TEMPE, AZ — A Tempe company made 30,000 cutouts for Super Bowl LV on Sunday since Raymond James Stadium in Tampa will only have 25,000 real fans, a third of its capacity.
The company, bluemedia, used massive printers to print six plastic cutouts in just 45 seconds at a time.
Jared Smith, the CEO of bluemedia, said for years, the company's been making graphics, signs and all branding for big events and sports teams. When the pandemic hit, they shifted some of their production.
"We produced over 100,000 masks, we built plexiglass dividers for casinos," he said. They also made seat covers for stadiums.
This is their seventh Super Bowl, but this is the first time they were asked to print fan cut-outs to fill the stadium.
"How do you space them? How do we make it look full? How do we help charity? And really, the cutouts was the solution that tied all of that together," he said.
The NFL paid for about half of the cutouts that are part of special sections, including health care workers, members of the military and social justice organizations.
For $100, fans were able to get their own by uploading a picture online. All proceeds go to charity.
"To let fans get their face in the stadium and TV that would've realistically never had another chance to get there, and proceeds going to charity, while we're getting paid for it and get to work on the biggest game on the planet, we're really really blessed and super humbled," said Smith.
Bluemedia's Super Bowl branding work is also all over Tampa.
"We have buildings wrapped and hotels wrapped. I believe we even have some light rails and buses and some city bridges."
The deadline to order a cutout has passed, and all of the cutouts have been transported to Tampa and installed at Raymond James Stadium.