NFL SEEKS NEW SUPER BOWL HARMONY

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The National Football League is pumping up the volume to squelch rivals during Super Bowl time.

NFL Properties will stage the first Super Bowl Concert Series during the week leading up to Super Bowl XXX Jan. 28 in Phoenix. The NFL has been working with Pace Entertainment, Houston, and the Super Bowl organizing committee to book the corporate-sponsored concerts.

The NFL has been growing more concerned about rival corporate-sponsored entertainment, like concerts, staged in a Super Bowl city during game week. Recent years have seen failed attempts to stage nationally televised boxing matches.

Now, any city wanting to land a Super Bowl will now have to secure the other major competing entertainment venues in the market for the concert series as part of its bid.

"We've been pretty successful in the past in avoiding detrimental conflict, but in this way, we have more control," said Don Garber, VP-business development at NFL Properties.

Securing the facilities might be a hassle for an organizing committee but one that's worth it, say sports marketing analysts.

"The Super Bowl has a huge economic impact on a region. Every interested business party in any city recognizes this. They'll find a way to get it done," said Alan Friedman, editor of Team Marketing Report, Chicago.

The "someone for everyone" lineup for the first Super Bowl Concert Series includes country-western musician Vince Gill, Jan. 20 at America West Arena; Southern fried comedian Jeff Foxworthy, Jan. 23 at Veteran's Memorial Coliseum; the venerable Wayne Newton, Jan. 25 at the Sun Dome in nearby Sun City West; and rocker Rod Stewart, Jan. 27 at America West Arena. NFL and Pace are also negotiating with an rhythm and blues act.

A percentage of the gate will go to the NFL Youth Education Town, a recently launched cause marketing endeavor that seeks to build recreational centers for disadvantaged youth in every Super Bowl city.

NFL Properties will sell a title sponsorship that will include signage, hospitality and promotional rights. NFL Properties executives believe they haven't given their sponsors enough lead time to buy into the first series, so they will instead pitch to local marketers.

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