The Player Networking Event (PNE) was established in 2000 as a pilot program under the National Football League’s (NFL) Player and Employee Development Department (now known as Player Engagement) while Guy Troupe worked as the department’s senior director. The six-hour event, which typically takes place the Saturday before Super Bowl Sunday, was created to provide active and former NFL players with exposure to corporations committed to (or interested in) providing players with work experiences through the NFL’s Career Transition Program. In 2003, the NFL provided Troupe21 & Associates with exclusive ownership rights of PNE and access to various NFL assets to produce the event. Historically, PNE has targeted sponsors and partners interested in marketing appearances, shadowing experiences, internships, employment, vendor supplier, franchising and investment opportunities for active and former NFL players. In 2011, PNE expanded its focus to support players interested in using the platform to launch and promote their business interests. Over 3,000 active and former NFL players have benefited from the PNE since inception.
PNE Super Bowl weekend is a networking experience for active and former NFL players, approximately 40 vendors and 250 corporate guests.
PNE’s social media strategy is designed to connect, engage and inform high school, college, active NFL, and former professional football players about the PNE Mentor Network, which consists of approximately 1,100 former NFL players. Our PTSD Strategy involves posting, streaming, texting and downloading event-related information to create a virtual and “forever green” learning environment for players in need of career transition resources and support. This approach includes a fan engagement strategy that helps our partners and sponsors connect with targeted customers.
To demonstrate the value of leveraging relationships with major corporations, player-owned businesses, and trusted corporate executives Super Bowl weekend.
- To compliment the career transition efforts of the NFL and NFL Players Association.
- To support active and former NFL players by assisting them with networking, employment contacts, and exposure to post-football career opportunities.
- To identify and invite trusted professionals into the PNE network for the primary purpose of mentoring active and former NFL players.
- To recruit corporations interested in structuring career learning opportunities for active and former NFL players (e.g. shadowing, internships, management trainee, employment, etc.).
- To help active and former NFL players create realistic career transition goals.
- To advance a brand marketing strategy that highlights active and former NFL players that have demonstrated success in business and employment.
- To establish a nationally recognized brand PTSD Football utilizing digital and social media.
- To support the growth and expansion of PNE’s Career Transition Program—Big Shoulders—a 501 (c) 3 initiative administered by BEES, Incorporated.
- To launch our online Business of Sport Football Series to football players throughout America.
- To increase our current social media reach by 30%.
-PNE has worked in partnership with the NFL, NFLPA & NFL Alumni since inception.
-PNE has identified, promoted and trained successfully transitioned former NFL players.
-PNE provides career transition support for active & former players who attend the event.
-PNE programming helps to normalize the challenges of career transition.
-PNE provides career education, coaching, and mentorship for players.
-PNE exposes players to a corporate environment (versus party environment).
-PNE facilitates player-to-player, business-to-business and player-to-business interaction.
-PNE models off-the-field professionalism for active and former NFL players.
-PNE helps players schedule shadowing, internship, and employment opportunities.
-PNE provides positive public relations content for the NFL.
-PNE serves as a viable corporate entertainment option for event partners and sponsors.
We incorporate high school, college, professional and retired athletes into our overall strategy while executing traditional event planning functions that offer clients multiple activation opportunities (e.g. public relations and communications, brand strategy, contests and sweepstakes, hospitality, strategic alignment, social media engagement, traditional advertising, online promotions, on-site sampling, business-to-business campaigns, promotional opportunities, target marketing, digital and interactive media, etc.). Funds from sponsorships are utilized for all event-related expenses with the aim of fundraising for year-around activities (e.g. workshops, online learning, counseling, career coaching, etc.) designed to help active and former football players in transition. [Note: All pre and post-PNE workshops are facilitated under the programmatic name—Big Shoulders—operated by PNE’s charitable beneficiary BEES, Incorporated, a 501 (c) 3 private foundation; tax ID number 73-1444898.]
PRIMARY ACTION ITEMS
- Execution of contract for venue space of at least 8,000 square feet with food and beverage menus and the minimum spend required. [Note: The contract must include written information on (a) donated alcohol and food, (b) use of outside food vendors, (c) electrical and internet usage, (d) move-in and set-up procedures, (e) shipping and receiving procedures, and (f) a site map and floor.]
- Identification of anchor sponsors and partners deserving of (or in need of booth space); company name, contact person, physical address, email address, work phone, cell phone and website information needed in database format; must include selection of player-owned or affiliated businesses.
