marketing elements of the sports genre

The television networks and national advertisers happily tried to galvanize interest in the huge audience for televised sports. This went back at least to the 1950s and a time when commercial networks had sponsors. Friday Night Fights’ sponsor was Gillette; Wednesday Night Fights’ was Pabst beer. Today, sports and television are closely intertwined. The Super Bowl is the most watched event in all of sports. On a global level, the World Cup tournament draws the largest television audiences.

Not only does the Super Bowl pack a stadium, but in 2015 it had a record 114.4 million U.S. viewers, for whom the television rating reached 47.5. In 2016, the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers. Viewership for the game was over 114 million people. With the lure of so many viewers, one can understand why advertisers spent up to $5 million for a 30-second ad. The advertising seems to have paid off. Consumer spending related to the Super Bowl totaled approximately $15.5 billion. Given all the “buzz” generated, the total amount anticipated to be spent for bets on that game was $4.2 billion. Spending on Super Bowl parties in 2012 averaged $118, and millennials spent about $140 each for parties in 2016.

With such viewership, one can understand the premium value put on advertisements and on screen, brand name recognition, and the rights to put sponsors’ name on sports stadiums. The value of brand-name exposure at places like the Target Center in Minneapolis, the Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, and Coors Field in Denver is impossible to measure.

Watch Super Bowl Ads

Visit your favorite media website. Look up the Super Bowl commercials. Find a commercial from at least 10 years and compare it to one from the 2016 Super Bowl. What differences in advertising do you notice?

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