The Super Bowl in Arlington–Gotta Place to Park?

Jan 29, 2011 by

Monday night at 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. CST I’ve been asked to join with several other tweeps over on Twitter to join in a Twitter Party sponsored by TravelingMom.com and underwritten by the national vendor ParkWhiz, which is the number one online source to find and reserve a guaranteed parking space major sporting venues across the country, and more importantly, providing up to 7,000 spaces at the Super Bowl in Arlington, Texas on Feb. 6, 2011.

Things are wild here in the DFW area already in preparation for the upcoming game with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers. The news media has gone gaga about reporting the events related, and stretched a bit to cover things that aren’t.  Seems to get media attention in DFW right now you have to have two words included in the lead:  Super and Bowl.

But preparations have been ongoing for a good while.  One station aired a report about the preparations local law enforcement have been involved with for the past three years.  They’ve been working hard to keep the area safe, to be ready for all kinds of contingencies, and most importantly, to handle the incredible influx of traffic.

And all of those cars coming into the Arlington area playground of opportunities need somewhere to park.

ParkWhiz has had up to 7,000 parking spots for Super Bowl Sunday.   At this writing, on their site, they say they only have 44 left beginning at $33.  Trust me, that’s still a great price for parking over there, as 1) I can’t imagine those 44 spaces lasting long, and 2) after they are, you probably ought to start considering a form of public transportation and/or have some good walking shoes.  

Parking At Sporting Events

I’ve only been to one Dallas Cowboys game and it was at Texas Stadium.  I’ve been to multiple games at The Ball Park in Arlington, where the Texas Rangers play, Wrigley Field in Chicago, Legion Field in Birmingham, and then I’ve mostly been to football games  at Jordan Hare Stadium, the home of my Auburn Tigers.

When I was in the Governor’s Office in Alabama from 1988 until 1998, I also was able to attend numerous games at various collegiate football venues throughout the Southeast, including Tennessee in Knoxville, games in Oxford and Jackson, Mississippi, and The Swamp down in Gainseville, Florida.

Probably the worst experience was when another driver parked in a Frat lot on the Florida campus.  Auburn got beaten like a drum for that game and lost 48-27 or some horrible number.  When we got back to the parking lot where we’d left the car, it’d been towed and cost the guy about $200 to get his car back.

My Parking Preferences

When I go to a game, I like to park like I’m headed back out of the mix.  I’ve been fortunate to park right across the street at Wrigley next to the McDonald’s.  It was like $20, but that was in the late 1980s.

By far the easiest route to go is to have a parking pass or assigned parking.  You breeze in, you breeze out.  You don’t have the added stress of where you’re going to park.

And that leaves time for more important things…..

Tailgating

Having spent the past 30 years of my life as a fan of an SEC football team, (Did I remind you that Auburn was National Champs this year?) tailgating has become an inspired tradition in my life.  When I was on campus at Auburn, it was hysterical to see alumni arrive in their RVs on Wednesday for the game on Saturday.  They’d leave on Sunday and on Wednesday, they’d be back.

If you walked through their areas on Saturday mornings, you’d best be looking for people who you might know.  Just a “Hey” and a “War Eagle,” was the gateway to the serving line of BBQ, chips, and other Southern delicacies.  Oh yeah, and some sort of cooled beverage.

The smells of the cooking and the prepared food are enough to make anyone hungry.

Monday Night

So Monday night, I’m going to be a part of this group who talks about parking at sporting events.  We’ll talk about tailgating, favorite foods for such, and a discussion about your favorite Super Bowl treats and traditions. Go ahead and follow @KimOrlando, @CindyRichards, @TravelingMoms, @RoleMommy, @ParkWhiz, myself, and @DadaRocks so you can keep up with our party.  Like I said, it begins at 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. Central and 7 p.m. Pacific.

We want to hear about your ideas for tailgating, and your recommendations about how to park at your sporting venues.   If you’ve got tickets to the Super Bowl you might really want to join in–There are $50 gift cards up for grabs.

Disclosure: I am being compensated for my time Monday and have been asked to write this post in support of Monday’s event.

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Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros Bringing Me Back to Me

Oct 12, 2010 by

I’m 44 years old and I got home this morning at 3:34 a.m.

I had not a drink of alcohol. (I’m not a drinker.)

