When Endeavor acquired On Location for $660 million in early 2020, the company (and most of the world) wasn’t expecting a global pandemic to shutter almost all live events.
Despite the pandemic throwing a wrench into most plans, the On Location (which was originally launched by the NFL, and which remains the league’s official hospitality partner) has been fine-tuning its offerings, and adapting to the landscape (Zoom meetings with Tom Brady, anyone?). Last year the company announced a partnership with the International Olympic Committee to be the hospitality provider for the games beginning in 2024.
And while the omicron variant is further delaying what many expect to be a boom in live events, On Location president Paul Caine says the company is ready for when that boom comes.
“Quite frankly what we saw is that the economy is shifting toward experiences,” Caine says. “People want to really engage with and go to sports and entertainment and fashion and culture, and they want to experience it live. What On Location is positioned to do, is to not only deliver live experiences, but to truly deliver on the purest definition of what an experience is.”
The company will face one of its biggest challenges yet with Super Bowl LVI, which is slated to be held Feb. 13 in Los Angeles. While the company has worked on Super Bowls for years, having Los Angeles as a home base presents unique opportunities.
“LA is a phenomenal palette because of the breadth of sports and entertainment and culture,” Caine says. “It is a fantastic place if you want to golf, go surfing, watch a concert, see comedy, it is the epicenter. It is a really good and fun place for us to build experiences.”
In the case of the Super Bowl, clients of the company can expect dinners and excursions, three nights of musical performances at the Crypto.com Arena, private events with NFL legends and the Lombardi Trophy, and on game day some attendees will be able to go on the field for the trophy presentation. After the game is over, the company will provide photos, and virtual meet-and-greets with some of he players or other NFL officials.
“We look at the experience as a much wider moment than just the ticket and what happens on that day,” Caine says. “We look at it as an emotional moment, and that emotion begins the moment you decide you want to go and you purchase it, all the way until you get back home and you talk about it.”
But first, of course, the company needs to navigate omicron.
“Two years into this pandemic, we’ve learned a great deal and are much better equipped to adapt to its evolving nature,” Caine says. “With regards to the Super Bowl, as with any event, we are working closely with the NFL and our other partners to monitor the current situation and to ensure we are adhering to local guidelines to create a safe and enjoyable atmosphere. We are moving ahead as planned and look forward to delivering the best of On Location to fans.”
Looking forward, the company has high hopes for 2024, when the Super Bowl will be held in Las Vegas, another city that is friendly to parties and entertaining, and when it kicks off its Olympics partnership in Paris.
Caine also sees On Location expanding into content, leveraging its relationship with other pieces of Endeavor.
“On the content side, there is great opportunities there for us to tell better stories and deeper stories,” Caine says. “We know that Endeavor’s relationship with the NFL inclusive, of Honors, has opened up new opportunities for us to explore even more there, and while there is nothing specifically planned from On Location on the content side, that is an area you can see opportunities.”