Vendor Partnership Key To Super Bowl Contract
For Saint Paul, Minnesota-based Marsden Services, their "Super Bowl" of cleaning is quite literally the Super Bowl. The company was awarded the contract for Super Bowl LV, which took place in Tampa Bay, Florida, on February 7. CEO Guy Mingo was beyond excited when he heard the news.
"This was the fifth Super Bowl event we've been a part of," he says, "and it just gets better every year. I'm so proud of my team for the great work they've done in the past. I know that it was their talent and skill that demonstrated Marsden was capable of taking on this event once again."
Past performance no doubt helped Marsden win the bid, but Mingo comments that there was more to it. In fact, it started with a great relationship between Marsden and the third-party vendor who coordinates the event on behalf of the National Football League.
"We've built a lot of trust over the years and they know us to be professional, dedicated, quality-driven and safety-focused," says Mingo.
So, what specifically are the pluses and special qualities the vendor and the NFL have seen in Marsden that again won the firm the Big Game? According to Mingo, two stand out: one, Marsden's knowledge and expertise in this area; and, two, the company's commitment to caring about people.
"We know from experience that in a stadium environment, flexibility and communication are of paramount importance," Mingo explains. "There is so much going on and so many things that can change suddenly, so it is absolutely imperative that our teams are ready to pivot at any second. We go through extensive training and preparedness drills with our teams so that they can respond immediately when something changes, and we have additional supervisors onsite to ensure everything goes smoothly."
Because this is the company's fifth Super Bowl, Mingo and his colleagues have established communication channels with the third-party vendor that allowed for seamless last-minute adjustments. In the end, though, Mingo says it all comes down to caring about people, whether it's the players, the fans, the stadium staff, or Marsden's own team members.
"We wanted everyone to enjoy this event and share in the excitement of being part of the Super Bowl," he says. "We held a pre-shift safety meeting every shift, and we were adamant about maintaining safe practices with a zero-tolerance policy for negligent behavior."
Of course, this Super Bowl was different from all the previous games Marsden has worked because of the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic affected all facets of Marsden's plans and service offerings for this assignment.
"Marsden has a sophisticated disinfecting program that we have been deploying throughout the pandemic to help keep our clients and their employees safe," says Mingo. "We implemented this program at the Super Bowl, as well, which includes touchpoint disinfection with EPA-registered disinfectants and electrostatic spraying. We had dedicated disinfection teams on site, who were continuously disinfecting the environment and using detailed checklists to ensure every area had been properly cleaned. All of our staff at the event also completed a health screening prior to each shift, wore a mask while on site and maintained social distancing."
The Super Bowl already presents unique challenges both in terms of the environment and managing the event. As an outdoor event, for example, there is always the threat of inclement weather and that poses its own concerns. Also, a stadium is a very large, complex setting that requires a variety of services in different areas.
"It's also a high traffic environment and the pace is very fast," says Mingo. "We often have a short window of time in which to service an area, and there may be people in that area. It requires a very professional and competent team to manage the dynamic needs of a stadium. When it comes to managing the event, an extensive plan is needed before we even set foot in the facility."
Mingo adds that the Super Bowl is much more than a one-day event for the Marsden team.
"The on-site work typically lasts about 30 days from load in to load out," he says. "Before that, there were two to three months of preparation on our end to complete checklists, coordinate assignments, get everyone the correct credentials, order supplies, determine equipment needs and create staff schedules."
Coordinating the staff required for an event such as the Super Bowl presents unique challenges, too. According to Mingo, staffing needs often vary by the day.
"Some days we will have as few as five people on site, and other days it will be as high as 90 employees," says Mingo. "We also have as many as 18 supervisors on site at times. Coordinating that many people and that many different job assignments is a detailed process."
That begs the question: How did Marsden Services select the staff members to work this prestigious assignment? After all, this is a highly desirable job assignment and very rewarding for the individuals who get to be a part of it.
"We selected staff members for this event carefully based on skill, availability and geographic feasibility," Mingo says. "Management for this event began with our Director of Hospitality and Events, and team members from our hospitality and event division. These individuals traveled to be on site for the event, but we found local talent to supply the remaining staffing needs. When the city was chosen to host the event, we worked with our local office to see if any of our existing staff had the experience, interest, and availability to be diverted from their normal workload to be part of this project. We then hired for the remaining staffing needs. We only chose individuals we could trust will maintain the highest level of quality, safety and customer service."
When it came to the Super Bowl, Mingo remained highly involved himself. From the get-go, he participated in the overall strategy development for the event. But once game day came, he was confident his team was ready.
"The staff at this event had been working it for weeks and prepared for it for months," says Mingo. "So I got to take on a supportive role and watch them do what they do best. I helped to ensure our team members were comfortable on site, that they were not overwhelmed, and that they had all they needed to be successful. I also helped to ensure the quality of work, that everyone knew their assignments, and I served as a backup for the leaders and supervisors."
With confidence in their preparation, the entire team was ready when game day came.
"We always have a great time with this event," says Mingo. "There was a lot of excitement beforehand and a sense of achievement afterward. There was a lot of planning and hard work that went into an event like this, but our teams were very proud that they were part of the Super Bowl experience. They helped to make it a memorable event for everyone involved."
So, is this indeed the Super Bowl of building services contracting assignments? According to Mingo, everyone on the Marsden team is definitely proud of the achievement. He adds that being chosen for a national event of this caliber demonstrates that Marsden has proven themselves to be exceptional, but one account doesn't define them.
"I think that for a football player, being in the Super Bowl means you have proven yourself to be the best in your field. For us, proving that we are the best in our field goes beyond one assignment or one type of environment," says Mingo. "We have to prove ourselves every day, every shift, in every facility we service. We have to be the best at what we do in every environment we enter because our customers rely on us to keep their facilities and occupants safe and healthy. So I don't know if there is an 'ultimate assignment.' Every client is important to us and deserves our highest level of care."