But last night I began a new chapter in my life, where instead of being a guy whose forgotten what it is to be who he was 20 years ago, I stepped back into the life of adventure and lived a little.

And I’m here to tell other moms and dads, who moved into the responsibility of parenthood a few years ago and thought they had to leave behind living on the edge of adventure, that there is still life out there, if you’re brave enough to go and find it.

EDWARD SHARPE AND THE MAGNETIC ZEROS

As you might know from reading here on DaddyClaxton.com, I came across this band, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros totally by accident in July when I was in Austin for an event with Gillette. After I got home that night, I downloaded their songs and got hooked. Their debut album, “Up From Below” is a fine collection of tunes and jingles that immerse themselves into your consciousness and refuse to let go.

I play this album frequently, even months after first hearing it.  There are a couple songs on it I’m not real wild about, but the ones I am, well, I’d drive three hours from Dallas to Shreveport to hear them late at night, (Their set began at 10:30 p.m. and ended around midnight.) And so that’s what happened last night.

I’ll write more about the event in the days to come, but I wanted to share this video with you tonight.  And share the great photo I was able to have taken with me and band leader, Alexander.

Yes, I was about five people deep from the stage.  Yes, I sang along with them.  Yes, I was part of this very alive show, and there’s not a thing anyone can do or say to me to regret a single second of it.

But instead of getting into that tonight, here’s the video I shot using my iPhone 4, pulling the video clips into Aperture 3, and then importing them right into Final Cut Express without having to convert them at all.  Then it was just a matter of adding bumpers, some commentary, and I doubled the audio track because it recorded in a mono track.

Enjoy.

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12 Miles to @edwardsharpe

Oct 11, 2010 by

That’s all there is between here and Edward Sharpe.

Except there are two accidents in front of me on Interstate 20 just west of Shreveport and nothing is moving. Literally. I was going to get there on time.

And now it looks like there is an accident in the other lane heading back to Dallas.

I don’t see being clear of this in the next hour and a half.

Personally, I think I’m gonna miss the show.

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Another Great Weekend with a @Chevrolet Traverse!

Aug 16, 2010 by

The Dallas Morning News has a story coming out in Tuesday’s paper about my work with brands like Chevrolet and how they’re being more proactive to work with bloggers on the Internet.

My girls and I had our photos taken in this car on Thursday.

And the company that helps with loaners just came and got the car.

I’m sad now.

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What Brands Expect Out of Social Media: Quid Pro Quo

Jul 21, 2010 by

Yesterday, the Modern Media Man Summit received it’s greatest level of support to date: A whopping, super duper sponsorship from Chevrolet and General Motors.  This one announcement has taken M3 to a new level of credibility, and today, we’ve been in touch with two other significant sponsors from two other spaces in the marketplace.  

What we as men and dad bloggers now must also come to realize is that it’s now our job to reciprocate in the generosity of Chevrolet and GM,  P&G’s project Man Of  The House, PitchEngine, and iContact, and bring our A-Games to the equation.

In our quest to seek sponsors, we’ve heard from a good many of them about the frustration brands have when they get taken for granted by other bloggers in the past who seemed a little less savvy to the principles of doing business.

Companies are into social media because of the value of the relationships they have with bloggers and social media mavens.  And like all good relationships, there needs to be a balance between give and take.

I’m not speaking on behalf of any of our sponsors specifically, but brands make investments in conferences like M3 so that they also yield a return on their investment.  They are, after all, in existence to make money.  Investing in conferences like M3, is a newer form of traditional marketing.  Likewise, if they make a buy in a local/national newspaper and they don’t see any shifts in purchase trends, they move away from that modality in the future and put it somewhere else where there will be a positive return with measurable metrics.

Seriously, isn’t this how all of us do business?  We try something.  If it brings tangible results, we consider it a success.  If we’re making such investments on behalf of a client and we place their money on something and if in the end, there’s a low ROI, how likely is it that your client is going to let you do it again the following year?

This is one of the prime factors M3 is seeking to make sure doesn’t happen as we assist men and dad bloggers in their formations of partnerships with brands in the future.  Let’s face it, there are some Wanna Be Mom Diva bloggers out there, whom we all know and “love,” who contact brands and say, “Hi, I’m @SuzieSweetieSnazzle on Twitter, and I’d like for you to let me know when I can come pick up:  a car … try out a new phone …  get a whole exercise gym in my house … get a new house to live in … etc. Now, can I come get one tomorrow or when will it be delivered?”

