Responses to the Super Bowl Outage

Twitter users were active during the Super Bowl outage, and parties involved are responding to the blackout that delayed the game by 34 minutes.

Super Bowl outage

A joint statement by Entergy and Superdome manager SMG blames energy lines for the outage:

"A piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system. Once the issue was detected, the sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue. Backup generators kicked in immediately as designed.

"Entergy and SMG subsequently coordinated start-up procedures, ensuring that full power was safely restored to the Superdome. The fault-sensing equipment activated where the Superdome equipment intersects with Entergy's feed into the facility. There were no additional issues detected. Entergy and SMG will continue to investigate the root cause of the abnormality."

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the power outage was "an unfortunate moment in what has been an otherwise shining Super Bowl week for the city of New Orleans. . . . In the coming days, I expect a full after-action report from all parties involved." He may have reason to worry: critics say that the outage may affect whether New Orleans hosts future games.

During the outage, fans were active on Twitter, reporting what they saw and making jokes. And marketers took advantage of the downtime, quickly generating relevant ads:

Other advertising tweets were timely:

  • Walgreens: "We do carry candles" and "We also sell lights."
  •  Tide: "We can't get your # blackout, but we can get your stains out."
  • Audi: "Sending some LEDs to the @ mbusa Superdome right now…" (This one is a dig on Mercedes-Benz' sponsorship of the stadium.)

Image source.

Discussion Starters: 

  • If you watched the game, what did you do during the outage? Did you visit social media sites to post or see commentary? What did you expect, and what did you find?
  • Read some of the tweets sent during the Super Bowl. What strikes you about these examples? How would you summarize the two or three ways that people used Twitter during the game?