Super Bowl

Verizon returns to Super Bowl with another salute to first responders

Carrier will air a dozen spots in the weeks leading up to the Big Game

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Verizon is returning to the Super Bowl with another salute to first-responders.

The carrier will kick-off the Super Bowl campaign this weekend during the championship games with a dozen spots that will culminate with its 60-second Big Game spot, which won't be revealed until the broadcast on Feb. 3.

Verizon will double down on its theme of reuniting first-responders with the people they have saved, something it played on during last year's Super Bowl. To shake things up, the company will reunite 11 NFL players and one NFL coach with rescue workers who helped save their lives following their near-death experience.

The spots, collectively dubbed, "The team that wouldn't be here," were directed by Peter Berg ("Friday Night Lights," "Very Bad Things") and feature players such as Clay Matthews, AJ Mccarron and Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn.

"My roomate saw me lying face down on the ground, and he just thought I was dead," Carson Tinker, a long snapper for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who was caught in a 2011 tornado in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, his hometown, said in one of the launch spots.

Tinker describes being caught in the tornado to being "in a blender with a house and fence," adding that "a lot of people didn't make it through that day, but first responders were there and I did make it. And every day I'm trying to earn it."

Diego Scotti, Verizon's CMO, has made including real people — whether they work for the company or are customers who use Verizon services — a key pillar in his marketing. Verizon returned to the Super Bowl last year after a seven year hiatus.

"If you don't have something good to say, there is no reason to go back to the Super Bowl," Scotti says.

McCann produced the Super Bowl campaign.

Verizon captures a sizable portion of its revenue through contracts it has with government agencies and first responders.

Rivals Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile have not confirmed whether they're returning to the Super Bowl this year.

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