The week leading up to the Super Bowl was non-stop. The Super Bowl 50 Host Committee’s goal was to make this years game the most philanthropic of all time. That meant hosting a lot of events to give back to the bay area. The 49ers community relations department is one of the best in the world. Just last year they won the Beyond Sport award for Sports Team of the Year, the top accolade given in their field. There were 72 events that the 49ers organization was a part of. Our photography team was in charge of covering 26 of them that week. I ended up shooting 10 events around the bay area leading up to the game.
Here’s a break down of what they were.
Super Bowl Media Opening night. Held at the SAP center in San Jose was the medias first chance to question and photograph the two teams leading up to the game. I’d heard that this event is always a bit crazy and hectic in the media frenzy. But overall I think it was one of my favorite experiences from that week. I liked the challenge of trying to create unique images when there were literally a hundred other photographers right next to me trying to shoot the same thing.
Kid Power Unicef at DeMarillac Academy. Torrey Smith and company hosted a pep-rally and taught students about Kid Power (a fitbit type watch that allows you to earn points while working out, the points then transfer into food credits to be used in under privileged communities overseas). The highlight for me was Torrey taking a selfie with Chewbacca and R2D2.
Super Bowl City Kickoff morning. Torrey Smith and family helped celebrate the opening of SB City in front of the Ferry building in San Francisco. Michelle Obama spoke in a video about eating right and kids ran around and enjoyed themselves. SB City was always crowded but we were able to sneak in a few minutes to ride the zip line. Something I can finally check out my SF bucket list.
George Seifert Luncheon at Santa Clara University. Speakers like Ronnie Lott, George Seifert, Mike Pereira and Brandi Chastain discussed lessons in leadership, ethics and life. It was humbling to hear some of the old stories and to be surrounded by so many successful sports legends.
PCA Future of Football. Herm Edwards, David Shaw, Ted Robinson and Al Guido discussed the direction of football. Herm defiantly dominated conversation.
49ers party. The 49ers hosted a party to celebrate the upcoming game. The venue was at the beautiful City View Metreon and One Republic played. Overall a fun night.
Family Football Clinic. Hosted at the Moscone Center’s temporally installed artificial turf field NFL players lead families in games to further increase bonds. Torrey Smith is wonderful, simple as that.
Make-A-Wish at NFL Experience. Make-A-Wish kids got a private tour of the NFLx and had some one on one time with current and alumni NFL players. These kids are just the most fun loving deserving people around. They got to run around and hang out while not thinking about their conditions for a day.
Marcus Martin at City Hall. SF Mayor Ed Lee celebrated the city’s high school and college football accomplishments. A short ceremony was held that was nice but what was a definite highpoint for me was spending time in the mayors office. Marcus and the mayor sat down and chatted for a while then he showed the 49er his “man cave”. It was filled with sports memorabilia from all the bay area’s teams. My favorite was a personalized poster that said “the Lee-Peat” paying homage to the Giants three World Series wins while he has been in office.
Rebuilding Together Build. 100’s of volunteers help repair six homes in Bayview. I really treasured this project. What I was most drawn to most was the 49ers alumni’s connection to the neighborhood. A few of the guys grew up a few blocks away and one currently teaches at the local community center. Everyone was so friendly and loving and I came away with a serious case of the feels.
Below are a few more of my favorite photos. Click on the thumbnails to make larger.