$5 Million Dollars Later, Super Bowl Ads are a Good Deal

This post is part of the Inaugural FOS College Program. Be sure to check out more about it here.

By Emlyn Goodman, (Cazenovia College)

Brands were present throughout the Super Bowl. Photo via BrandChannel.com

Brands were present throughout the Super Bowl. Photo via BrandChannel.com

The Super Bowl has grown to be about more than a football game. Many people who are not NFL fans or have minimal understanding of the game find themselves watching and enjoying the event. Because of this, the Super Bowl is now one of the biggest marketing events for top companies.

Sports provide a unique marketing experience because you can market through the event itself.

Whether it is a sign in the arena, on the boards, putting the company name on a halftime show, or even a halftime report, marketing is done in a variety of ways.

The UFC signed an exclusive deal with Reebok to provide all the fighters clothing. The Boston Celtics recently announced that starting next season, they will have a General Electric logo on their jerseys. While these are only some examples, companies continue to find new ways to market through sports.

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At this point, it is clear that marketing through sports works well. If it didn’t, companies would have stopped doing so a long time ago. The success of such marketing creates high price tags.

Super Bowl ads are not cheap for a company, yet companies are still willing to the pay the money for an ad, if not multiple ads. For someone who doesn’t understand sports, or marketing, they may wonder if the large price tag is really worth it.

According to Forbes, a 30 second commercial in Super Bowl 51 cost between $5 million to $5.5 million this year.

A large number of course, that gets even bigger when you consider some companies, such as Chrysler, who had 3 commercials.

In comparison, Sports Illustrated reported that a 30 second ad during the historic Game 7 of the 2016 World Series cost just over $500,000.

One might wonder: Are they really getting enough extra viewers to make it worth the price tag? Fox Business News states that Nielsen has reported that 111.3 million people watched Super Bowl 51. This breaks down to a cost of 4 to 5 cents per viewer. A number that is much lower than many would probably expect.

Let’s take a look at the World Series Game 7 example. According to USA Today, that game had 40 million viewers and was the most-viewed baseball game in 25 years. With 40 million viewers and a 30 second commercial cost of slightly over $500,000, companies paid 1 to 2 cents per viewer.

However, when advertising in the Super Bowl, 71 million more people are within reach through the Super Bowl than advertising through the World Series. While the Super bowl comes with an exorbitantly high price tag, Super Bowl commercials are a better deal than people might assume.

In addition, you are reaching more than sports fans as viewers. The Super Bowl provides one event with many different demographics and segments watching at once. Often we see people who are not sports fans who still watch the event. For example, some may watch the halftime show and some watch strictly for the commercials. No matter the reason for watching, viewers are more than likely seeing the commercials.

Despite a $5 million price tag for a 30 second Super Bowl ad, ads can be viewed as a great deal for large companies who can afford it. These commercials can run past the game and air during separate television slots as well as on YouTube. While commercials are not the only marketing or advertising that happens through the Super Bowl, they still offer amongst the largest amount of advertisement opportunities for companies.

The Super Bowl has become quintessential for marketers looking to effectively cover a number of demographics and consumer groups in a short space of time. With strong numbers again this year, the power of being a part of the event isn't going anywhere. 

Emlyn is a sophomore at Cazenovia College and has grown up in central New York. She is interest in working in sports law with aspirations of becoming a player agent. You can connect with her on LinkedIn here.

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