The Twin Cities is swarming with more than 10,000 teal and purple snowsuit-clad Crew 52 volunteers who are out and about helping fans and visitors experience the “Bold North” in the days leading up to the big game at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.
More than 200 U.S. Bank employees are proud owners of the Crew 52 uniforms and are spending this week welcoming visitors at MSP Airport and the Mall of America in Bloomington, in hotel lobbies throughout the region, and inside the skyway and outside on the street as part of Super Bowl LIVE downtown Minneapolis.
“I have told all my friends and family that I am a chosen one,” said Jonelle Johnson, a business analyst in payment services. “My poor husband has had to listen to me brag since I received my uniform. I try it on, walk around the house and talk about how nice it is.”
She will be a hotel host in Minneapolis, helping guests plan their visits accessing the skyways and transportation services and keeping them informed of different planned events happening in the city.
While Johnson expects to be warm in a heated hotel, Bryan Vos (pictured above), a recruiter with human resources, is planning ahead, helping visitors keep warm while at Super Bowl LIVE on the street level of Nicollet Mall.
“I’m getting familiar with the transit maps, Minnesota trivia and I did buy a box of hand warmers to share with our warm-weather guests,” he said. He’ll be responsible for helping visitors find their way to all the activities, as well as how they can access the skyway system. “I hope I see a lot of Minnesotans enjoying the festivities and I hope to see a lot of smiles from our guests.”
Trivia facts are what many volunteers are studying in the days leading up to their shifts. For example, did you know that the skyway system in Minneapolis contains eight miles of walking paths, and is the largest in the world? Or that Minnesota has more feet of coastline than any other state thanks to the more than 10,000 lakes? (There are actually 11,842 lakes at least 10 acres in size, just in case you were wondering.)
Tina Nguyen (pictured above on left), risk, compliance and audit manager with consumer banking, calls them “fun facts,” and has been using what she’s learned via volunteering for Crew 52 to help inform friends and family who aren’t up to date on the festivities. Nguyen will be joined by Sandy Menning-Glavan (pictured above on right), an administrative assistant with community banking, at the Mall of America, directing visitors to different restaurants, the restrooms and events happening at the mall.
“I hope to get to have interaction with fans and visitors from around the country and the world, and maybe see someone famous,” Menning-Glavan said.
Many volunteers are using their U.S. Bank volunteer hours to cover their shifts. (The bank provides employees with up to 16 hours of paid time off to spend giving back to their community.) Most volunteers are signed up for three shifts, each typically lasting from four to five hours, and eight hours for the captains.
The process to becoming “the chosen” as Johnson put it started almost a year ago when the MN Super Bowl Host Committee sent out the call for volunteers. According to the Host Committee, 30,000 people applied. They were invited to interview in the late summer and early fall. Volunteers were notified they had been selected for Crew 52 in late fall, and an orientation celebration was held in November. Shifts were selected in December and trainings were held in January.
“I have been surprised by how smooth the process has been, considering there are 10,000 people volunteering,” said Ryan Cook (pictured above), a senior auditor with corporate audit services. “Anything that I have attended has started on time and has been highly efficient. To me, this is very surprising considering the number of people who are involved in the process and the coordination needed.” Cook will be in the Host Committee headquarters building downtown Minneapolis, helping volunteers meet their captains and get to their assigned locations each day.
If you’re in downtown Minneapolis at any time during the 10-day event, you’ll be able to find U.S. Bank employees dressed in their Crew 52 uniforms, giving visitors and guests a warm welcome. And if you happen to fly out on Monday, Feb. 5, Corbb O’Connor, project analyst in omnichannel, will help you negotiate the underground tunnels and wish you a safe flight home.
“The Minneapolis airport is confusing for everyone … I’m hoping to help people have a smoother experience than I had when I first landed at MSP!” he said.
Jeni Jonett is a member of U.S. Bank’s public affairs and communications team.
(Pictured in featured image: Sherean Kolthoff, consultant in risk management with U.S. Bank.)