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NFL looks for Las Vegas businesses to help with Super Bowl

Updated December 14, 2022 - 1:53 pm

When Super Bowl LVIII comes to Las Vegas on Feb. 11, 2024, the NFL will rely on local, diverse businesses to help fill the various needs of the largest annual sporting event in the U.S.

Looking to get that process going, the NFL launched its Business Connect initiative, aimed at attracting local businesses that are at least 51 percent diverse owned to land contracts with the league.

All prospective businesses must have had an established office in the Las Vegas Valley since 2020, provide a service or good needed for the Super Bowl and be the direct source their product derives from.

In past Super Bowl markets, up to 1,800 businesses have applied for the 200 spots needed for the over weeklong event to take place.

Interested businesses will go through a vetting process and then showcase their product or service to a group to see if they fit the Super Bowl’s needs and expectations.

“They get access to somewhere between 10 and 17 workshops,” said BJ Waymer, lead of the NFL Business Connect program. “Where we’ll work with them on understanding how to present themselves on social media, how to answer an RFP (request for proposal). How to write an effective capacity statement … There’s so much that goes into actually getting the job. So, we lock that down for them through our workshops.”

A food and beverage company would also go through a taste test to ensure their product is up to Super Bowl standards.

“Then they’ll get that letter that says they’re going to work NFL Tailgate,” Waymer said, referring to a special event held during Super Bowl week.

One-hundred percent of caterers used for the NFL Tailgate party in the past five years have been chosen from Business Connect, Waymer said.

“Those are caterers who serve anywhere from 7,000-11,000 people at one event,” Waymer said.

Other services that will be in need include audio visual, entertainment, fencing, golf carts, office supplies, security, tenting and transportation.

Interested Las Vegas area businesses can sign up for the program on Business Connect’s website.

Sean Ono, CEO of Eagle Promotions, which designs and develops merchandise for various events including big name fights in Las Vegas, was already chosen to work with the Super Bowl Committee. Although the company has been in business for 27 years, Ono said the opportunity could open doors previously not available to him.

“It’s such a large organization and opportunity, so for us to be able to get our name out there and show what we can do, I think it will provide a lot more opportunity with other businesses in the community and also outside of the community,” Ono said.

The Raiders already work with a number of local companies and will look to assist in local businesses landing contracts.

“We have our Small Business Showcase that we do every year, where we highlight one small local business here in the community … and we allow them to come alongside us as a partner,” said Michael Crome, Raiders chief financial officer. “Lots of different companies apply, so even though they’re not the winner we still will engage with those businesses and try to get them involved with procurement opportunities we have with the Raiders … and do some of our spending with some of these small local diverse businesses. We are providing those lists to this Business Connect program.”

Not only do the Raiders hope to land local businesses work during the Super Bowl, they’ll also keep those chosen to be considered for other major events on the horizon.

“We plan to share that resource guide with Formula One, for example that’s coming here to the city, share that guide with the Final Four that we just announced that’s coming to the city as well,” Crome said. “As we see larger events coming to the city, we want to provide that business resource guide to those other organizations and say ‘Hey, here’s a list of individual companies that have been vetted, that you can count on, that have been involved with the Super Bowl and involved with the Raiders … and you can utilize these businesses and we’ll stand behind them.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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