Super Bowl 54 — Big game, big business

It’s February 2, 2020 — or Super Bowl Sunday — when more than 100 million people will view the most-anticipated American football game in which the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs will battle for the Lombardi Trophy at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

The helmets of the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers placed in front of the Vince Lombardi Trophy during a press conference before Super Bowl LIV at Hilton Downtown. (Photo: usatoday.com)

It’s big money for the National Football League (NFL), which owns the trademark Super Bowl and earns tens of millions of dollars from sponsorships each year. The NFL and its 32 franchise teams accrued more than US$1.47 billion in sponsorship revenue during the 2019/20 season, nearly six per cent more than the US$1.39 billion generated the previous year. More than 350 new sponsorship deals were signed over the course of the season adding to the roughly 1,500 existing partnerships.

The NFL also received a significant boost from the gambling industry, benefitting from the relaxed sports betting laws in the USA that now allow for casino partnerships and deals with fantasy sports and betting providers.

Advertising is another big revenue stream. Television networks like CBS, Fox and NBC pay big bucks to the NFL for broadcast packages. Fox sold out all their advertising slots before December 2019, paying the NFL approximately US$1.1billion for its rights package, including Sunday Games, a share of “Thursday Night Football”, and its place in Super Bowl broadcast rotation.

The San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs will play each other in the Super Bowl today. (Photo: sportsillustrated.com)

With approximately US$5.5 million for a 30-second spot, television stations make their fair share of profit too as companies pay megabucks to air their commercials during the Super Bowl. Additionally, it’s an election year in the US and the campaigns for Donald Trump and Mike Bloomberg have shelled out millions for commercials this year.

Last year costs ranged between US$5.1million and US$5.3 million. Super Bowl typically airs approximately 42 commercials, most being 30 seconds, some 15-second spots, and others as long as a minute. Among the top advertisers at the Super Bowl this year are Porsche, New York Life Insurance and FaceBook.

The hospitality industry also does well during the annual Super Bowl. The restaurant and bar industry, hotels and entertainment venues are among the big winners. Event marketers also host special Super Bowl events while on-line advertisers circumvent the expensive television advertising and capitalise on people tuning in on their phones to check social media during commercial breaks.

The NFL’s 32 franchise teams earned almost US$1.5 billion in sponsorship revenue.
(Photo: wsj.com)

The entertainment industry cashes in too. The Super Bowl Music Festival at the American Airlines Arena in Miami featured major concerts January 30 to February 1, 2020, with popular artists like Khaled, Meek Mill, Guns and Roses, Snoop Dogg, Maroon 5 with Dan+Shay. Ticket prices ranged from US$35 to US$125 depending on the show.

But let’s not forget the real “stars” of the Super Bowl — the players. Last year the winners of the Super Bowl made an estimated US$112,000 each while their opponents made US$56,000 each. Referees earned between US$4,000 and US$10,000 per game.

US President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg are said to have taken out ads during the Super Bowl.

And what about those people making the trek to Miami for the game? Tickets to the Super Bowl are traditionally the most expensive costs associated with experiencing the sporting event. Prices may fluctuate as the game approaches, but it could take as much as US$64,000 for a seat at the 50-yard line or between US$5,000 and US$6,000 for the average seat in the upper-end zone, for instance.

Hotel rooms range from US$279 per night for a two-star property, US$450 per night for a three-star hotel, and US$880 per night for a four-star accommodation. Airfares are also high with the average fare from San Francisco to Miami, for example, ranging from US$900 and up.

Fans from over 15 countries and 49 states have purchased tickets to watch Super Bowl 54. An estimated 100 million people overall will view the game.