Super Bowl Winners and Losers – Sports Business Edition

Time to recap the Super Bowl with a special Sports Business Winners and Losers breakdown. I’ll also try to capture most of the questions I posed in my “Pre-Super Bowl Thoughts” post from Friday:

Winner – Drew Brees – An easy selection for the player that should make the greatest marketing leap because of the Super Bowl. He already got to give the trademark “I’m going to Disney World” line, and there should be many endorsements to follow (hopefully something a little more glamorous than Pampers).

Loser – Peyton Manning – Not that I expect his endorsements to drop off, but as one of the most marketable players in the league before the game, I don’t expect Peyton Manning ads to get a lot of extra airtime this week.

Winner and Loser – Twitter and #SB44 – The Super Bowl completely dominated the Twitter-scape last night, showing its power to unite sports fans into one giant conversation. However, right after the play of the game (Porter’s INT return), Twitter crashed, probably due to everyone wanting to comment on that play. That was bad timing for Twitter.

Winner – Bridgestone – Of all the big time presenting sponsorships that connect to the NFL, Bridgestone really seems to capitalize on their halftime deal. The Who also came through with a solid performance (although not on the level of Bruce Springsteen’s from last year, in my opinion).

Loser – GMC – For a company that was supposedly the presenting sponsor of the biggest sporting event of the year, I still had no idea that they were involved except for the mentions on the NFL website.

Winners – CBS and the NFL – The game had a 46.4 rating and a 68 share, up 10% over last year’s game and the highest ratings since Super Bowl XXI in 1987 (USA Today). In total, this represents almost 100 million viewers.

Winner and Loser – Bourbon Street – The drinks were flowing and the celebrations ran through the night, leading to a good time…for most. However, one individual ruined the night by firing shots from his gun that injured three others. This is not the type of celebrating that New Orleans needs.

Winner – Las Vegas – Based on how the line move throughout the two weeks, it seemed like most of the Las Vegas betting action was on Indianapolis. With the Saints’ win, the casinos may have taken in quite a score.

Advertising Winners:  (Note: this is purely my opinion – I’m sure others will disagree, and that’s fine. Leave your opinions in the comments!)

  • Google – A simple, effective and heart-warming ad that should have lasting brand value.
  • Doritos – Pretty funny across all their ads, and they did a great job building interest leading up to the game since the commercials are all based on fan ideas that were submitted and voted on through their website.
  • Denny’s – Their two ads will have more impact on a company’s bottom line than any other from this year.
  • Boost Mobile – A little anti-climactic after the recent build-up, but still a fun parody and something that should drive a steady stream of visitors to their site that they can convert to sales.
  • Budweiser – Pretty much the same staple of humorous ads like any year. I enjoyed the Voice Box ad the most, but the human bridge and house made of bud light cans were also strong entrants.
  • CBS – Normally I’m not impressed by a station advertising its own shows, but I thought their ads stood out this year and they made the most out of their spots.

Advertising Losers:

  • All movie trailers – I still do not understand how this is a profitable marketing approach, unless you are debuting a new trailer and want to make a splash (at least this was the case for Prince of Persia). I doubt that a 0:15 second spot for Wolfman will have any noticeable effect since this ad has been in heavy circulation for weeks now.
  • Teleflora – Is it me, or did they run a nearly identical ad in a recent Super Bowl as well? Although, considering how close the Super Bowl is to Valentine’s Day this year, maybe it was a smart move.
  • truTV – I just think that this ad was a little creepy, and even if they are launching a new football show, I think its a stretch to say that they’ve added 6 more weeks of football. After all, we have the NFL Network for 52 weeks.
  • GoDaddy – These ads were controversial at the time, but now the schtick is getting a little old. Of course, I say that and I’m sure they get more hits to GoDaddy.com this week than any other time of year.
  • Dr. Pepper – For all intent purposes, this is the same ad they’ve run with Kiss as part of their “Trust me, I’m a doctor” series of ads. I know they wanted to take advantage of Pepsi’s decision to not advertise this year, but was this the best they could do?
  • E*TRADE – I might be in the minority here, but just like my complaint about the GoDaddy ads, I think this joke has run its course – using a new baby doesn’t change anything.

