Week Leading Up to Super Bowl 50


The week leading up to the Super Bowl was non-stop. The Super Bowl 50 Host Committee’s goal was to make this years game the most philanthropic of all time. That meant hosting a lot of events to give back to the bay area. The 49ers community relations department is one of the best in the world. Just last year they won the Beyond Sport award for Sports Team of the Year, the top accolade given in their field. There were 72 events that the 49ers organization was a part of. Our photography team was in charge of covering 26 of them that week. I ended up shooting 10 events around the bay area leading up to the game.

Here’s a break down of what they were.



Super Bowl Media Opening night. Held at the SAP center in San Jose was the medias first chance to question and photograph the two teams leading up to the game. I’d heard that this event is always a bit crazy and hectic in the media frenzy. But overall I think it was one of my favorite experiences from that week. I liked the challenge of trying to create unique images when there were literally a hundred other photographers right next to me trying to shoot the same thing.


Kid Power Unicef at DeMarillac Academy. Torrey Smith and company hosted a pep-rally and taught students about Kid Power (a fitbit type watch that allows you to earn points while working out, the points then transfer into food credits to be used in under privileged communities overseas). The highlight for me was Torrey taking a selfie with Chewbacca and R2D2.


Super Bowl City Kickoff morning. Torrey Smith and family helped celebrate the opening of SB City in front of the Ferry building in San Francisco. Michelle Obama spoke in a video about eating right and kids ran around and enjoyed themselves. SB City was always crowded but we were able to sneak in a few minutes to ride the zip line. Something I can finally check out my SF bucket list.


George Seifert Luncheon at Santa Clara University. Speakers like Ronnie Lott, George Seifert, Mike Pereira and Brandi Chastain discussed lessons in leadership, ethics and life. It was humbling to hear some of the old stories and to be surrounded by so many successful sports legends.



PCA Future of Football. Herm Edwards, David Shaw, Ted Robinson and Al Guido discussed the direction of football. Herm defiantly dominated conversation.


49ers party. The 49ers hosted a party to celebrate the upcoming game. The venue was at the beautiful City View Metreon and One Republic played. Overall a fun night.


Family Football Clinic. Hosted at the Moscone Center’s temporally installed artificial turf field NFL players lead families in games to further increase bonds. Torrey Smith is wonderful, simple as that.


Make-A-Wish at NFL Experience. Make-A-Wish kids got a private tour of the NFLx and had some one on one time with current and alumni NFL players. These kids are just the most fun loving deserving people around. They got to run around and hang out while not thinking about their conditions for a day.


Marcus Martin at City Hall. SF Mayor Ed Lee celebrated the city’s high school and college football accomplishments. A short ceremony was held that was nice but what was a definite highpoint for me was spending time in the mayors office. Marcus and the mayor sat down and chatted for a while then he showed the 49er his “man cave”. It was filled with sports memorabilia from all the bay area’s teams. My favorite was a personalized poster that said “the Lee-Peat” paying homage to the Giants three World Series wins while he has been in office.


Rebuilding Together Build. 100’s of volunteers help repair six homes in Bayview. I really treasured this project. What I was most drawn to most was the 49ers alumni’s connection to the neighborhood. A few of the guys grew up a few blocks away and one currently teaches at the local community center. Everyone was so friendly and loving and I came away with a serious case of the feels.


Below are a few more of my favorite photos. Click on the thumbnails to make larger.

Super Bowl 50

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Standing at the top of the Super Bowl 50 logo at my first Super Bowl happy as a clam


I was lucky enough to have worked my first Super Bowl this year. Also it was a pretty big one being Super Bowl 50 and all. Hopefully I can start my own streak and work the next 50-100 like the three legendary photographers Walter Iooss, John Biever and Mickey Palmer who have worked 1-50. If you are interested in their story Keepers of the Streak is an ESPN film about the four photographers who had covered 48 Super Bowls. Tony Tomsic missed his 49th last year when he feel ill to a stroke or else he would be in the 50 crew as well.

The challenge that day was I didn’t have a sideline credential. I wasn’t too disappointed because I was just grateful to be there in the first place. All the events that I’ve shot in Levi’s stadium over this past year prepared me pretty well for that Sunday. Typically at concerts and the other events like the Winter Classic and Wrestelmania I would roam in the stands and look for wide stadium shots and fan interactions. So I knew my angles and how the light would fall across the stadium through out the day. With that in mind the 49ers crew divided up the stadium into quarters so that everything would be equally covered. I snagged a prime location in the endzone next to the video booth on the 400 level and went to town shooting with my CPS borrowed 200-400. After half time I moved down to the main concourse to get a little different angle.

I had a couple of good plays happen in front of me (the forced fumbled that turned into the first touchdown to name one). It comes down to a little bit of luck when you are up that high because my range wasn’t as long. Throughout the game I kept pinching myself thinking how surreal it was that I was working my first Super Bowl at 24 years old. I’m still pinching myself.

Click on the thumbnails below to see full screen images.

To see more images from the game check out my website www.megwilliams.co