After working for almost a year with the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee, printing signs, banners, retractable banner stands and posters for their events and parties, we were invited, as were thousands of other minority businesses, to go to an Emerging Business Workshop. The NFL encourages their vendors to work with minority and women owned businesses in the host city. They provide workshops to learn about the services and products necessary to host a Super Bowl. This includes a bunch of stuff like florists, catering, barricades, balloons, lighting, staging and, of course, printing of signs and graphics. Lots of signs and banners are needed throughout the event for the hotels, airports and each and every party not to mention the directional signs inside and outside the stadium.
We missed the first workshop, but the 2nd one was very cool. Emmitt Smith was there and it was held at Cowboy Stadium. In each of our chairs were special bags full of very cool swag including an awesome business card holder with the SBXLV logo on it.
They used the logo backdrop we produced and many people were taking pictures in front of it.
During the workshop, they discussed the necessity to be certified as a minority vendor in order to get NFL contracts. I was not certified and decided to apply to become a HUB (Historically Underutilized Business). This option was free and the paperwork wasn’t as lengthy as some of the other organizations. The process took about 3 months. After proving I was in fact a women owned business, I had to apply to become an NFL Emerging Business. The Graphic Edge was approved and given a special SBXLV logo. We were all very proud to have that logo even though it didn’t really provide us business’ it looked cool on my emails.
In addition to the logo, the Emerging Businesses were included in the Business Resource Guide. There were over 2000 businesses and 800 in the sign category. The NFL and their purchasing entities were encouraged to use the guide to locate local approved businesses.