SBD/Issue 92/Facilities & Venues

Pieces Of Field Used During Super Bowl XLIV Going Up For Sale

Example Of What Game-Used Sod
From Super Bowl Will Look Like
Stadium Associates has signed a licensing deal with the NFL to sell game-used sod from the Super Bowl in Miami, a first for the league, confirmed NFL Dir of Licensing Richard Seidlitz. New Jersey-based Stadium Associates is the same firm selling game-used turf from the BCS Championship Game played January 7 at the Rose Bowl. It is also MLB's official licensee for selling authentic sod from big league parks and has a similar agreement with IMG's Collegiate Licensing Co. In its most recent deal, Stadium Associates, in conjunction with the NFL, plans to cut 75,000 pieces of turf from the two end zones at Sun Life Stadium and up to 50,000 pieces of the NFL shield at midfield. Each 3-inch square, freeze-dried, preserved and encased, will sell for $99.99, or $249 for a set of all three, said Stadium Associates co-Founder David Andres. In addition, the two parties will work together to identify 10-15 spaces on the field tied to key plays in the Super Bowl. Those 3-square-foot pieces of sod will be carved into smaller pieces and marketed as "special moments" selling for $134.99. Stadium Associates is also offering live Super Bowl sod, in 1-square-foot and 2-square-foot pieces, that can be ordered and shipped in the spring and transplanted onto homeowner's lawns, Andres said. Free shipping, a $10 value, is available until Super Bowl kickoff, he said. One dollar from the sale of each piece of Super Bowl sod will be distributed to the Haitian relief effort. As of deadline, Stadium Associates and the NFL were still determining which charity to use, Andres said.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF MEMENTO: Selling game-used items from the Super Bowl is nothing new, said Seidlitz, but the turf mementos provide a far more affordable option than, for example, a Super Bowl-used football or stadium banner. "It's an exciting deal for us," he said. "We have thought about this for a while. Most of the time, the [Super Bowl] fields get pulled up or donated. This is an opportunity for a lot of fans looking for that connection to the game to acquire a meaningful memorabilia piece."  Univ. of Alabama football fans have placed 1,000 orders for game-used sod since the Crimson Tide won college football's championship, Andres said. Those pieces of turf -- the end zones and midfield portions priced the same as the Super Bowl grass, as well as 11 special moments, including the spot where Alabama coach Nick Saban was doused with Gatorade -- have produced about $100,000 in revenue, he said.

INDIVIDUAL TEAMS COULD BE NEXT: As an NFL licensee, Stadium Associates owns the exclusive rights to sign deals with teams. The company has had initial discussions with the Packers, among other teams, Andres said. The Packers have been talking with Andres for the past six to eight months, seeing an opportunity at Lambeau Field after Stadium Associates did a deal with the Yankees in '09 to sell authentic sod and grass seed used at Yankee Stadium. Simply cutting the turf up is not an option because it is supported by a synthetic net that helps hold it all together, said Aaron Hart, a Packers corporate sales account executive. "We are exploring ways that we could tap into their experience in bringing something to market," Hart said. "If the Yankees can do it, it sure makes sense for our fans."

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