Super Bowl Marketing for your small business
“Are you ready for some football?”
This time on Sunday, my favorite “F” word — will be football. The big game will be underway and played in Tampa between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs. And it will be a Super Bowl like no other. There are just too many history-making firsts for this big game.
We’ve got a global pandemic and that means a lot of changes have been made by the host city to make sure that everyone stays safe. Interestingly, Tampa has a track record of dealing with unprecedented challenges. The last time they hosted the Super Bowl was in 2009 when America was dealing with a deep recession in the US economy. And, back in 1991, Tampa hosted the big game during the Gulf War. Today — despite the ongoing threat of COVID throughout the country and Tampa Bay (84,711 cases & 6,500 deaths) there is still, surprisingly, a lot of optimism in Tampa.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to make NFL history as the first team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. Plus, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady will not only be appearing in his 10th Super Bowl (having already won 6), he will be 43 — making him the oldest player to ever play in the Superbowl.
Brady will face off against Patrick Mahomes, who earned the title of Super Bowl MVP after leading the Chiefs to a 31–20 over the San Francisco 49er’s in Super Bowl LIV. The match up will be the largest age gap between opposing Quarterbacks in Superbowl history as Mahomes is 18 years, 1 month and 4 days younger than Brady.
Another history making feat, Sarah Thomas, is the first woman to referee a Super Bowl when the game kicks off on Sunday.
Speaking of history, the first Super Bowl was played in the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1967 between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs. We were all in awe when the Packers won 35 to 10 led by the talented Bart Starr as quarterback & world-renowned coach-Vince Lombardi. Of course, for us marketing types — the results of the game while impressive were not nearly as important as the initial benchmarks for all things Super Bowl:
$37,500–30 second ad
67,500 in attendance,
TV viewership of 51.1 million
Jumpstarting the Super Bowl as a major entertainment/cultural event
Only Super Bowl to simulcast game by 2 competing networks (NBC and ABC).
Since 1967 — ad prices, attendance and TV viewership have increased dramatically creating the advertising/marketing phenomenon we now affectionately refer to as “Super Bowl Sunday”. Since the first Super Bowl over $7 billion has been spent on advertising alone. Last year’s Super Bowl held in Miami raked in $572M — but, being COVID times, this year’s estimate is a little less than half of 2020’s event.
So, with that said — -Super Bowl LV is on the docket, ready to be played…and, it’s expected to be “quite an event” unlike any others previously with:
Less than 30% of the stadium’s capacity with 22,000 people in attendance (7,500 who are first responders)
Expensive ticket prices starting at $6,000 per seat (ranging up to per seat high of $350,000)
Mandatory social distancing & mask wearing
Traditional advertisers (Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch and Pepsi) missing-in-action
Large but reduced viewership of 100 million
Same 30-Second Ad Cost as last year of $5.5million
Half-time performance by The Weekend
Sometimes the commercials can be more exciting than the game. As we know — Super Bowl commercials are very high-profile and accessible through multiple streaming, cable, and network platforms. Who can forget the iconic ads like Coca Cola’s “Hey Kid, Catch!” with Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle “Mean” Joe Greene and Master Lock’s “Tough Under Fire” or Go Daddy’s controversial ads with Danika Patrick? For Super Bowl LV — we should still expect the unexpected, surreal humor, and high cinematographic quality. However, it seems most ads to be shown have scaled down or stepped away from the often outrageous and outlandishness. For brands choosing to step away — they have instead donated their ad dollars to the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative to raise pandemic vaccine awareness.
So, will Super Bowl LV — really be Super?
It’s hard to say — especially in light that ratings for the World Series, NBA Finals and college football national championship game all reached record lows. But, if game viewership emulates the results from the AFL and NFL Divisional Championship game remains constant… it is very possible the Super Bowl will remain Super.
Besides — how can a Super Bowl not be Super — watching Tom Brady yet again try and win his 7th Super Bowl!
Super Bowl and your small business
For small businesses — Super Bowl Sunday can be just the super boost you need. Consistent with big multinationals, small brands can ride the coattails of the game’s popularity to increase your brand’s visibility. Just for fun, here’s a few low-budget Super Bowl marketing ideas…
Commercials — Get into the spirit and create a special Super Bowl commercial to air on your social media accounts. Make sure it’s memorable along with the right hashtags.
Game Day Giveaways — Engage football fans by offering a giveaway tied directly to tackles, yards gained and points scored during the game.
Promotions and Sales — For the big day run online sales & promotions
Social Media Contests — Engage customers with Super Bowl-themed contests.
Food businesses & meal delivery services, create game day meals/snacks & drink combos.
Game inspired hashtags — add #SuperBowlLV
Get creative — make your Super Bowl Sunday-Super… but, REMEMBER “Super Bowl” is a trademark owned by the NFL and cannot be used in marketing or promotional materials without permission!