14 thoughts on “Super Bowl Winners and Losers – Sports Business Edition

  • February 8, 2010 at 2:29 pm
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    How could you leave out the Betty White Snickers commercial, or had you turned the game off already? It was the best one and got the loudest laughs from me.

  • February 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm
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    I did forget about that one. I’ll add it to the poll, but I guess a couple of the “Other” votes are already for that one.

  • February 8, 2010 at 2:59 pm
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    I have to disagree with your opinion about the TruTV spot since this is an unforgettable ad. While at first it was a little touch-and-go, I actually remember what it’s an ad for, unlike many of the other spots that typically air during the SB. The second Troy popped out and the guy said ‘SIX MORE WEEKS OF FOOTBALL,’ I was hooked. The best of the SB44 commercials to me was Denny’s. The screaming chickens cracked me up, especially the one in the space suit. Memorable and I just might go to Denny’s to reward them for it.

  • February 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm
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    Amanda – I give them credit for a “creative” approach, but I just didn’t connect with the ad. It was more distraction that awareness for me.

    Dave – I think the problem with most car advertisement is that unless they are part of a large-scale campaign that I’m used to seeing, I have a hard time remembering what car brand was actually being pitched. However, in looking at your reviews (nice work), I do remember the Favre ad which I thought was very humorous. But there’s a problem if I remember the punchline and not the brand.

  • February 8, 2010 at 4:01 pm
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    My other vote was for the Bridgestone “Hangover Ripoff” the Bachelor Party Orca spot. Bridgestone executed very well all weekend.

  • February 8, 2010 at 4:04 pm
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    Mike – the Bridgestone spot was good. I intentionally left them out of the poll because of their halftime show sponsorship deal (I believe the ad spot came with the sponsorship), and I didn’t want one to influence the other.

  • February 8, 2010 at 6:47 pm
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    I think Boost Mobile’s ad should be considered a loser. It brought back a great gimmick of the 85 Bears but it failed to really mention its product ($50 unlimited cell phone plans with a recently increased line of phones). Unless you took the time to goto the Boost Mobile Shuffle site and watch the 4 minute video, it was hard to tell what the ad was trying to accomplish.

    I really liked the Dockers ad for free pants. Its drawing attention to their brand by having people sign up to win 1 of 1000 free pairs of pants. But there are no losers in this campaign, as a coupon of some sorts is offered for those who didn’t win. Definitely a good way to appeal to Dockers fans who haven’t entered the eCommerce realm or for those who are just looking for a bargain.

  • February 8, 2010 at 9:46 pm
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    Unfortunately we don’t get the full picture of the Super Bowl internationally as you miss out on the adverts. But definitely agree that Twitter needs to lift it’s game to support traffic surges around major events as it will only become more mainstream.

  • February 8, 2010 at 9:48 pm
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    The Docker ad proved to be really effective. “Docker free pants” ranked 1 and 2 for google hot searches after the game.

  • February 9, 2010 at 9:58 am
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    Brad – good point. Don’t know how I missed that one. Thanks.

  • February 9, 2010 at 9:59 am
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    What I liked about the Google ad was that it effectively communicated what you can do w/the product (or at least some of what you can do), and at the same time it extended the brand beyond what we immediately associate it with, tech, to real human connection, all without being overly sappy. Really well done.

  • February 9, 2010 at 10:23 am
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    Overall, the car and beer ads were pretty forgettable this years – well, except Hyundai’s Brett Favre 2010 MVP commercial. I thought that one was pretty effective.

    Also, I’m already a How I Met Your Mother fan, but the Barney Stinson placement was great. Especially since they opened last night’s episode with it too! That had to have recruited a couple thousand new watchers, or at least made them call that number on the poster.

  • February 9, 2010 at 3:50 pm
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    I think the car commercials are a waste of a marketing budget. I cannot remember a single specific car from the Super Bowl. With the 6 million price tag for two commercial spots, you could certainly do something more creative and effective–something like what Pontiac did with Oprah..

    Give me 6 million dollars and I’d certainly be able to generate more hype behind a car than two superbowl commercials.

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