Jumping on the Super Bowl bandwagon

Visitors inside the #PEPCITY tent
Visitors inside the #PEPCITY tent

On Wednesday, January 29, a 13-block section of Broadway between Times Square and Herald Square in New York became a packed fairground in preparation for the Super Bowl. But in nearby Bryant Park, not far from “Super Bowl Boulevard” a stage was set up for various walk-up events for the biggest sporting competition in the country.

PepsiCo’s tent in Bryant Park, #PEPCITY, with an 80 foot wide by 40 foot high dome was the venue of several cultural events, including concerts by Austin Mahone, Prince Royce and Ziggy Marley. But #PEPCITY, also included other types of performances from rap, to Broadway numbers and art installations, most of which one would not directly associate with football. 

“We wanted to create the piazza effect,” said Scott Cullather Global Managing Partner for inVNT, a global brand communications agency that partnered with PepsiCo for the creation of this space.

Although the tent in its interior did not look like a piazza, the ongoing variety of performances did give it the atmosphere of a lively public square.

Cullather stood by the entrance of the tent, near a downsized version of the East River Pepsi-Cola sign. He was with Mauro Porcini, PepsiCo’s senior vice president and chief design officer.

“It’s in our backyard,” said Porcini, referring to the Super Bowl. “New York City is the city of PepsiCo,” he added, referring to the location of the corporation’s headquarters in Wetchester County, northeast of New York City.  

While playwright Lemon Andersen, a Tony Award winner, performed an on-stage dramatic monologue of his growing-up experiences in Brooklyn and visual artists painted black and white pictures on canvases next to the stage, food by three chefs, David Burke, Marc Forgione and Michael Psilakis was being served to the public.

“Today we have Cherry Pepsi BBQ wings,” said chef David Burke, after which he continued enumerating other items that he had concocted for the occasion. All of the dishes had been prepared utilizing PepsiCo products. Another of his dishes was the Mountain Dew bacon tacos.  

“In sporting events, food is hand-held food,” he said.

That night, the show of a rising pop star would be taking place in the stage inside the tent in Bryant Park. Some passers by in the newly re-baptized Super Bowl Boulevard were able to see the teenage heart-throb in a large screen outside the Times Square H&M. Inside the second floor of the shop, onlookers and fans were surrounding him as his live interview, projected on the screen, was finishing.

-Who is he?- asked an onlooker.

-It’s Austin Mahone- answered a young woman.


-The new Justin Bieber.

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