Super Bowl workshop targets minority, female firms

Minority and women business owners interested in work related to the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis can learn about contracting opportunities at a Tuesday evening workshop.

The event, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Madame Walker Theatre Center on Indiana Avenue, is the first of three such workshops that are part of the National Football League’s Emerging Business Program targeting minority and female participation.

Organizers of the workshops, including the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee, say minority and women business owners overall have earned an average of  between $3.5 million and $4 million in contracts from past championship games.

Those opportunities are expected to come from up to 70 contracting categories, including catering, event planning and security, said Tony Mason, senior vice president of the local Super Bowl Host Committee.

Last year’s Super Bowl in Miami attracted about 130 related events during a 10-day period, he said.

“While we can’t guarantee that that many events will occur here,” Mason said, “we know that there will be events and perhaps some opportunities.”

Tuesday’s workshop will feature Francine Powers, president of the Miami-based We’re Having A Party Inc., who has won contracts at four Super Bowls. Also expected at the meeting is Frank Supovitz, the NFL’s vice president of events.

In addition, a panel discussion will be led by Greg Wilson, director of the city of Indianapolis’ Minority and Women Business Division; Nancy Walker, certification coordinator for the state of Indiana’s Minority and Women Business Enterprise Division; and Ivan Baird Jr., director of certifications for the Indiana Minority Supplier Diversity Council.

Companies interested in receiving Super Bowl contracts must be certified as a minority or women’s business enterprise by the city or state. Those who aren’t certified must register by March 31 and be certified by April 30.

The bid process and letting of contracts is expected to begin next year in late summer or early fall.

Information about the companies that meet certification requirements will be published in a resource guide that the NFL and majority contractors can use to locate minority- and women-owned companies. The hope is that majority contractors will keep the guide as a resource when bidding on major projects requiring minority and female participation, Mason said.

Several minority and female contractors, however, already are involved in Super Bowl-related activities.

The near-east side Legacy Project, which includes a large neighborhood revitalization project, has attracted about 30-percent participation from those types of contractors.  

And local minority firm Davis & Associates Inc. is partnering with Indianapolis-based Browning Construction Inc. to build a community center on the Arsenal Technical  High School campus, where ground was broke on Monday.
Minority and female firms have worked in recent years on several large local building projects related to hospitality, including the Indianapolis International Airport midfield terminal, Lucas Oil Stadium, and most recently, the expansion of the Indiana Convention Center.

Virtually all contracts have been awarded for the 254,000-square-foot expansion of the Convention Center, set to open in January. Minority contractors received 20 percent of the work, totaling $48 million, while female contractors received $22.2 million, or 9.3 percent of the total $275 million project.

For the expansion, the Indiana Stadium & Convention Building Authority set a goal of 15-percent participation for minorities and 5-percent participation for women.

“I don’t anticipate any large changes, so we will consider our program to be a success when compared to our goals,” Lori Dunlap, the authority’s deputy director said in an e-mail.

Minority and women business owners interested in Super Bowl contracting opportunities can register at

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