MADISON, Wis. – Leaders of the Pittsburgh Technology Council and the Wisconsin Technology Council have agreed to a tech-friendly wager on the outcome of Super Bowl XLV, which will match two of the National Football League’s most storied teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers.
Audrey Russo, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council, and Tom Still, President of the Wisconsin Technology Council, will wager a mix of products and services that represent the technology leadership of their respective regions.
The Feb. 6 game in Arlington, Texas, will pit the AFC champion Steelers (14-4) against the NFC champion Packers (13-6) in a contest featuring franchises from two of the league’s smallest cities.
Confident of a Steelers’ victory, Russo said the Pittsburgh Technology Council will put up a Prime-8 Gorilla from Bossa Nova Robotics to represent the city’s expertise in robotics, sensors and advanced technologies, as well as a case of Penn Brewery Penn Dark beer and a “Basket of Pittsburgh” delicacies that includes Iron City Beer Nuts, Clark Bars and Heinz Mustard.
“Like the Steelers’ hard-hitting defense, Pittsburgh’s technology sector plays a leading role in energizing our economy,” said Russo. “From the life sciences to robotics and advanced manufacturing to software development, our tech industry has all of the zones covered.”
Still said the Wisconsin Technology Council will counter with “Jam City Rollergirls,” a video game produced for Nintendo Wii users by Green Bay’s Frozen Codebase, one of the state’s emerging software game companies; a gallon of “green gasoline’’ produced by Virent Energy Systems of Madison; a case of Leinenkugel’s beer and a selection of cheeses, two of Wisconsin’s original biotechnology products.
“Wisconsin’s tech-based economy is as varied as the Packers are dominant,” Still said. “From software to advanced biofuels, from supercomputers to biotech drugs and assays, Wisconsin technology runs the entire length of the field.”
The Pittsburgh Technology Council is one of the oldest and largest organizations of its kind in the United States. Created in 1983 as Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania were losing old-line manufacturing jobs, the Pittsburgh Technology Council has helped make the region a leader in biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, information technology and “green” technology.
The Wisconsin Technology Council was created in 2001 to serve as a catalyst for economic growth in Wisconsin’s tech sectors, such as life sciences, advanced manufacturing, information technology and “cleantech” products and services.
“Like the Steelers and the Packers, which thrive in ‘small-market’ cities by NFL standards, the quality of the tech-based economies in western Pennsylvania and Wisconsin can easily rival those on the nation’s coasts,” Russo said.
“Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have a great deal in common when it comes to their tech economies,” Still added. “Both states have turned to innovation and entrepreneurship to reinvigorate their economies at a time when global competitiveness is essential.”
To cap off the bet, Still also promised to throw in the towel – not a towel of surrender to the Steelers, but copies of the officially licensed “Titletown Towel” waved by loyal Packers’ fans since 1996 and the “Terrible Towel” brandished by Steelers’ fans. Both towels are produced by a Baraboo, Wis., company, McArthur Towel & Sports.
“The towels may not be high-tech,” Still said, “but they’ll come in handy after the game to dry the crocodile tears of the losers.”