Super Bowl XLIX is just a few days away, and you can rest assured that the players cannot wait for the game.
Neither can companies, corporations or gamblers.
Are you ready for this? An estimated $10 billion will be spent gambling on the game Sunday, and only one percent of that money will be spent in Nevada. Less than 40 percent – roughly $3.8 billion – will actually be legal.
And that’s before we get to the money involved in corporate advertising and sponsorships.
“It’s crazy,” University of Miami Sports Business professor Alicia Jessop said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I like to say that the Super Bowl is more about corporations than it is about fans. So if you’re on the ground here in Phoenix this weekend, every corporation is here.”
On Wednesday, for example, Jessop attended Gatorade’s 50th anniversary party.
“They’re really highlighting their 50th anniversary of the creation of that wonderful drink that we’ve all enjoyed,” she said. “So they’re passing out Michael Jordan’s favorite flavor in Phoenix and Glendale. But you have every corporation under the sun doing things like what Gatorade is doing. You have Budweiser hosting parties (Thursday) all the way through Saturday, giving people free Uber rides to get to their parties. You have Pepsi having concerts. You have DirecTV hosting one of the biggest parties on Saturday with Rihanna. So it’s definitely a big corporate atmosphere here in Phoenix – and arguably less about the fan than the corporation.”
It’s no secret as to why corporations are so eager to be a part of the Super Bowl.
“It’s a money maker,” Jessop said. “When we look at the NFL, the NFL has one of the highest viewership rates of anything. Not just sports – anything. Close to 300 million people tuned into NFL games this year, and over 100 million will tune into the Super Bowl on Sunday. So for a corporation, if you aren’t involved in this game or the days leading up to this game, you’re missing out and you’re not doing the best job for you organization. That’s why we see a lot of people on the ground here. That’s why we see a lot of companies and corporations spending upwards of 4.5 million to purchase an advertisement for the Super Bowl – because they think it’s worth it to tap (into) those Super Bowl viewers.”
But is that exposure worth the investment?
“Absolutely,” Jessop said. “You have to get in front of the eyes. And unfortunately – or maybe fortunately for those of us who watch television – there aren’t too many instances where you can get in front of as many eyes as the Super Bowl presents. There’s that issue. But in terms of what companies spend on the ground here in Phoenix, I’m not sure that’s worth it. I think the $4.5 million for a commercial slot is worth it. But when you see what corporations do in terms of open bars, in terms of performers like Rihanna, in terms of fashion shows with some of the top models – you have to ask yourself: What is this really getting this entity? Is it really bringing eyes to this organization? Are they really gaining traction? Or are they just having a good time in Phoenix? So I don’t know if the things here on the ground are as well worth the dollar as the commercial is.”