- Development of marketing collateral: (a) save the date e-Blast, (b) 2,000 active player invitations, (c) 4,000 NFL alumni invitations, (d) 600 corporate and vendor invitations, (e) 100 locker room posters, (f) event signage for entry ways, event registration, event interior and NFL & Super Bowl Host Committee booth, (g) 50 staff/PNE tee-shirts and (h) a branded event (or weekend) program.
- NFLPA alignment with the primary event objectives:
- Improve attendance and involvement of active and former players.
- Integration of NFLPA into the fabric of the event including, but not limited to, branding, membership sign-up, alumni videos, literature, etc.
- Support players during the event by assisting them with networking, employment contacts, exposure for businesses including NFLPA Houston Chapter Ventures and opportunities to bid on existing NFLPA and Super Bowl Host Committee business.
- Collect contact information from corporate executives desiring to support players in transition (e.g. corporate sponsorships, internships, employment, mentorship, etc.).
- Create realistic internship and employment placement goals for players including participation in the PNE’s Career and Business Program and The Players Marketplace.
- Develop collateral marketing materials (e.g. a co-branded event brochure, an advertising campaign, event posters, signage, invitations, credentials, etc.) highlighting active and former players that have demonstrated success in business and employment.
- Creation of a national media campaign that includes one of the four major networks, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
ADDITIONAL ACTION ITEMS
- Allocation of funds for primary PNE expenditures (budget forthcoming): (a) five airlines tickets and three rooms for event staffers, (b) selection of graphics and collateral design person or organization, (c) venue deposits and payment schedules including invoicing procedures, (d) vent (or weekend Umbrella) insurance coverage per NFL requirements, (e) pipe and drape, tables and chairs, (f) audio-visual equipment for video signage, live broadcasts and formal program, (g) local transportation (i.e. rental van or SUV, taxis, parking), (h) gift bags and SWAG for sponsors including Super Bowl Programs, (i) one PNE branded keepsake for sponsors; one PNE branded keepsake for guests, (j) assisting mailing materials and postage, (k) branded awards for successfully transitioned retired players, (l) four-piece band or DJ, (m) per diem or meal allotment for PNE staff, (n) hotels for guests and sponsors, and (0) Super Bowl game tickets for sponsors.
- Execution of written agreements with sponsors and vendors.
- Write-up and branding for Host Committee Website and publications.
- Execution of a written agreement with a television broadcast network.
- Execution of final clearance Marketing and Branding approval from NFL.
- Agreement on PNE sponsorship/revenue goals including responsible parties.
Recruitment and Confirmation of Vendors
Utilizes email and telephone communication to confirm participation of partners, sponsors and player-owned businesses. Includes ongoing pre-event communications, collection of vendor logos, company overviews, vendor collateral to be handed out and/or displayed at the PNE and the execution of written agreements with all vendors.
Ensures that each event component (i.e. database, registration, event tickets, name tags, business card collection, event program, networking activity, featured businesses, gift bags, credentials, run of show, etc.) is flawlessly executed.
Ensures that active players, former players, vendors, corporate guests, celebrities, etc. feel good about their experience at PNE. This includes a weekend entertainment experience (e.g. gift bags, event tickets, a sponsor dinner, keepsakes, etc.).
Develops and executes the PNE public relations plan to draw media attention and improve brand awareness including all player advocacy.
Weekend Operations and Logistics
Coordinates our Thursday to Monday plan for shipping and receiving, booth set-up, vendor needs, audio/visual & staff and volunteer transportation, lodging, meals and social events.
Works with the Super Bowl Host Committee to identify, recruit, train, & manage volunteers needed to ensure event success.
Budgets and Sponsorships
Approves operating budgeting; manages profit and loss statement; identifies, solicits, and secures sponsorships and in-kind donations
Our promotions plan includes co-branding of the event logo with the marks and logos of the Super Bowl Host Committee, NFLPA Retired Players (Houston Chapter) and the marks and/or logos of our event partners and sponsors. The list below provides the following branding highlights.
- Logo and marks prominently displayed during the event
- Reference on event collateral (e.g. invitations, posters, event program, etc.)
- Industry-exclusivity and time to address event attendees for top sponsors
- Direct marketing opportunities during the event
- Verbal recognition during the event
- Company exposure at event press conference
- Exposure on live and on-demand internet-radio and television broadcasts
- Customized e-blasts combining NFL Alumni and PNE marks
- Co-crafted messages on promotional videos
- Reference on all event press releases
- Branding on awards, apparel, event CDs and other items to be determined
- Logo and hotlink on event website: www.pneinfo.com