How do you think brands feel when they get this sort of treatment?   How would you feel if you were a brand manager and got a DM from @SuzieSweetieSnazzle? **

My guess is the first thing you’d say to yourself is, “Well, let’s ship one out to Suzie right now!”  Uh, no.

Ultimately, the questions would start with, now how much would that cost me?  How much reach does @SuzieSweetieSnazzle even have?  Oh, she has 69 followers on Twitter, is following 1,996, and has 98 friends on Facebook, and has an Alexa ranking somewhere between 5-6 million worldwide.  Seeing that, you’d say, “Let me pick up the phone and call shipping!”  Uh, no.

Guys, we have our chance to show that we understand how to participate in the social media space with brands.  Several of our guys have been knowingly joking in their tweets about how they’d like to use Chevrolet products for the drive to program to M3 since we made the announcement.  While I’m sure all of us would like to get our own Camaro or Corvette to drive cross country to the event, that’s not what our sponsor has in mind.  (I’m sure they’re happy though to see us using their product names, so don’t let that stop!)

Indeed, they’re trying to reach family men; Guys who are excited to have a turn at the wheel of one of their new lines of Chevrolet or GM SUVs or Crossovers.  (And guys, on a cross-country road trip, it’ll be okay to share the wheel.)

They want us to feature cars that look sleek on the outside, but also are practical enough to use back at home with moms who you have 2.5 kids with; who like 2-2-3 row seating configurations because that means you’re not going to have to fool with a bench row when you get the kids out of the car for school/soccer drop offs; and yet is still sophisticated enough with OnStar, cool gadgets like the back up camera, the Bluetooth connections for your cell phone, and the Bose speakers so you can crank it when you get to drive to the ZippyMart to pick up a gallon of milk at 9:30 p.m or put gas in the car for the next morning’s routine.

And by reaching guys who are interested in those particulars, it’s then where we’re going to be looking for guys who are the mayors of great places to eat on FourSquare, who tell great photo and word stories on Whrrl, who Tweet their business–”Hey Y’all, I just passed a (insert name of cool-looking @Chevrolet product) that looks like the one I’m in & damn, I know I’m hot because she looked hot in hers.”  (Obviously, there’d be the hope at that point that the Mrs. doesn’t follow your Tweets.)

And then there’s the prospect of blogging, posting pictures of your adventure, and, even asking others to write about their experiences in the same make of car. (My example to you of such would be from my relationship with @GMTexas, who loaned me a 2010 Traverse in June and we created www.TraverseAdventures.com)

At Modern Media Men Summit, we’re thrilled to have a sponsor like Chevrolet on board.  They’ve been great to work with and are really excited about coming to Atlanta Sept. 9-11 for our first-ever event.  Obviously, we’re still looking to close the deal on other great brands and get others to join with them.  Our essential point to all brand managers and potential sponsors out there reading this is simple:  As men and dad bloggers, we get it.  We’re happy to do the Quid Pro Quo dance with you in Hotlanta.

Like I’ve said, a sponsor like Chevrolet is fantastic to have aboard as our Platinum Sponsor.  The company that forever has burned the notion of “Baseball, Apple Pie and Chevrolet” has stepped up to the proverbial plate.  Now it’s time for Modern Media Men to bring their bats.  We’ve got some social media hitting to do.

** (For clarity’s sake, I do not know anyone named SuzieSweetieSnazzle and the characters make the name impossible to have on Twitter.)

  1. iFroggy

    Patrick O'Keefe iFroggy

    @daddyclaxton I think that a lot of it has to do simply with how you were raised, too, oddly enough. I’ve been talking with companies and receiving free products since at least 2003 or so, when I would have been 18. I never had the obnoxious, gross sense of entitlement that your post mentions and that I’ve seen in people. Definitely ugly! 17 minutes ago via web

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13-yo-dd and I are headed to Austin for a @Gillette event today

Jul 6, 2010 by

I’m excited.  Chandler and I are headed out on a new adventure, this one to Austin, Texas to take part in an event with Gillette and their Ultimate Summer Jobs guys Jason and Adam.  More details to come.  Follow my tweets today @DaddyClaxton.

Thanks to Gillette, they’re loading up our car and sending us down the highway today.  All this in association with their new and great ProGlide Fusion.

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