From Sketch to Super Bowl: Rush 2 Recycle

Capsule teamed up with PepsiCo to help take on an ambitious goal: recovering 90%, or 40 tons, of waste at Super Bowl LII. Working with the NFL, Aramark and U.S. Bank Stadium, Rush 2 Recycle worked to compost, recycle and repurpose waste created within the stadium and other events surrounding the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. The initiative was premiered at Super Bowl LII and its corresponding events but will continue to live in other venues, stadiums, and events.

We took a moment to sit down with one of our incredible designers, Michelle Bowitz, to hear about her experience on the project..

Michelle, are you a football fan?

You betcha. As a former flag football champion, I really found myself channeling my days as a 12-year-old wide receiver. I’ve since taken to the stands. I’m the one in green and gold!

Tell us about the Rush 2 Recycle initiative.

Rush 2 Recycle is a zero-waste initiative that made its debuted at Super Bowl LII here in Minneapolis. PepsiCo partnered with other large players like Aramark, U.S. Bank Stadium, and the NFL to recover more that 90% of waste from game day, that’s over 40 tons of trash! We were lucky enough to have worked with Pepsi to develop the identity and system design for the initiative.

You were the brainchild for the Rush 2 Recycle logo. What was your inspiration for this mark?

The mark was largely inspired by the visual language of professional sports and the brands, products, and movements that surround them. The type is bold and strong, while subtle angles convey speed, aggression and agility. It was important that the mark and initiative was quickly understood by its viewers. I incorporated traditional recycling symbolism like arrows and green into the mark, but with a sleek new expression and attitude.

And what was it like working with Pepsi?

It was incredible working for a brand as well-known and robust as Pepsi. It was truly inspiring working with them. They are so passionate about protecting the environment and giving back to communities, and this campaign is a testament to that. Their energy and enthusiasm was contagious.

Along with Pepsi, there were many other key players in the game - the NFL, Aramark, PepsiCo Recycling, Canopy Brand Group, and SBLII - we were all working tirelessly to pull off this huge effort. I’ll be honest, it was a bit nerve racking at first knowing that the NFL would be denying or approving our designs but we quickly realized that the collaboration between all these players was incredibly effective. They were overall very responsive and great to work with.

What was the biggest challenge as the designer working on this Campaign?

It takes a village and a whole lot of caffeine to design a logo and system within 3 weeks – I’d say this alone was the biggest challenge for us.

Despite the late nights, there is never an “I” in “team” at Capsule. The whole firm really rallied around this project, as they always do. Aaron even made a coffee run for me (yes, my boss)! With such a strong team supporting you, it’s almost easy to stay calm, cool and collected. 

Though we only got a taste of what it takes to pull off the Super Bowl or something of that magnitude, watching the city-wide transformation in the weeks leading up to the big game were just so gratifying and we felt like we were working towards something much bigger than just a logo. I have a new appreciation for how much time and energy it takes to pull such an initiative off!

What was your take away? What was it like to see it come to life in the NFL experience?

When I stepped foot into the convention center, it really hit home for me as to how great of an impact a small firm like Capsule could have on the world. It was amazing seeing all the hard work come to life. 

Our branded recycling receptacles were visible at every corner of the experience. Within the Rush 2 Recycle pop-up experience, kids were racing around to recycle their plastic water bottles in our garbage cans while R2R ambassadors sporting our sleek shirts cheered them on. I also received multiple photos from friends of the brand living inside the U.S. Bank Stadium - it was pretty surreal.

Any final thoughts?

Rush 2 Recycle is such an important cause. I feel fortunate to have played a small part in something so powerful. I'm excited to see this brand continue to appear at future events and positively impact the environment for years to come. Now go out and recycle!

About The Author

Ellen Pickering

With a degree in Sociology/Anthropology and Studio Art, I am intrigued by human behavior and social structures and its fusion with branding and design. As a Research Associate, I continually seek new ways to follow my curiosities, ask questions, and discover trends and patterns in the world. Other passions of mine include traveling, taking photographs, shooting hoops, and decorating spaces.


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