In advance of Super Bowl XLVIII—that is, even before the Seattle Seahawks’ triumph over the Denver Broncos—a Washington State technology leader brought the fans’ excitement to a fever pitch in a way that only The Boeing Company can.
Boeing and Washington State have not been without their relationship-straining circumstances. Machinists and engineers have organized protests and held strikes. Unions have held votes and re-votes. Some have even filed suits and allegations against the company.
As for Boeing’s part, they have invested elsewhere—opening offices and facilities in other locales, including Illinois, Oklahoma, and South Carolina—and have entertained offers to move to other states and countries. At the end of January, however, as the Super Bowl approached, Boeing left little doubt as to its allegiance to Washington State. Officials at Boeing in the Seattle area painted a 747-8F freighter aircraft with a special Seattle Seahawks livery, which featured the NFL’s Seahawks logo, team colors, and the number “12” on the tail in a nod to the 12th Man (Seattle’s “loud & proud” fans).
Boeing’s Seahawks aircraft was an impressive and excitement-inducing show of support and commemoration of the team’s National Football Conference Championship and appearance in Super Bowl XLVIII (considering they had not yet won); yet, Boeing didn’t stop there. Oh, no. Boeing whipped into a frenzy aerospace geeks and Seahawks fans everywhere by flying the Seattle Seahawks 747 over Washington state in an enormous “12” pattern. Social media channels were buzzing as locals caught a glimpse of the Seahawks 747 flyby.
This aerospace geek did some research: Painting a 747 doesn’t come cheap, amounting to more than US$1 million to strip, dispose of hazardous waste, and then repaint.
“We’re honored that we could join together two Northwest icons, the Seahawks and the 747, for this special salute from the entire Boeing team,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner noted when the special livery was revealed. Boeing is a longtime sponsor of the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks.