BMG Powers Kansas City Chiefs’ ‘World’s Largest Tailgate Presented by Bud Light’

The show at Arrowhead Stadium will include live feeds from six international sites

Thursday, Sept. 7 is not only a special day for football fans with the “NFL Kickoff Game” but a special day for the Kansas City Chiefs. Not only will the Chiefs be hosting the Detroit Lions on NBC, but “The World’s Largest Tailgate Presented by Bud Light” will take place onsite at the Ford Tailgate District outside GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, with live feeds from six additional locations: Munich; Mexico City; Austin, TX; Philadelphia; Queens NY; and San Diego.

To produce the show, the Chiefs turned to Broadcast Management Group (BMG) to plan the entire event.

“We wanted to innovate and execute at a high level without losing focus on our bread and butter: the football game and the in-stadium game-day production,” says Lara Krug, EVP/CMO, Kansas City Chiefs. “We knew we needed to bring in the right production team with the creative minds to help bring this vision to life. Broadcast Management Group is the preeminent live-sports- and entertainment-production group, and their work speaks for itself. They’ve been working side-by-side with our team over the past month to manage this project, and we’re looking forward to Thursday’s show. “

Kansas City Chiefs’ Lara Krug: “With the on-field success of the team, we continue to look for ways for our brand to connect with people in ways that feel authentic and unique.”

Today, team branding is more than ticket sales, concessions, and merchandizing. It includes the tailgate culture, one of the Chiefs’ most important assets.

“We’re widely known for the tailgating atmosphere on game day,” says Krug. “A lot of that likely comes from the BBQ influence in Kansas City. Fans are committed to spending time, effort, and energy on their tailgating setups, traditions, and cooking food. The food becomes a central point around which fans spend their game day. We have fans who arrive hours before the gates open to start cooking their food, and it’s not uncommon for our fans to welcome random people – including opposing fans – to join them for their tailgate to celebrate game day.”

According to Krug, to leverage that tailgating culture and what the Chiefs call “Chiefs Kingdom,” the concept for the World’s Largest Tailgate has been in the works for a few months. “The past 30-45 days have required the biggest lift among a cross-functional working group that represents multiple departments in the organization.”

That’s where BMG came in the first week of August: to produce, direct, and provide turnkey services that invite people from around the world to join in the event.

The show’s format was developed by BMG Executive Producer Driss Sekkat, BMG CEO Todd Mason, and the Kansas City Chiefs.

BMG’s Todd Mason: “It’s somewhat of a revolution in sports, but all pro sports are leveraging their brand on a global basis.”

“What’s most interesting about this,” says Mason, “is a trend we’re seeing between sports and entertainment. It’s somewhat of a revolution in sports, but all pro sports are leveraging their brand on a global basis, hiring high-powered marketing people to build their brand beyond the U.S. It’s a new type of business beyond the game, and it’s paying off: when tickets went on sale for the Chiefs’ matchup with the Miami Dolphins in Frankfort, Germany, [this coming Nov. 5], they sold out in 18 minutes.”

Speaking of the Tailgate effort, Sekkat explains, “We needed to come up with a show format. We had a title but then had to figure out what the show was going to be. Initially, we didn’t know if the show would be two hours or 90 minutes.”

In addition to creating the show, BMG would have to meet the goals set by the Chiefs.

“First of all,” says Krug, “we want to create a memorable experience around our home opener and the 2023 NFL Kickoff Game for our fans who are attending the game in-person. Second, we want those that can’t be here onsite to experience a piece of what make Chiefs Kingdom so special. And, ultimately, we want fans from around the world to put GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on their bucket list, if it isn’t already.”

In reality, this would be a hybrid 90-minute show with a 5,000-person event onsite plus the six remote locations, all streaming on with the goal of having people feel that they’re onsite and part of the event.

BMG’s Driss Sekkat: “This won’t be like a regular broadcast. It’s a festival brought to life.”

“We started thinking about how far we could push creatively and technically,” says Sekkat. “The Chiefs already have millions of followers on TikTok and Instagram to grow the next generation of football fans. We wanted to leverage that, be edgy, and keep all the fans engaged.”

To do that, BMG sought talent with Kansas City connections. Hosted by the Merrell Twins, Kansas City-born YouTube stars, the show will feature a performance by American DJ/producer duo Two Friends; segments with Saturday Night Live’s Heidi Gardner; influencer and Chiefs fan Tabitha Swatosh, who hails from Missouri; and appearances by Donna “Mama” Kelce (mother of the Kelce brothers: Chiefs tight end Travis and Philadelphia Eagles center Jason), Chiefs legends, and other special guests.

BMG will handle all aspects of the production, including staging, lighting, and sound for the four domestic and two international remotes. Equipment will be deployed from BMG’s East Coast Hub in Washington, DC, with one mobile unit onsite leveraging the company’s Cloud Control Center in Las Vegas. The gear includes 12 cameras, a jib, a Steadicam, wireless handheld mics, and equipment at the six remote sites. BMG has also produced the show open, B-roll videos, and all show graphics.

The show will be in three 30-minute parts, which Sekkat describes as a miniature Super Bowl Halftime Show: “The first part will establish the event with a cool opener, then our hosts the Merrell Twins, and then we’ll go to each of the six locations.

“The Chiefs have amazing fans around the world,” he continues, “and we’ll show that excitement at each location for this global event. We’ll come back to Tabitha onsite with the Chiefs’ tailgating crowd, and we’ll talk with the fans.”

The second part is branded “Presented by Bud Light,” with never-done-before animations. “This won’t be like a regular broadcast,” says Sekkat. “It’s a festival brought to life. We’ll have 15 minutes of additional performances to get the crowd going and get the fans engaged with a countdown to headliner Two Friends.”

The final part is timed to end exactly when NBC starts Football Night in America.

“We’ll have Two Friends, big Chiefs fan Heidi Gardner, and Mama Kelce,” notes Sekkat. “This will bring a lot of energy leading up to the game, with a cool countdown at the end with Two Friends, whose live shows we’ve produced before.”

Although few games carry as much anticipation as the NFL Kickoff, the Chiefs and BMG appear ready to score a pregame touchdown.

“Many people are familiar with the football team on the field,” says Krug. “Part of our goal organizationally is not only to cater to our most loyal fans but to connect with those who might be more non-traditional fans: maybe they’re Kansas City transplants, maybe they identify as secondary fans, maybe they’re more interested in the intersection of sports, entertainment, and pop culture. With the on-field success of the team, we continue to look for ways for our brand to connect with people in ways that feel authentic and unique.”

“The World’s Largest Tailgate Presented by Bud Light” streams live on at 4:15-6:00 p.m. CT on Thursday, Sept 7.

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