SONOMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — Sonoma County and its wines were in front of more than 1 million people who visited Super Bowl City in San Francisco last week.
Over the course of nine days more than 20,000 glasses of wine were poured at the Taste of Sonoma Lounge and throughout Super Bowl City. Throughout the week, 55 Sonoma County wineries offered more than 150 different wines to showcase the diversity of Sonoma Wine Country.
Sonoma County Tourism, Sonoma County Vintners, and Sonoma County Winegrowers worked together to promote the famed wine region through the largest sporting event in America (and one of the largest in the world).
Sonoma County wines were also featured at 14 events and programs throughout Super Bowl City and the Super Bowl in Santa Clara, including the Super Bowl Host Committee’s VIP 50 Club, pre- and post-Super Bowl events and at an exclusive reception for the 2,500 media that covered the game.
Joining the organizations were 100-plus volunteers. Certified Tourism Ambassadors from Sonoma County Tourism helped manage the traffic flow at the lounge and they were on hand to answer any questions visitors had about Sonoma County. Also, each winery provided knowledgeable staff and volunteers to discuss the wines being poured each day.
“We scored a touchdown at the top sporting event in the nation,” said Ken Fischang, president/CEO of Sonoma County Tourism. “It was an excellent way to promote the tourism and agriculture industries of Sonoma County on such a large stage.”
The immediate effect is increasing the brand recognition of Sonoma County as a premier wine region in the U.S.
“Our brand-building and promotional efforts have brought global attention to our grape growers and wine region here in Sonoma County,” said Karissa Kruse, president of the Sonoma County Winegrowers. “The shared values and commitment to sustainability between Sonoma County and this major sporting event have also helped educate and inspire football fans across the country to join our efforts and make a difference in their own communities.”
Sonoma County and GMR Marketing, its partner in creating the Taste of Sonoma Lounge, won a sustainability award – Best Use of Local Resources – for its Super Bowl City activation. One of the Super Bowl City Net Positive Production Awards, this honored the team for best use of materials, food, and staff sourced within 60 miles.
Sonoma County’s commitment to sustainability reached beyond the borders of Super Bowl City. Staff and volunteers carpooled and used mass transit, including the ferry system, to get to their shifts.
“GMR’s great partnership with Sonoma County in Super Bowl City won a game of its own this weekend,” said Philip Patterson, senior vice president of client management at GMR Marketing. “Our collaboration brought the tastes, beauty, and personality of Sonoma County right to the middle of San Francisco, delivering an immersive experience for countless fans and an incredibly proud moment for GMR to be a part of.”
“This was a unique opportunity to bring visibility to the diversity of Sonoma County wines and all the Bay Area has to offer,” said Caroline Shaw, president, Sonoma County Vintners and chief marketing officer, Jackson Family Wines. “Tapping into the energy around Super Bowl City allowed us to reach visitors from all over the world.”
As part of the community aspect of the festivities, the Super Baskets of Hope program came to Sonoma County and used local volunteers to create gift baskets for hospitalized children and their families. The program, though not officially part of the Super Bowl, uses current and retired football players to create baskets for children diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness.
NFL players Lorenzo Alexander (Oakland Raiders) and De Angelo Hall (Washington Redskins) were on hand to help assemble the baskets.
“The Super Baskets of Hope program was a great way to connect what is happening at the Super Bowl and use that energy to do something in the community,” said Mark Crabb, chief sales officer at Sonoma County Tourism. “Local companies like Jackson Family Wines and others who have donated staff and resources stepped up to participate and be a big part of this event.”
Sonoma County, a destination sponsor of the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, is the first wine region in the country dedicated to becoming 100 percent sustainable by 2019.
For more information about the Taste of Sonoma Lounge and the complete wine pouring schedule, visit www.sonomacounty.com/SB50.
Sonoma County, California, located just 30 miles north of San Francisco, offers world-class wines from more than 425 wineries in 17 designated wine regions, cuisine featuring locally grown and artisan products, and destination resorts including 40 spas and 21 golf courses. It is the birthplace of premium California wine more than 150 years ago and home to approximately 60,000 acres planted to vines. Family heritage, community and dedication to the land are what make Sonoma County a friendly first-rate wine and food destination.