Â Â That’s Henry Yiu and Katherine Dress of Plano-based Pacific Dynasty International. They were among the more than 800 small business operators who showed up for the first workshop of the Super Bowl XLV Host Committee’s Emerging Business Program at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth this afternoon. Henry and Katherine’s company imports a whole bunch of LED devices. You’ll note the row of lights attached to the bill of Henry’s cap, and the scrolling electronic message sign hanging around Katherine’s neck. The glowing orbs that they’re holding up are LED-toting centerpieces for tables. Â They’re hoping to get their products used at Super Bowl-related events.
I also met Barry King, a former creative director with Radio Shack’s in-house ad department, who has spent the last several years selling barbecue sauce made from a recipe he invented 20 years ago. His Fort Worth-based brand is Brothers, and you can find it at Central Market. “If I get my sauce in your mouth, game over,” Barry proclaimed confidently. He’s hoping to get his products into what’s sure to be a host of gift baskets and party favors handed out at events throughout the week leading up to the Feb. 6, 2011, game.
What Barry and Henry and Katherine and what seemed like a sea of PR people on the first couple rows of the big audience heard wasn’t some dry Power Point presentation going over the particulars of the procurement process. This is the North Texas Super Bowl, and it’s clear that our local host committee plans to do everything big. Even its business workshops.
Let’s start with the music. Energetic dance beats greeted those who entered the ballroomÂ in the Amon Carter Exhibit Hall. Once the show began, each new speaker was played to the stage with bombastic fanfare by”Waltz of the Goliaths” (a tune familiar to fans of NFL Films). The star power was at a lower wattage than at the recent Slant 45 event. There was Emmitt Smith, and Channel 5′s Newy Scruggs, and Chris Arnold, and Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief. Troy Aikman made a cameo via a voice-over that he recorded for one of the video presentations.
The big news of the day, which SweetCharity already told you about this morning, is that Texas Instruments has signed on as the official sponsor of the Emerging Business Program. There will be two more workshops to come. One next February, and another in April. Those will get more detailed. This first event seemed designed as a pep rally, and to convey basic information. If they want a shot at Super Bowl cash, minority- and women-owned businesses can register through the Host Committee’s website by March, they need to get certified as a minority- or women-owned business by May, and a business resource guide will be published online in December. Tisha Ford of the NFL was there and said that most contracts won’t start being awarded until next SeptemberÂ or October, but that’s it’s never too early to make sure your business is in a position to earn a piece of the pie. She also noted that today’s might have been the biggest Emerging Business workshop in the history of the NFL program.
Â Â Â And I’m rooting for Henry to find a taker for this crazy eight-sided screwdriver with built-in light that he’s got. I’d sure like one of those in a swag bag more than another ball cap or tiny bottle of liquor.