3M Co. wants Vikings fans to help U.S. Bank Stadium "glow with purple pride" on Sunday during the game against the Green Bay Packers.
The company has donated 66,000 pieces of purple translucent film. The idea is for fans, when prompted, to turn on their cellphones' flashlight mode and cover the light with the film. The Vikings plan to turn out the lights twice during the game for the effect, said 3M spokeswoman Donna Fleming Runyon.
It's the first highly visible marketing effort since Maplewood-based 3M became the Vikings' official "science partner" two years ago. The value of the promotion and the partnership as a whole were not disclosed.
The Vikings are "so excited by the notion of creating this [experience] for 66 000 fans," said Tanya Dreesen, Vikings vice president of partnership activation and special projects. The purple lights will add one more dimension to the gameday energy the Vikings create with LED lights, banners, cheerleaders, Skol chants, drum line and videos, Dreesen said.
The "glow purple" idea hatched three weeks ago when Dreesen and Katie Pluff, the Vikings' partnership manager, were brainstorming ways to rally fans at the upcoming game between bitter rivals.
"We had this crazy idea that we wanted to change the white light on cellphones in the stadium to purple," Dreesen said.
"Katie immediately got out her cellphone, tape and [colored paper] and started playing with the light," Dreesen said. "Katie said, 'We can do this. We just need someone to pull it all together for us. I am calling 3M.' "
Within days, 3M — which makes optical films for many uses — had several purple prototypes ready. The company sent scientists to U.S. Bank Stadium to run tests and get the color, film and flashlight effect just right.
"This is something that came together quickly with a lot of energy and enthusiasm on their part," Dreesen said.
Last week, 3M manufactured 8,625 feet worth of the purple Viking film. This week, the film was snipped into small squares and attached to Vikings playbooks fans will receive at Sunday's big game.
Vikings personnel also will pass out 3M earplugs to anyone who requests them during the game, said Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson.
The earplugs are part of the 3M Sound Meter promotion during the game.
The meter — which will be projected on the giant video screens — measures how loud the audience is in real time and will include a reminder for fans to protect their hearing. 3M believes the stadium is the perfect venue for the company to promote its hearing and safety protection equipment business.
The earplugs are part of 3M's "Be loud. Be safe" campaign, the company said.
Noise levels at the Jan. 14, 2018, "Minneapolis Miracle" Vikings game against the New Orleans Saints reached 120 decibels. That's approaching the noise of a jet engine. Sounds above 80 decibels are considered harmful to hearing.
At some point in the future, 3M will also provide first-aid kits, noise-cancellation headsets and earplugs for guests visiting U.S. Stadium's future sensory room.
The sensory room, currently under construction on the west side of the stadium, will provide respite to game fans needing a break from the extreme noise and lights of the massive arena.
3M also will partner with the Vikings on promotions during the Dolphins game on Dec. 16 and the Bears game on Dec. 30.
Dee DePass • 612-673-7725