The Atlanta Falcons couldn’t take advantage of the team’s first trip to the Super Bowl since the 1998-1999 season, but that didn’t stop local business owners from cashing in.
In DeKalb County, street vendors, businesses and organizations took advantage of the Falcons run to an NFC Championship by offering discounts and special deals.
Curley Williams, 27, owner of the food truck Southern Bonz which services areas of DeKalb County and metro-Atlanta, said usually the months of January and February are slow revenue months. However, the Falcons success on the field helped significantly, he said.
“We did a couple of pep rallies and we’ve done a lot of football related events on the weekends. There’s just a whole bunch of people that were excited and used the Falcons’ [success] to celebrate,” Williams said.
According to Forbes, American consumers spent nearly $83 million on wings this year for the Super Bowl. Despite the Falcons loss, Williams said he plans to continue to build on the team’s success next year.
“In the future, we want to do some type of “dirty bird” wings. It’s just something we can do to let people know we’re cheering on the Falcons as well and still have some taste of southern food,” Williams said.
Janice Black, a street vendor selling Falcons merchandise in DeKalb County, said she and her fiancé were surprised by the response they received. Originally from Missouri, Black said she goes from city to city during major sporting events to sell items.
When asked why she didn’t travel to the New England area for the Super Bowl, she said Atlanta Falcons fans were more likely to buy considering the team’s recent woes.
“We go around the country and sell merchandise. We’re doing pretty good this year,” Black said. “Everybody is so excited. It’s a theme everywhere. People are coming in and saying they need a shirt because their coworkers are dressing up.”
Brendan Underwood, a DeKalb County resident who was looking at items at Black’s shop days prior to the Super Bowl, said he needed to restock on his Falcons’ memorabilia.
Even the county’s four-legged friends got involved in the Falcons’ fan frenzy. Lifeline Animal Project, which has facilities at Avondale Estates and DeKalb County waived adoption fees Super Bowl Sunday for cats and dogs weighing more than 25 pounds as part of a “Rise Up” special.
“We were so excited and thrilled that the Falcons made it to the Super Bowl that we knew we had to do something,” Lifeline Animal Project Public Relations Director Karen Hirsch said. “We wanted to increase adoptions at our shelter so we decided to do a ‘Rise Up’ special and waive adoption fees.”
Lifeline also hosted their own version of the “puppy bowl” which was shown on the non-profit’s Facebook page.
Hirsch said the excitement from the Falcons Super Bowl appearance seemed to help increase adoption numbers.
“It’s been great because people are excited. It’s been a long time since something like this has happened and I think the excitement of the fans carries over into other things,” Hirsch said. “It’s double the fun when you can watch the Super Bowl on the couch with a buddy. We’ve been getting lots of phone calls.”
According to Hirsch, 11 cats were adopted at the cat center which is the most cats the center has adopted out at one time.
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