Melanie Few Brings Music, Faith, And Football Together For The Super Bowl Soulful Celebration


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 07: Melanie Few (C) arrives at the Super Bowl Soulful Celebration 25th Anniversary at Pearl Theater at the Palms Casino Resort on February 07, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mindy Small/Getty Images)

Amidst the frenzy surrounding the Super Bowl, there’s an undercurrent of excitement that flows through the week-long festivities, extending beyond the main event itself. One such celebration is the Super Bowl Soulful Celebration, a testament to the vision of marketing pioneer Melanie Few. Her mission was clear: to spark a spiritual movement, empowering the Christian community ahead of the nation’s biggest televised event.

“The Super Bowl has always focused on sports fans. But more importantly it has become a diverse lifestyle event attracting more diverse audiences, including a huge female following,” Few explains. Her drive to create the Super Bowl Soulful Celebration stemmed from a desire to amplify the testimonies of NFL elites, believing that their stories of triumph and resilience would inspire countless others.

However, the journey to this 25th anniversary wasn’t without its challenges. It took years of persistence and determination before Few secured the NFL’s endorsement. “We created Super Bowl Soulful to inspire NFL Fans and local communities but we have developed a global following of music and sports fans. We have existed for 25 years because of the support we have received from unsung heroes at the NFL,” she reveals. “We initially pitched the idea in 1991 and it took us 7 years to get a YES and become sanctioned by the NFL.”

Faith And Football Came Together At The Super Bowl Soulful Celebration
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 07: Fred Taylor presents Nate Burleson with the Lifetime Achievement “That Deserves a Crown Award” as they partner with Crown Royal at the 25th Annual Soulful Celebration during Super Bowl LVIII on February 07, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Crown Royal)

Few’s historic achievement as one of the first Black women licensed by the NFL reflects her deep-rooted connection to music, nurtured during her upbringing in the church. What began as a modest gospel brunch has blossomed into a star-studded extravaganza, welcoming the likes of players including Deion Sanders and our cover star Russell Wilson, and gospel musicians Yolanda Adams and Kirk Franklin. Today, the event, rebranded as the Soulful Celebration, has expanded to include some of the biggest names in football, hip-hop, R&B, and the gospel community. 

The recent rebranding as the Soulful Celebration aimed to broaden the event’s appeal without alienating its loyal fanbase. “We were very careful to keep our long-time traditional followers and supporters engaged while also reaching out to a new audience. Our talent line up this year consisted of artists from various genres including, R&B, gospel, pop and more,” Few said. This strategy paid off, with the inclusion of diverse musical acts like Earth Wind & Fire, Mickey Guyton, and T-Pain.

Reflecting on the celebration’s impact, Few underscores its role in inspiring NFL fans and communities worldwide. “We have existed for 25 years because of the support we have received from unsung heroes at the NFL,” she acknowledges.

Faith And Football Came Together At The Super Bowl Soulful Celebration
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 07: Nate Burleson accepts the Lifetime Achievement “That Deserves a Crown Award” onstage as he partners with Crown Royal at the 25th Annual Soulful Celebration during Super Bowl LVIII on February 07, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Crown Royal)

To mark its 25th anniversary, the celebration embraced the spirit of Las Vegas, championing both music and the Black community. With an all-African American female production team and co-hosts Cedric The Entertainer and Tichina Arnold, the event showcased diversity and excellence on a grand scale. From everyone in front of the camera and behind the scenes, Few says she’s “been passionate about hiring minority vendors for years.”

Melanie Few’s leadership has been pivotal in cultivating a culture of triumph. “The lesson is to never give up,” she asserts. As the Super Bowl Soulful Celebration continues to thrive, Few reflects on what it took to get here 25 years later. Through it all, she embodies the spirit of perseverance, echoing the timeless words of Frank L. Stanton, “KEEP A GOIN.”



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