The Green Bay Packers, for the first time ever, offered fans the chance to have their photo printed on more than 80,000 game tickets through the “Packers Ticket Takeover Contest.” After more than 8,000 entries and 16,000 votes on packerseverywhere.com, 8-year-old Emily Sperduto of Oxford, N.J. was chosen as the winner.
The contest, which started back in April, asked fans to submit a photo for a chance to have it printed on tickets as part of the team’s annual Fan Appreciation game, which will take place on Sunday, Dec. 22, vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.
A panelist of Packers officials chose the top five photos, and those five were posted on packerseverywhere.com to be voted on by fans. Sperduto’s photo, which was taken by her father Tom, had the most votes and was named the grand prize winner.
In addition to having her photo printed on the Fan Appreciation game ticket, Sperduto will receive two tickets to the game, including airfare and hotel accommodations.
"Going to Lambeau Field is better than going to Hawaii,” said Emily Sperduto. “It's a dream I'll never forget."
“This is going to be a special weekend,” Tom Sperduto said. “I get emotional thinking about the memories that will come from the experience. We’ll be doing something we love together. For her face to represent the Packers on the front of the ticket makes me feel like we are part of the team. It’s a pretty awesome feeling.”
Prior to watching Packers games on TV, for years Sperduto and Emily have had quick daddy-daughter photo shoots to warm up. In a neighborhood full of Giants and Jets fans, they’re known as the lone “Packers family,” and Emily has posed in her jersey, oversized cheesehead or with her Packers toys and show off while the shutter clicks.
The Packers green background in the photo is the color of his family room. She is standing below a Packers stock certificate, as Sperduto became a shareholder in the last stock offering.
While Emily was on “pins and needles” during the Ticket Takeover voting, all of that posing practice made perfect. Though a lifetime fan of the Packers, Tom has never been able to make the trek from New Jersey to Green Bay, so the trip in December will be even more special. Sperduto’s work schedule has made coming to Lambeau Field nearly impossible in the past.
Tom has spent the last 20-plus years in the military. He’s in his final year in the Coast Guard after previously serving in the Marine Corps as an infantryman. He was in Operation Iraqi Freedom and has also had his boots on the ground in 29 countries.