NBC — which airs this year’s game — announced last week that it’s sold out for Super Bowl ads, with multiple 30-second spots selling for a record $7 million each.
Nothing in the media world comes close to giving companies the exposure the Super Bowl can. That is becoming increasingly important as the media landscape becomes more fragmented, according to Patrick Crakes, a former Fox Sports director turned media consultant.
“The fractionation of attention from streaming and social media makes the Super Bowl more important than ever,” Crakes told DailyExpertNews Business. “If you do business with the NFL and you advertise during the Super Bowl, you’re a real player.”
Crakes added that there are also examples of the big game “helping build brands.”
“Think of a company like GoDaddy. GoDaddy invested in the Super Bowl for years, did a lot of crazy things to get attention in it, and it’s helped their business,” he said. “I think it’s a great investment, even at this price tag.”
“You’re getting close to $500 million”
The Super Bowl – and its ads – is also a great investment for networking.
We don’t yet know what NBC will earn in terms of ad revenue for this year’s broadcast. However, according to Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, it will likely be a significant part of the change.
“You’re probably watching about 70 ads, so you’re getting close to $500 million in ad revenue from the game for NBC,” Calkins told DailyExpertNews Business. “And that’s only during the game, by the way. That doesn’t count for the game, after the game and all the other opportunities there are to advertise extra.”
Kantar noted that this year’s game – which pits the Cincinnati Bengals against the Los Angeles Rams – is expected to top last year’s tally. (NBC shares the Super Bowl rights with the NFL’s other TV partners every few years.)
“$500 million is a lot of money for anyone, but in the world of media, Super Bowl spots are on a whole other level,” Calkins said. “That’s why the NFL is such a valuable sports franchise, because there’s the opportunity to charge advertisers so much for these events.”
“A lot of people who watch the Super Bowl don’t really care about the game”
TV is undergoing rapid transformation due to the streaming revolution, but the NFL remains one of the benchmarks for traditional networks.
Calkins explained that for networks like NBC, there are “two major benefits” to doing business with the NFL and broadcasting the Super Bowl. The first is excess ad revenue and the other is “NBC will use this opportunity to support the rest of their lineup” through pre-, during and post-game promos.
“For NBC, the Super Bowl is an event they can use to jump-start the rest of their lineup as they head into the spring and the rest of the year,” he said.
Calkins added that “several years ago, people said, ‘The Super Bowl is going to go away. It’s going to be unsustainable.’ It’s quite the opposite.”
“The Super Bowl is becoming more and more important because it’s a shared experience,” Calkins said. “And what’s interesting is that a lot of people who watch the Super Bowl don’t even really care about the game. They watch the ads.”