The game is set—The reigning Super Bowl Champions, Seattle Seahawks, will be playing the AFC Champions, New England Patriots, this Sunday on Feb 1 in Glendale, Arizona in Super Bowl XLIX (#49). Obviously Super Bowl #50 is straight ahead with next year’s game scheduled for Santa Clara, CA. Unlike last year, when the game was played in the New York market, there won’t be threats of snow or frigid weather. The game however will match the two #1 seeds of each conference. Seattle will be seeking to be the first repeat champion since the Broncos in the late 90s, and for the Patriots this will be their 6th Super Bowl trip in the Brady/Belichick era, though they’ve not won for 10 years since February 2005.
As we think about the upcoming Super Bowl, as always we remember the game’s history:
- The first “Super Bowl” was played on January 15, 1967 featuring the NFL Champion Green Bay Packers against the AFL Champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Historians will remind us that the two rival leagues had not merged as yet and would not do so until after the third Super Bowl. Green Bay, led by legendary Coach Vince Lombardi, easily won by a score of 35-10. Al Hirt was the halftime talent. He did not twerk.
- The first “Super Bowl” wasn’t even “super”. It was merely called the AFL-NFL World Championship game and was played at a neutral site, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
There was less than a sold-out crowd, despite modest ticket prices ($12) and a local TV blackout. The term “Super Bowl” was an off handed comment made by Chiefs owner, Lamar Hunt based on his granddaughter’s love of the “super ball” toy. The Super Bowl name stuck and it took on the official name after the third game.
- The first game was broadcast on two networks, CBS, which carried NFL games, and NBC, which carried AFL games.
CBS charged $85,000 for a 60 second commercial, NBC charged $75,000. The game achieved a combined 41 household rating with 51 million viewers.
This year’s game will be broadcast on NBC and the reports are that they are getting $4.5 Million for each 30 second spot, up about $300,000 vs. year ago. Of course, advertisers with heavy, ongoing NFL packages may be receiving a discount from these rates.
The game has also become a social media phenomenon and no doubt the twittersphere will again be a-flutter and will exceed last year’s roughly 25 Million tweets about the game and the halftime show. This year’s halftime show features Katie Perry, who has the largest twitter following in the world with more than 63 Million followers and counting.
And there will be no shortage of advertisers ponying up the hefty ad costs. The in-game advertisers will be aplenty, and there are reports that there will be 10+ new advertisers in the 2015 game with more digital commerce and tech advertisers. The reported in-game advertisers, in alphabetical order are as follows:
Avocados From Mexico
Doritos (PepsiCo's Frito-Lay)
Dove Men+Care (Unilever)
Skittles (Mars Inc.)
Snickers (Mars Inc.)
As always, each of these brands will be vying for advertising infamy, or conversely, trying to avoid massive criticism for weak creative. High risk/high reward.
As an advertising event, The Super Bowl is like no other and its advertising impact is second to none. We’ll be watching—the game and the ads too. Game on.