How Associations Are Helping Shape the Super Bowl Behind the Scenes

The Super Bowl is the ultimate show of lots of people coming together to put on something really big. And associations are helping to make an impression in quiet but important ways.

In ways big and small, associations will be involved in making the Super Bowl happen this Sunday.

Whether it’s the NFL Players Association representing the interests of the players on the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, groups like the Stadium Managers Association offering support to Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, or even brand collectives like Avocados From Mexico advertising during the big game, associations can be felt everywhere.

We’d like to highlight some of the small ways that associations are helping give the Super Bowl a leg up this weekend. Among them:

Signing the national anthem. The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) will help with the performance of the national anthem and “America the Beautiful” by having artist Christine Sun Kim perform the songs in sign language for deaf audiences watching the Super Bowl at the stadium and at home. “A keen observer of language, Kim employs American Sign Language, music notation, televisual captioning, and other systems of visual communication in a wide-ranging practice that addresses the complexity of social exchange and the power of representation with humor and honesty,” NAD says on its website. Kim will be collaborating with Demi Lovato on the performance.

Ensuring safety at nearby hotels. In the past, one big risk associated with major events like the Super Bowl has been human trafficking, which is widely perceived as a major issue, though some analysts have claimed the seriousness of the problem specifically around the Super Bowl is something of a myth. Nonetheless, it’s an issue year-round—and something that authorities are drawing attention to this Super Bowl Sunday, and the hotel industry is offering a helping hand as well. Earlier this month, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association held an event with stakeholders in the state—including Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody—to help raise awareness around human trafficking and help report concerns as they emerge. AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers noted in a recent news release that the issue is a major focus of the trade group. “Our goal is to ultimately have every hotel employee in the United States trained on how to spot and stop trafficking,” Rogers said.

Supporting the Puppy Bowl, too. The other major sports event on Super Bowl Sunday, Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XVI, gets some support from the American Humane Association, which always has a representative on the set to ensure nothing goes awry. According to, the representative makes sure that cats on the set—named in honor of Super Bowl performers Jennifer Lopez and Shakira—aren’t endangered while they’re dressed up in wigs. Local nonprofits are also represented at the annual event—many of the animals come from shelters around the country.

(DavidPrahl/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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