SBD/February 2, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Catching Up With NFL Senior VP/Events Frank Supovitz

NFL Senior VP/Events Frank Supovitz
From the aisles of New York’s theatre district, FRANK SUPOVITZ has risen from his first job as an usher at Radio City Music Hall to hosting the event that takes center stage of the sports world. As NFL Senior VP/Events, Supovitz orchestrates all the league’s major events, including the Draft, Pro Bowl and Super Bowl. With Sunday’s main event drawing near, the former NHL VP/Events & Entertainment caught up with Staff Writer Theresa Manahan to discuss Big D, a Super Bowl holiday and authoring two books.

All-time favorite Super Bowl: Super Bowl XL because it was the first one that I got to work on in my current position, and Super Bowl XXII because it was the first one that I worked on in another capacity.
All-time favorite Super Bowl commercial: I don’t get to see very many of them. But as a fan, I always remember the 1984 Apple commercial. It was more a piece of cinema than a commercial.
Favorite show you ever saw at Radio City Music Hall: “Night of 100 Stars.”

Word association:
: Visionary
Black Eyed Peas: Fun
Cowboys Stadium: Magnificent

Q: What's the biggest difference in entertainment between the NHL and NFL?
Supovitz: The role that the NFL plays in American culture.

Q: Biggest rookie mistake?
Supovitz: Rushing into what I thought was a good idea. Waiting for the Stanley Cup in 1993 to come to the Montreal Forum, and getting it at the arena at the last minute after it had been outside in temperatures of -25. What that ended up causing was MAURICE RICHARD, the person who accepted the Stanley Cup and gave it out onto the ice, dropped it because it was so incredibly cold. On national television.

Q: So how would you have done things differently?
Supovitz: It was so tightly scheduled that it could only get to the Montreal Forum at the very last moment. I would never cut things that close again.

Q: One element you would like to see added to the NFL schedule?
Supovitz: Right now we are working on developing a lot of new events. ... I can’t share any of them with you right now, but we’re always innovating and always thinking about what the next great thing is.

Q: Is there one idea that really hasn’t gained a lot of traction that you think is unique?
Supovitz: No, all of them are in various stages of development. Fan engagement is key for us, especially during the offseason, so we are concentrating a great deal of effort on that.

Q: Do you think Super Bowl Monday will ever become a national holiday?
Supovitz: If we go to an 18-game regular season, it’s very likely that Super Bowl will be played on Presidents’ Weekend. It would already be a national holiday.

Q: Hardest thing about writing your own book?
Supovitz: The amount of time that it takes to write a book and ensure that the information that you’re presenting is not just your opinion but fact.

Q: For fans traveling to Dallas, what makes this Super Bowl unique?
Supovitz: North Texas has never hosted a Super Bowl before. It’s an enormous amount of real estate to explore, and the cities that are inside the North Texas region are very different culturally. So I’m hoping that people have an opportunity to not just visit Dallas or Ft. Worth, but a lot of the cities in between.

Q: What’s one sports business story you are continuing to watch?
Supovitz: The NFL CBA negotiations.
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