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                          Super Bowl-Corporate
   TEMPE, Ariz. -- The big play for many of those attending the
1996 Super Bowl might happen in a hotel hospitality suite, on a
golf course or in a private party at a restaurant instead of on the
field at Sun Devil Stadium.
   American business executives will arrive by the planeload and
trainload to attend Sunday's game, making it an occasion to thank
major customers and cultivate new ones.
   "It's just a great opportunity to get their top clients and top
executives together, give them a chance to mingle," said Scott
Bartle, marketing coordinator for the Super Bowl Host Committee.
   The NFL estimates that corporate America accounts for more than
50 percent of the tickets sold and that top executives from nearly
70 percent of Fortune 500 companies will be represented.
   Super Bowl tickets are used mostly to reward existing good
customers although they certainly help boost or even create future
business, executives say.
   The hospitality extended by businesses such as the Miller
Brewing Co. unit of Philip Morris Cos. Inc., Union Pacific Corp.
and The Coca-Cola Co. can include catered barbecues and golf
tournaments at upscale resorts in the days before the game -- and
hospitality tents and game tickets for Super Sunday.
   "They want to be a host to their customers and their employees
and they want to have a Southwest flavor and to have some football
fun, to be seen and have a presence," said Bob Marhenke, a
catering executive for the Macayo chain that includes a restaurant
a half-mile from the stadium.
   While most corporate visitors will fly to and from Arizona, two
major railroads are using private passenger trains to deliver
customers and some of their own top executives.
   Union Pacific's invited guests will board its train in Salt Lake
City for three nights traveling en route to Arizona via Las Vegas
and Southern California. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.'s train
will travel from Kansas City, Mo., to Southern California, where
most of its guests will board for the ride to Arizona.
   The trains include dome cars, diners, sleepers and
business-office cars.
   The Super Bowl's appeal to customers helps provide Burlington
Northern a chance to show off its service. There is no substitute
"to getting customers out on the railroad to see what it's like,
zipping along at 70 mph," spokesman Mike Martin said from
Schaumberg, Ill.
   "I hate to use the term, but they'll be pampered," Martin
said. "The food is gourmet food on fine china, crystal and
sterling silver and fine linens on the dining table."
   Other companies will host hospitality suites, private parties
and the like in more traditional settings.
   Miller Brewing's 600 guests get game tickets, invitations to
players' and tailgate parties, admission to a hospitality tent on
game day, dinners and golf outings, said spokesman Mark Abel.
   Out-of-town visitors must pay for their own travel and lodging,
but Miller likes to "make sure they have a good time once they're
there," Abel said.
   NBC has booked three-quarters of the 554-room Arizona Biltmore
luxury resort. The network's guests include corporate buyers of
Super Bowl commercial time -- which is being sold for about $1.2
million for 30 seconds.
   "It's an opportunity for corporate promotion," said Jim Ball,
managing director of the Arizona Biltmore. Ball and other corporate
spokesmen declined to discuss the cost of corporate entertainment.
   "We don't talk about specific dollar arrangements because our
competitors would like to know," Miller's Abel said from
Milwaukee.
   The big bills for entertainment should pay dividends, said Jim
Austin, spokesman for the Pointe Hilton resorts, where several
corporate golf tourneys are scheduled for Super Bowl weekend.
   "If you ask how many widgets were ordered, probably none, but
how many are going to get ordered in the future because of the
relationship you've established on the golf course would be
considerable," Austin said.

 

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