SBD/February 1, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Warming Up: The Must-Have Souvenir At Super Bowl XLVI Is Not For Sale

The "must-have souvenir from the first few days" of Super Bowl XLVI is a "humble, hand-knitted scarf, originally intended to keep warm -- and make noticeable -- the 8,000 local volunteers who are the backbone of any Super Bowl week," according to Judy Battista of the N.Y. TIMES. However, the scarves are "not for sale." The Super Bowl Host Committee got the idea to have members of the community "knit them and give them to volunteers from a similar effort staged at the Special Olympics a few years ago." As a result, the host committee "received 13,024 six-foot-long, blue and white scarves." The colors were "meant to match the Indianapolis Super Bowl logo," but they also "conveniently are the colors of the Indianapolis Colts." The scarves came "from 45 states, Washington, D.C. and four other countries." The project did "not dictate a pattern or a stitch, and so they are [as] varied as their creators, some with stripes, some with fringe." The scarves have "become an unintended symbol of Indianapolis’s embrace of the homespun feel for its Super Bowl" (NYTIMES.com, 1/31). Indianapolis Host Committee President & CEO Allison Melangton said, "Two years ago, we asked people in Indiana to knit scarves for out volunteers, many of which will be working outside. It started out as an Indiana project, and it reached out across the globe." FOXSPORTS.com's Nancy Gay noted Super Bowl Host Committee Chair Mark Miles two years ago "though the scarf project was pretty wacky." He said, "At the time it didn't register with me. I thought the idea of getting 8,000 scarves was preposterous." However, Miles this week is "wearing a Super Scarf knitted by a surgeon." Miles: "He does surgery for breast cancer and he taught himself how to knit for this project" (FOXSPORTS.com, 1/31).
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