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Orange County’s Super Bowl Playbook

Newport Beach Ad Campaign; Mitchell & Ness Collaboration

Orange County viewers of the Super Bowl LVII on Sunday may have spotted a familiar landscape among halftime commercials.

Visit Newport Beach, a destination marketing organization (DMO) which represents the city’s hotels, base of restaurants and larger tourism industry, booked its first-ever 15-second spot during the broadcast.

“We want to start integrating ourselves into pop culture,” Chief Executive Gary Sherwin told the Business Journal.

The marketing agency said it turned to the 2023 Super Bowl after noticing trends in
the Arizona markets—the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Ka­­­­nsas City Chiefs was held at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale.

Arizona is Newport Beach’s No. 1 out-of-state market, with Nevada and Utah close behind, according to the DMO’s metrics.

Starting in early January, video reels, social media posts, radio announcements and billboards were advertising Newport Beach hotel packages and visitor guides directed to the state’s departing crowds.

Super Bowl ads can run as high as $7 million for a 30-second spot, according to the 2023 USA Today Ad Meter.

The campaign also included media partnerships with ESPN, iHeartMedia, and other Arizona outlets.

Larger Stage

The sports sector is part of the organization’s plans to start playing on a bigger level as a tourism group.

Visit Newport Beach also premiered its first Oscars commercial during the television presentation last year—a second campaign is scheduled for this year.

Going after the entertainment industry has been a longtime effort for the DMO, such as its ongoing involvement in the Newport Beach Film Festival, through which it hosts award programs and events across local venues.

With the recent luxury development in Newport Beach, including the Vea and Pendry hotels and the upcoming Ritz-Carlton residences, “this is the time to get the message out on a grand scale with all the new product,” CEO Sherwin added.

Game Day Apparel

Orange County also had a hand in the Super Bowl’s apparel department this year.

Mitchell & Ness, a vintage sportswear firm with creative operations in Irvine, was tapped for a clothing collaboration with Grammy-award winning artist Rihanna and her Fenty retail company. Rihanna headlined this year’s halftime show.

The nine-piece collection of limited-edition T-shirts and jackets was dubbed “Fenty for Mitchell & Ness” and featured designs like graffiti-style art and Rihanna’s Instagram post when she announced her game day performance.

The singer’s team contacted Mitchell & Ness’ parent, Fanatics Inc., for the project and worked out of the firm’s Irvine office, according to local reports.

The clothing items ranged in price from $45 to $135.

The collection was available online and in select stores, including Anaheim-based Pacsun locations.

Founded in 1904, Philadelphia-based Mitchell & Ness set up its West Coast office and a distribution center in Irvine about six years ago.

Mitchell & Ness was acquired by sports merchandiser Fanatics last February with a group of celebrity investors such as rapper Jay-Z and Philadelphia 76er James Harden.

The Wall Street Journal at the time valued the firm at $250 million.

The company has made deals with the likes of publisher Sports Illustrated that included capsule collections for the National Football League, National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball while holding licenses with those same major sports groups. The retailer gained a licensing deal with the National Hockey League last June.

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