of Sonoma County on such a large stage.”
The tourism agency brought in more than 100 of its certified tourism ambassadors, who have gone through the organization’s program. The volunteers helped guide visitors through the lounge and answer questions about places to visit and things to do on trips to the county.
“This was a unique opportunity to bring visibility to the diversity of Sonoma County wines and all the Bay Area has to offer,” said Caroline Shaw, president, Sonoma County Vintners and chief marketing officer, Jackson Family Wines. “Tapping into the energy around Super Bowl City allowed us to reach visitors from all over the world.”
As part of the community aspect of the festivities, the Super Baskets of Hope program came to Sonoma County and used hundreds of local volunteers to create gift baskets for hospitalized children and their families. The program, though not officially part of the Super Bowl, uses current and retired football players to create baskets for children diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness.
NFL players Lorenzo Alexander of the Oakland Raiders and De Angelo Hall of the Washington Redskins helped assemble the baskets on Jan. 30 in Santa Rosa.
“The Super Baskets of Hope program was a great way to connect what is happening at the Super Bowl and use that energy to do something in the community,” said Mark Crabb, chief sales officer for Sonoma County Tourism. “Local companies like Jackson Family Wines and others who have donated staff and resources stepped up to participate and be a big part of this event.”