🏈 The Super Bowl Business
3 minute read · Issue Number 107 · February 11th, 2022
Super Bowl weekend is here, and you can already feel the hype in the air.
The line-up for Sunday includes the Rams and the Bengals and massive stars for the halftime show, including Eminem, Dr.Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, and Mary J. Blige.
Believe me when I say it’s going to be entertaining – but make sure you grab some Halftime Snacks before kickoff regardless 😉
I thought it would be interesting to dive in and give you some context around the business of the big game in today’s newsletter.
The broadcasting rights for NFL games are owned by CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN, and Amazon.
However, NBC, Fox, and CBS are the main rights holders. Each one pays over 2 billion USD, and each year they alternate the Super Bowl rights. This year is NBC’s turn.
On average, the number of people who tune in to the big game is about 100 million (peaking at 115m viewers in 2015 🤯 ), allowing rightsholders to sell the only types of ads that people sit quietly to watch during game breaks.
NBC already sold out ad space for the Super Bowl and broke the record by selling a 30-second commercial for over 7 million USD.
For reference, here’s what 5 million could get you everywhere else, according to Business Insider:
Interestingly, about 40% of advertisers (~ 30 companies) will have their debut in this year’s Super Bowl, featuring companies from the automotive, technology, entertainment, travel, and health & wellness sectors. Most notably, several Crypto companies will be there as well.
“If you’re looking to reach 100 million people in an evening, there’s really only one place you can go, and that’s the Super Bowl
And you’ve got great consumer confidence, and what we’ve learned is that when consumers consume, advertisers advertise.”
– Dan Lovinger, lead ad sales for NBCUniversal
The Super Bowl is one of the most prominent cultural phenomenons in our civilization, and it wouldn’t make any sense if it only lasted 3 hours.
The whole weekend is packed with events, experiences, parties, and activities leading up to gameday. According to SeatGeek, the average secondary market ticket for this Super Bowl is $10,237 – up from $8,609 in 2021 and $7,172 in 2020.
The uniqueness of the experience is what makes people pay absurd amounts of money to live it.
“The Super Bowl is football Coachella. It is a four-day party. It is an event and you are bringing your sponsors. This is where you bring somebody if you're trying to close a massive multimillion-dollar deal with them.
All of these brand partners are coming there because they want to be associated with what the NFL stands for.”
Jay Kapoor, former League Strategy at the NFL
The Bottom Line
The Super Bowl is about a 200 million dollar property that attracts over 200 million eyeballs, but it is the product of the NFL nailing years of brand and business development for it to succeed the way it does.
🔗 Learn More
Business Breakdowns: The NFL – a content gem. Check out this podcast episode to learn about the NFL’s unique $15 billion business, what makes it stand out relative to other sports, and how it dominates linear TV.
Fan Attendance Economics in the NFL – an article I wrote a while ago on economics through the lens of the NFL. Specifically – price elasticity, market power, and experience differentiation for fans in the NFL.
The Financials Behind The Super Bowl – a great, quick read by Joe Pompliano with more context of the money flowing behind the Super Bowl.
🎙 Halftime Snacks Podcast
We discussed purpose-driven marketing, how small brands and athletes can get involved, trends enabling more and better partnerships, mental health, environment, and much more.
Apply to be a guest on the Halftime Snacks Podcast here.