A Super Image–Entrepreneur Tamara Mangum Talks Super Bowl 2014

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Tamara MagnumIt’s been more than two months since the Seattle Seahawks thumped the Denver Broncos at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford in Super Bowl 2014 in February. For business owner Tamara Mangum, the annual and globally aired punt-and-run mega event will always be a pleasant memory—not due to its outcome, but because her company—Sharpened Image in Union, NJ,  was one of only a handful of African American vendors in the metro area to nab a lucrative contract with Met Life/NFL for Super Bowl-related services.  Mangum recently sat down with TNJ.com to discuss her company and how the Super Bowl was, indeed, a kicker of sorts, to her business.

TNJ.com- Please share the details regarding your contract with the NFL/Met Life stadium for snow removal services for Super Bowl ’14? When did you submit a bid for the contract? What is the approximate value of the contract?
Mangum: In June 2013, Sharpened Image, Inc., submitted a response to an RFP/RFQ to Met life Stadium to provide approximately 150 snow removal personnel to support snow  removal efforts for Super Bowl 2014 and a unique opportunity to provide personnel labor pre and post Super Bowl. In July 2013, Sharpened Image executed the anticipated contract agreement with Met Life Stadium.  The initial term of the contract commenced in November and will conclude May 2014. We are still tallying the numbers, so the exact value of the contract is unknown, but it will likely be one of the largest the company has successfully won.  In addition to the initial term, Met life reserves the right to extend the term for two additional 1 year periods based upon the same terms.

TNJ.com—Do you think Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE’s) in the metro area received a fair number of contracts in preparation for the Super Bowl. Please share your feeling about how the entire process was handled. For example, were Request for Proposals (RFPs) widely circulated and distributed in a timely manner to potential vendors?
Mangum: Yes, it is my belief that M/WBE’s had a great opportunity to participate in contracts in preparation for the Super Bowl. While Sharpened Image, Inc., did not win all the bids we submitted, we did manage to land one—a big one. The entire process was handled well. All relevant information pertaining to contracts were transparent and fair. I would however, liked to have the opportunity to network a little more in order to build some meaningful future business relationships.

TNJ.com—Was Super Bowl 2014 a cash cow and financial windfall for the small number of metro area M/WBE’s that won contracts?
Mangum: I think Superbowl 2014 was a cash cow for most M/WBE’s in the product delivery space—not so much in the services industry space. Surprisingly, much of the services industry spaces (i.e. personnel services are monopolized by a chosen few.

TNJ.com—Any final thoughts or comments? Advice to other M/WBE’s on how to land the big contract?

Mangum: Food for thought—You’ve got to be in it to win it! Even if you don’t think you can win the bid, bid anyway. You never know what can come out of an opportunity. And, to whatever extent possible, forming partnership/joint ventures and alliances early is essential for getting the contract!