The processes in organizations involve complicated undertakings that require adequate evaluations and planning to guarantee success. The targets set during activities in an organization are subjected to uncertainties. Such a scenario, therefore, creates the need for effective risk management approaches. The personnel responsible for planning and implementation of projects, plans, and events should include factors related to the process of identifying the associated risk. Once noted, it is essential to conducts a succinct assessment, which will assist in prioritizing and solving the potential losses associated with the risks. The risks that occur in projects could be financial, implementation complexities, or externalities of execution. Worth noting is that the stage of the project that is also affected plays a critical role. Nevertheless, planning and setting mechanisms for risk control does not guarantee successful implementation of the anticipated programs (Shrivastava, 2003). This paper examines the risk management process associated with the National Football League Super Bowl XLVI event by evaluating the planning, execution, risk management, and aftermath reflection related to the event.
Overview of the National Football League and Super Bowl Events
Super Bowl is an annual event conducted by the National Football League, which is a professional football body based in the United States. The competition is carried through a season of competition that starts from the summer of the previous year and culminate in the year that follows. The game, therefore, is named after the number of competition rather than the year in which the game was played. The first game started in 1967 after the National Football League merged with the American Football League to create a consensus after a long period of rivalry. Currently, the game involves the champions for each conference winner to compete for the National Football League Championship. Therefore, the competition forms one of the major annual football games across the United States and the World.
It is essential to identify how the Super Bowl Sunday is an important day for the football fans across the world attracting millions of viewers. The match records the highest attendance in the historic conference competition each year. Such a scenario calls for adequate preparation for the event to ensure the safety of the players and the viewers in the stadium. The process of financial management is also critical to ensure smooth operation of the events such as remuneration of players and officiating experts, leasing, and procurement. The issue of security is also among the considerations for this day, which depends wholly on NFL’s coordination capacity. Another critical issue is the number of viewers from home and outside America. Therefore, the airing of the game is another essential factor that determines the success of Super Bowl Sunday. Based on the nature of the event, risk management is a central process to activities of the day, which starts with the planning process. Therefore, the efficiency of the planning committee determines the degree to which the anticipated objectives are attained. The Super Bowl XLVI was a 2011/2012 event where The Giants played against The Patriots (NFL Enterprises LLC, 2016).
Planning of the Super Bowl XLVI
The process of involving the planning for the Super Bowl XLVI started when the event was announced after the Indianapolis city won the bid to host the event. The host committee had to consider several aspects of the event to ensure the best level of success. The planning team worked with a projection of about 105,000 attendees at the stadium, which made the event the biggest sports day of the year according to the projections. Another value of about 5,000 people was expected to view the event from larger screens outside the stadium. The large number was based on the expected weather that will limit the number of those who will be following the game from a designated site outside the stadium (Ruquet, 2012). The championship was supposed to attract not only the viewers but also the vendors, other business individuals, and the NFL employees. Other factors such as the effect of celebrating fans and alcohol management, which could create massive damages, were also incorporated based on the Pittsburg’s over $150,000 street damages in 2009 (NFL Enterprises LLC, 2016; Filce, Hall, & Phillips, 2016). Such disruptions were part of the incorporated risks during the planning process.
Moreover, the host committee also considered the compliance regulations related to large gatherings such as health and security. One of the foreseen challenges was the ability of Super Bowl XLVI organization and planning to satisfy the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements associated with hosting such huge gathering. Therefore, the organizing committee planned to secure the place and set mechanisms for checking the attendees who will be watching the game from the arena and within the designated areas outside of the stadium. On the other hand, another compliance factor emanated from the National Fire Protection Association, which the host committee sought for external services from the local government (Saltsgaver & Strammlello, 2016; Tom, 2011). Therefore, the event was set for about one event manager for every group of 250 viewers within and outside the arena. Other factors that were also included in the plan were external risks such as terrorism threats whose occurrence was not sure but possible, which required private security experts to increase the level of intelligence. The FBI agents also formed part of the security team to enhance the efficiency of the private personnel, which escalated the cost to an estimated value of about $5 million. The possibility of air contamination was set under the control of Environmental Protection Agency.
Furthermore, the weather factor was critical to the planning process. According to the consultations carried out, the host committee was assured of snow effect during the game period where the experts concluded a limited attendance for the outdoor viewing. The team worked together with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration representative for the event to determine the implication of weather on attendance, fan comfort, and the players. Moreover, the NFL hired a private weather organization consultancy services to assist in tracking the weather progress during the conference qualifiers to ascertain the condition of the material day. The estimated level of the snow was confirmed to have an implication on the match based on the indicators as well as previous data simulations. At this point, the planning team had accomplished most of the requirements, and the next stage of implementation was to start to guarantee successful risk management (Tom, 2011; SportRisk, 2013). Several weeks before the championship the communication representative confirmed the NFL was more than prepared to host the event. The statement came when the host committee was satisfied that they had incorporated all the necessary factors including those challenges that could crop in the course of the event.
Execution and Risk Management during the Event
The execution process for the Super Bowl XLVI event faced a turnover of events when a conflict between the National Football League and the Player’s Union started. At first, no such challenge had been predicted or included in the risk assessment and management plan. Therefore, host committee was facing a new challenge that they did not expect, which required an immediate intervention. The process of securing a mutual balance between the two sides proved to be a complicated affair. The occurrence made the conflict the priority risk because the event was to be postponed. Other consideration such as a negotiation approach did not show any positive results. With time, the game was facing a possible cancellation. All attention of the risk management team was drawn towards the problem that existed between the union and NFL. However, the problem was solved when the NFL had a deal with the union where the players ratified a new agreement that came with a suitable bargain. At this point, the championship was set to go without any further challenges.
Nevertheless, the adverse weather that was projected during the event did not turn out as expected. The atmosphere was favorable for outdoor activities in the city compared to the other days during the season. It was indeed a “good problem” during the competition since the turnout was more than the expectation of the host committee. According to the risk management team, Indianapolis was the fourth coldest city to host the event, which depicted weather as a risk factor (Smith & Smith, 2008). The board had projected a foot of snow at the minimum with a corresponding 10 degrees temperature . On that Sunday, the temperature went above the metrological expectations to 30 degrees that only guaranteed an inch of snow. It is essential to point out that the number of those who watched the event from the outside court was extremely high. The number of visitors in the city was ten times the projected value that caused a problem with crowd management. The designated staff to assist in organized movement of people did not match the compliance level of one event manager per 250 people. At this point, the Super Bowl XLVI has registered a reputation risk.
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