WINNER – 2019 PRSA New Orleans Silver Anvil Award, Special Events
WINNER – 2020 Press Club of New Orleans – First Place, PR Special Events
Following the infamous “No Call” play during the 2019 NFC Championship game that effectively cost the New Orleans Saints a trip to the Super Bowl, the team’s fans were outraged, seeking catharsis. Many appealed to the City of New Orleans for a parade to celebrate the hometown heroes on Super Bowl Sunday, just two weeks following the incident.
With this being neither logistically nor economically feasible, I proposed for consideration an alternate option–a Second Line parade, which eliminated the need for street closures, barricades, signage and other necessities by taking the celebration pedestrian.
The first challenge was that the City of New Orleans requires two weeks lead for a special event permit, with this event falling in under the required time frame. To address that issue, the strategy became to build community support for the tentative event via social media, increasing the likelihood of permit approval. That ultimately would be granted on January 29, just five days prior to Super Bowl Sunday.
The second challenge became execution in such a short time frame. As I handled the event logistics and promotional efforts, local musician Paul Chénne of TBC Brass Band coordinated musician and Mardi Gras Indian participation. Just five days after permit approval, the streets of New Orleans came to life with the quintessential NOLA celebration, drawing crowds in excess of 30,000. The Blackout & Gold Second Line Parade made national and international headline news, showcasing the resilience of the Saints Nation and the loyalty of the team’s fans. Because it was visually striking and showcased the resilience of the city and its people, the event also shined a positive light on the City of New Orleans.
Because this was intended to be a “people’s parade” rather than a KB Productions or individual’s event, the presenter was listed as RightBrainDiaries.com, my blog.
The Facebook event page garnered nearly 29,000 interactions and more than 500,000 visitors in just seven days. A wrap up post on the RightBrainDiaries.com blog provided an event recap, sponsor credits, photos, videos and links to national and international media coverage.