WEIRTON, W.Va. — Area residents watching the Super Bowl tonight might see a familiar face on their television screens.
Eli Pievach, of Weirton, is part of a music video produced by the NFL, titled “Super Bowl Babies.” Portions of that video will be used as a 60-second commercial set to air during Super Bowl 50, featuring a matchup between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers.
Pievach explained his father has been a season ticket holder for the Pittsburgh Steelers since 1971, and the family received an e-mail looking for long-time fans of the team.
“They said they were looking for fans who were born in 1976, in either October, November or December,” Pievach explained.
Pievach was part of a group of more than 100 Steelers fans invited to Heinz Field, where he was asked to sing and do some camera tests. It was during that time, he told his story of how he became a Steelers fan.
He explained his parents had been in Miami for Super Bowl X, where the Steelers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 21-17. Several months later, he was born.
“I literally am a Super Bowl baby,” he said, adding that fact was probably the deciding factor in his inclusion in the music video. “I’m not the strongest singer in the world.”
The term “Super Bowl Baby” is used to describe someone who may have been conceived following their parents’ favorite team winning the Super Bowl.
Several days after the audition, Pievach was contacted to see about his availability for the project, which included a few days filming and recording in New York City. He said he was nervous about the traveling aspect as he had just started a job as a manager at Dollar General in October, and wasn’t sure he could get approval for time off.
“Dollar General was really, really cool,” he said. “They went out of their way to help me pursue this.”
Travelling to New York, Pievach said his flight was delayed, and upon arriving the group immediately was taken to the recording studio where they were handed the music and lyrics.
“That was the first time we had any idea what it was,” he said, noting the production crew had provided little information about the project.
Pievach even had to sign a confidentiality agreement, promising not to release any details about the video or what it was for.
“They were really trying to keep it quiet until it got released,” he said.
The video is part of the NFL’s “Football is Family” campaign, and includes Super Bowl Babies for the Green Bay Packers, representing the 1960s; Steelers, for the 1970s; San Francisco 49ers, for the 1980s; Dallas Cowboys, for the 1990s; Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 2003; Indianapolis Colts for 2007; New York Giants for 2012 and the Seattle Seahawks for 2014.
The fans are featured singing new lyrics to the song “Kiss from a Rose,” by musical artist Seal. While Seal is included in the video, Pievach said he didn’t get a chance to meet him.
He said the experience was amazing, as they spent much of the first day recording in the studio, and then several hours of another filming a group scene in an old bank building, with all the fans appearing as a choir. Portions were included from each city, as well, with the Pittsburgh scenery filmed in Braddock, Pa., with a steel mill in the background.
He also received a new nickname, after one of the Green Bay fans jokingly called him “Pittsburgh Slim,” a reference to his size. Eventually, he said, even members of the production crew were using it.
Pievach said he is unsure how much of the music video will be used as part of the commercial, which is set to appear at the end of the third quarter of today’s game, but added he has been astounded by the reaction so far.
“It’s amazing how popular it’s gotten,” he said. “It’s over 2 million views already, and it hasn’t even aired.”
(Howell can be contacted at [email protected], and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)