Everything associated with the Super Bowl comes with a huge price tag – or a huge revenue stream depending on whether you are the buyer or the seller in the transaction. Folks who wish to place an advertisement on the Super Bowl game itself will pay an average of $4.8M for a 30-second spot during the action this year. It was not always exactly that way; here is a summary of how the costs associated with Super Bowl advertising have grown:
Average Cost for 30 seconds in Super Bowl 1: $40K
Average Cost for 30 seconds in Super Bowl 50: $4.8M
1973: First year average cost for 30 seconds reached $100K
1985: First year average cost for 30 seconds reached $500K
1995: First year average cost for 30 seconds reached $1M
2000: First year average cost for 30 seconds reached $2M
2009: First year average cost for 30 seconds reached $3M
2013: First year average cost for 30 seconds reached $4M
[Note: In 2015 – just 2 years since the cost climbed past $4M per 30 seconds – the average cost is poised to rise to more than $5M very soon.]
Those numbers and trends should lead you to conclude that the total revenues taken in by the networks who televise the Super Bowl games has been a significant amount of money; and you would be right is drawing that conclusion. Ad Age estimates that the total amount of money spent by advertisers on Super Bowl game ads since the start is in the range of $4.8B. This year’s revenue alone is estimated at $377M and if that is the income from the game it would be more advertising revenue than the Super Bowl games generated in all of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s combined.
As you watch the ads a week and a half from now, realize that each advertiser is spending – on average – $3.02 to get their message across to every viewer. I will be attending a Super Bowl watching event with a relatively standard roster of attendance; there will likely be 16 of us watching – or pretending to watch – the game. That means that every time an advertisement comes on, the sponsor is spending almost $50 to pitch us in that one room with regard to the virtues of his/her product. I do not know about the environment where you watch the Super Bowl, but I really think that is $50 flushed down an advertising commode…
If you want even more data on Super Bowl advertising and the history of same, here is a link.
All of us who watch the game on TV are going to pay for all that advertising in the form of prices for whatever products we buy that may have been sponsors for a portion of the game. There are immutable laws of physics; there is also an immutable law of marketing:
The consumer pays all of the costs of getting the product to the marketplace plus a percentage of that cost that will serve as “profit” for the producer.
Greg Cote had this comment in the Miami Herald recently that seems appropriate at this point because it has to do with the number of potential viewers of the Super Bowl game on TV:
“WQAM-560 may go after and pay big for Dolphins radio rights, unaware that most folks nowadays own televisions.”
However, the viewers are not the only folks who will wind up paying a price for goods/services associated with the Super Bowl. Think about the fans who just have to find a way to go to the game and see it for themselves. In terms of a drain on their total assets, they would almost certainly be better off being robbed at gunpoint for everything they have in their pockets. Consider some of this information:
Hotels in San Francisco – where all of the social events prior to the game itself will happen – will charge room rates 98% higher than normal for next weekend.
Yes, other cities have experienced hotel room rate increases for Super Bowl weekend but nothing near these levels:
Phoenix (2015): Room rates up 34%
New Jersey (2014): Room rates up 18%
New Orleans (2013): Room rates up 15%
Now, if you think that the increases in hotel room rates are outrageous, consider the package deals offered to fans in Carolina and/or Denver who just have to go and personally see their heroes play in this game:
$180 per person: Ticket to the team’s tailgate party for 3 hours featuring wine, beer and food plus a few former players mingling in the crowd who might or might not be willing to sign an autograph. That’s it; to see the game, you need to get yourself to a TV set somewhere…
$6175 per person from Charlotte ($5855 per person from Denver): This gets you to the team tailgate party above plus a ticket to the game plus round trip airfare (coach) from wherever you happen to live.
$5800 – 6100 per person: Three- night package (land only, you provide the airfare or other transit costs to and from SF) including three nights at a hotel, the tailgate party and a ticket to the game.
If you live in Charlotte and want the three-night package plus airfare to and from the game, add $1200
If you live in Denver and want the three-night package plus airfare to and from the game add $900.
All of the “tickets to the game” cited above are basically “nosebleed seats”; these are the cheap seats for the game. If you want to upgrade your tickets to the game, here are the add-on costs per person:
Upgrade to “Upper Level Premium” adds $750
Upgrade to “Lower Level End Zone” adds $1000
Upgrade to “Lower Level Sideline” adds $2000
Upgrade to “Club Level Sideline” adds $3000
Upgrade to “Club Level Premium” adds $4000.
As noted above, I will be joining friends for a traditional game-watching experience. How about you?
Finally, here is an item from Brad Rock’s column, Rock On, in the Deseret News:
“Conan O’Brien on a report claiming New Jersey Governor Chris Christie spent over $82,000 on food at NFL games: ‘Hey, both of those games went into overtime.’ ”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………