2012 Rotary Lombardi Award
After years of declining media coverage, the Rotary Club of Houston reached out to Begala - McGrath to reinvigorate the event and especially the media coverage of the Rotary Lombardi Award (RLA) recognizing the most outstanding college football lineman. Begala - McGrath brought extensive experience to the project as Chris Begala covered the Rotary Lombardi Award as a sports reporter from 1978 to 1995 and both Begala and McGrath worked on the 2004 Super Bowl Opening Ceremony in Houston -- among dozens of major events.
Working with the renowned Houston-based events management company Ward & Ames, as well as the Rotary team responsible for managing the Award, Begala - McGrath generated press releases, advised on sponsor negotiations, coordinated with the sports information directors of the various colleges, and scheduled a media reception to reintroduce the Award and its new format to regional sports media. Most importantly, Begala - McGrath conceptualized and managed the media events involving the four RLA finalists during their two day stay in Houston -- including a new red carpet element outside the Hobby Center that bolstered local and national TV and radio coverage as VIP guests, sponsors and the finalists were interviewed on the red carpet. The red carpet element brought about a new and hip feel to the Lombardi Award but more importantly garnered hundreds of thousands of dollars of PR for the 2012 event.
Following the telecast on the CBS Sports Network, Begala - McGrath immediately escorted the 2012 RLA winner Manti Te'o of Notre Dame to a designated media room where he conducted a final round of media interviews.
All in all, Begala - McGrath completely revamped the way the Lombardi Award was presented to the media, enhanced the visibility and thus garnered a huge increase in media coverage.