For nearly half a century, the National Football League’s annual championship game, the Super Bowl, has captured the undivided attention of the nation. Ranking consistently high in the Nielson rating system, the spectacle has become especially well known for its high-profile advertising. Large companies see the broadcast as a gold-mine, which has driven the price of an individual advertising slot into astronomical realms.
Though factual numbers may not be readily cited by the public, the general multi-million dollar price tag for these television spots, along with the dominating presence of the sporting event, practically promises innovative and entertaining marketing solutions. Highly anticipated, many commercials end up with massive amounts of buzz before the game even begins. In fact, as in 2012, the ad space for 2013’s event sold out months in advance. The estimated $3.5 to 4 million it takes to acquire one of these slots has already been projected to increase for 2014.
The opportunities generated from Super Bowl marketing are vast and varied. For businesses with a fresh new product line the game is a remarkable way to build quick brand awareness. What is equally as remarkable is Super Bowl Sunday’s ability to take an otherwise stagnant brand and rebuild or totally reinvent its public perception. These two qualities alone are the benchmark by which marketers justify the enormous expense Super Bowl advertising has become. The return on investment for the amount of time spent in front of the largest televised audience in the country simply cannot be beat.
Though a little more than 111 million viewers tuned in to watch the 2012 Super Bowl, a relatively large secondary audience observed the game from screens much smaller than a television’s. Through a lucrative deal with NBC, certain mobile customers were able to stream the event from their cell phones. In fact, the internet has become an important vehicle for residual advertising profits. Many marketers decided to unveil their advertisements before the game last year using online channels, realizing they could hit multiple consumer bases with one shot. Increased word of mouth for the more successful online commercials drove increased viewership during the actual game.
What many may not realize is that commercials are not the sole advertisements viewed during the Super Bowl. The guiding principle of sports marketing is sponsorship. The top brands pay top dollar to become official sponsors for the game thereby gaining profitable ad spots, on-field signage, stadium signage, virtual display signage and a host of other marketing platforms. These sponsorships not only play a role in television and stadium advertising, but strategically filter down to store displays, radio spots, and social media applications. Even companies in some form of financial trouble see this buffet of potential as a worthwhile investment. In the world of business, marketing generates revenue.
The financial benefits of a phenomenon like the Super Bowl are truly undeniable. With multiple revenue streams to access and an incredibly large audience to entertain, the sizeable price for access into the marketing machine is well worth the sacrifice. There seems to be no slowdown or end in sight for the success a strategically launched campaign can generate. As long as fans continue to love their football, Super Bowl advertising will be ready to capitalize.