Last night, as roughly 28 million viewers tuned in to witness the championship battle between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide, the city of Atlanta was just beginning to settle down from three straight days of what can only be called “the ultimate tailgate experience.” Over the years, as popularity for the game has skyrocketed, so too has the spectacle that unfolds beforehand. And for sponsors like Capital One, the pre-game festivities were a once in a lifetime opportunity to offer cardholders and football fans a taste of the postseason magic. So, buckle your chin strap, here are five things you might have missed from the College Football Playoff National Championship.
1. Media Day
The frenzy began on Saturday, when fans had a chance to listen in—under the bright lights—as coaches and players conducted pre-game interviews with over a thousand reporters from some of the biggest names in sports media.
Free and open to the public, attendees received a complimentary radio headset so they could hear from their favorite teams throughout the live broadcasts. And if that wasn’t enough incentive to swing by Media Day, each guest also received a free ticket to Playoff Fan Central.
2. Championship Tailgate Plaza presented by Allstate
Football and tailgating go together like touchdowns and celebrations. So, it shouldn’t come as a shock that the biggest game of the year also boasts the biggest tailgate party.
From Saturday through Monday, fans could prep for the big game by stopping through the Championship Tailgate Plaza presented by Allstate. With a number of family-friendly outdoor activities like zip line, free fall jump stunts, and the pigskin toss, there was something to do for fans of all ages. And because no tailgate is complete without some extreme eats, the plaza also featured a mouth-watering selection of gourmet game-day foods to refuel and recharge every fan in attendance.
3. Playoff Fan Central
What could be better than attending the national championship? How about access to a three-day, pre-game pep rally? And for Capital One cardholders who presented their cards at the box office or purchased a ticket online, admission was completely free.
From the casual enthusiast to the face-painting super fan, Playoff Fan Central—at the Georgia World Congress Center—was the place to be. Designed to get guests pumped up and ready to roll for Monday’s big matchup, the 300,000-square foot complex was filled wall-to-wall with sponsorship activations and games like football simulators, autograph signings, photo ops, prize giveaways, and more.
4. AT&T Playoff Playlist Live!
Players and coaches weren’t the only high-profile sightings that stole the show. The AT&T Playoff Playlist Live! concert was rocking with performances all weekend long.
The three-day outdoor concert featured numerous multi-platinum and national artists throughout the weekend, before giving way to three-time GRAMMY Award winner Darius Rucker, as he closed out the pre-game event on Monday night. Playing from the Capital One Quicksilver® Music Stage, Rucker provided fans with the ultimate soundtrack to the National Championship game. In addition to the great hits, AT&T Playoff Playlist Live! continued the thrills with nightly fireworks shows. And, as an added bonus, Capital One cardholders were given exclusive access to a VIP cardholder lounge in Centennial Olympic Park where they could take a load off, recharge with complimentary food and drinks, and meet with former Georgia and Alabama star players—without ever missing a beat.
5. College Football Hall of Fame
Dedication. Teamwork. Sportsmanship. These are the keys to success on the gridiron. And fans of the game could find them on full display at the College Football Hall of Fame.
Located in the heart of the postseason atmosphere, the Hall features exhibits and games that celebrate the sport’s rich history while immortalizing 1,300 of the greatest players and coaches to have ever taken the field. Literally a football fan’s paradise, the Hall also offers a discount on admission for all Capital One cardholders. Talk about MVPs.