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November 4, 2020 - By Hawke Media

The Super Bowl Economy: Everything but Football

The Super Bowl means big revenue gains and big spending for companies and consumers. There are very few events in the world that give credence to the trope “you have to spend money to make money” than everything encompassing the Super Bowl.



It’s no secret that companies shell out millions of dollars to be seen in between downs of pulse-pounding gridiron action to the sum of approximately $336 million in 2019. Adjusted for inflation, the total dollar amount spent on Super Bowl ads since 1967 is $6.9 billion or greater than the GDP of Malawi.

In 2018 the average price for a 30-second Super Bowl spot had grown to $5.24 million, a staggering 94.0741% increase from 2008 Super Bowl ad pricing.

Calculating the returns on this massive amount of ad spend is a little tricky because attribution becomes a serious issue when you’re working with television ads since you can’t tie sales directly to that action. However, a workaround for this is looking at the difference in the increase of your gross sales margin and subtracting it from your ad costs, assuming increasing sales is your goal.

Is it simplistic? Yes, but it comes with the caveat of being able to glean viewer data. If your ad was effective, you can trace it back television viewership demographics which you can use to inform marketing activities in the future.

Keep in mind TV ads usually run multiple times for up to 30 days to produce reliable data.

And now more than ever, live content like the Super Bowl is a multi-platform production that integrates digital and traditional mediums. So there’s a massive opportunity to capitalize on what’s happening on the field from the safe confines of your marketing budget.

To capitalize on the Super Bowl cash cow, keep an eye on trends and be ready to do some rapid response marketing to catch a wave.

There are bound to be a number of discussions going on around the Super Bowl, find the one you can fit in without seeming unnatural and provide quality content. Be funny, be smart, be inquisitive. Just make sure you take a position and establish room for that discussion to grow.

Consumer Spending

Source: The Oklahoman

It’s estimated that consumers will drop $17.2 billion on the Super Bowl and Super Bowl-related purchases in 2020, according to the National Retail Federation. Yes, that’s with a ‘B’!

From chips to dip, wings, and Bud Lights, consumers are planning to spend big and in large numbers primarily on food and beverages topping out at about 80%. This means it’s a great time for CPG brands to dial in their copy and creative to maximize their ad spend and earn a share of the $88.65 per adult viewer planning to watch the Super Bowl, of which there are a projected 193.8 million.

Fun Fact: If the adults viewing the Super Bowl formed their own country they would become the 8th most populous country in the world in-between Nigeria and Bangladesh.

Interestingly enough, 49% of consumers aren’t planning to attend or throw a Super Bowl party. While I’m sure everyone has their reasons, it means that for those planning to watch the Super Bowl they’re either opting for a more intimate setting or doing something unorthodox that wasn’t accounted for in the data.

Local Impact

Source: @hardrockstadium

Super Bowl LIV (54) will be held in Miami this year, so expect it to be an expensive spectacle. The hospitality industry is the early winner, raking in an average of $520-$540/night for the weekend. To put this in perspective, this is the highest average daily rate of any Super Bowl with the next closest being San Francisco in 2016 at $402.60.

A decade ago the Super Bowl brought in $234 million which is the last time Miami hosted the event. Florida stands to get about $150 million in media coverage alone from the Super Bowl.

Estimates are disputed and varied, but host cities bring in anywhere from $30-$500 million. This could mean a great windfall for local commerce if you can take advantage of your proximity to the big game and set yourself apart from local competitors.