At a glance
- While commercials typically dominate water cooler conversation following the big game, brand exposure within the Super Bowl telecast can earn league, broadcast, and stadium naming rights sponsors as much, and in some cases more, visibility.
- According to analysis by Elevate Sports Ventures and Hive, in-game exposure translated to $170 million in Equivalent Media Value earned by brand sponsors.
- Excluding commercials, more than 75 minutes of cumulative in-game brand exposure was earned by brands during the Super Bowl LVI telecast, and 19 brands earned more than 10 seconds of screen time.
- The cumulative screen time of in-game brand exposures was down 28% compared to last year’s Super Bowl. The reduced exposure was primarily driven by less camera-visible in-stadium signage, most notably including branded tarps covering the lower seats of the stadium during last year’s game which had limited attendance due to the pandemic.
- According to analysis using Hive’s logo detection and brand mentions models, Nike was the most visually exposed brand with more than 46 minutes of time on screen, while Pepsi received the most verbal mentions during the telecast with 11.
- The value from in-game exposure will be amplified across TV from Super Bowl-related coverage in news and highlights; based on analysis of last year’s Super Bowl, top sponsors should expect to receive an additional 3.5 to 4.5 minutes of televised logo exposure for every 1 minute of in-game exposure earned.
- Historical analysis suggests that SoFi, which holds the host stadium’s naming rights, will likely receive the most televised brand amplification relative to the brand’s in-game exposure, led by an outsized share of coverage on news and entertainment programming likely to film outside of the stadium.
As is the case every year, the Super Bowl is not just the pinnacle of the NFL season but also the tentpole event for brands looking to capture the attention of fans in and around the game. On the field there was only one winner on Sunday but, off the field, a host of brands will claim victory from their roles within TV’s biggest night.
While commercials typically dominate water cooler conversations among viewers, brands know not to overlook the value earned from brand exposure generated within the telecast itself. With 30-second spot costs for Super Bowl LVI reported to be as high as $7 million, the value generated from in-game brand exposure can be massive. Elevate Sports Ventures, a best-in-class sports and entertainment consulting firm, and Hive, a leading provider of cloud-based AI solutions, teamed up to analyze in-content brand exposure within and around Super Bowl LVI.
The following next-day insights were generated using Hive’s AI-powered media intelligence platform, Mensio, which provides always-on measurement of in-content brand exposure for more than 7,000 brands across 24/7 programming from national TV channels and regional sports networks. Mensio is trusted by a diverse set of leading brands, rights holders, and agencies to measure the value of and share of voice from sponsorship activations, product placement, and other in-content exposures.
Brands earn $170 million in equivalent media value from in-game exposure…
Excluding commercials as well as the official pre-game and post-game shows, more than 75 minutes of cumulative in-game brand exposure was earned by brands during the Super Bowl LVI telecast, and 19 brands earned more than 10 seconds of identifiable screen time. Coupled with the value from verbal mentions within the telecast, this translated to $170 million in equivalent media value, according to Mensio’s proprietary valuation methodology.
The total value earned by brands was roughly in-line with the $169 million earned from in-game brand exposure in last year’s Super Bowl but was generated with 28% less cumulative in-game screen time for brands compared to last year’s Super Bowl. The reduced exposure was primarily driven by less camera-visible in-stadium signage, most notably including branded tarps covering the lower seats of the stadium during last year’s game which had limited attendance due to the pandemic.
Predictably, a subset of top league, broadcast, and stadium naming rights sponsors dominated the in-game share of voice (see Figure 1).
Nike, the league’s on-field apparel sponsor, led the pack with a staggering 46 minutes and 37 seconds of cumulative screen time from TV-visible brand exposure from swooshes on jerseys and cleats.
Two of the NFL’s official sideline sponsors – Gatorade and Bose – were the next most exposed brands in the telecast, earning more than 8 and 5-and-a-half minutes of in-game brand exposure, respectively.
Pepsi again headlined the star-studded Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show, of which related in-game references contributed most of the brand’s 3 minutes and 49 seconds of visual exposure within the game, along with some in-stadium signage on the stadium’s second level.
Broadcaster NBC provided the most opportunities for in-game exposure, with 15 brands being exposed through digital billboards and set signage – in addition to a broader set of brands featured in the official pre-game and post-game shows. Toyota, which sponsored the network’s halftime report, led the group with almost 2 minutes of in-content exposure within the game.
Stadium naming rights sponsor, SoFi, made headlines for reportedly paying more than $30 million in fees annually as part of a 20-year naming rights deal. The brand ranked 8th in total visual exposure and 3rd in verbal mentions during Super Bowl LVI, with whistle-to-whistle exposure within last night’s telecast alone worth more than $3.5 million in equivalent media value, based on Mensio’s valuation methodology. However, the brand received noticeably less identifiable exposure than last year’s stadium naming rights holder, Raymond James, which earned roughly three times as much exposure in the 2021 game.
While season-long league sponsors led the pack in visual exposure in-game, the leaderboard for verbal mentions told a different story (see Figure 2). Halftime show sponsor Pepsi, NBC’s halftime report sponsor Toyota, and stadium naming rights holder SoFi captured more than half of all brand mentions, with 11, 6, and 5 whistle-to-whistle mentions during the telecast, respectively, excluding commercials and promotional units for the halftime show.
While we can close the book on brand exposure within last night’s official telecast, the value of media exposure earned by featured brands will continue to accumulate in the days ahead as Super Bowl LVI remains topical in content across television and social media.
Using Hive’s Mensio platform, which provides always-on measurement of brand exposure across 24/7 television programming, a comprehensive view of the incremental value from televised brand exposure can be understood. Based on analysis of last year’s Super Bowl LV, top sponsors should expect to earn an additional 3.5 to 4.5 minutes of televised logo exposure next-day for every 1 minute of in-game exposure (see Figure 3). Although those equivalent ad units are not valued at the same spot cost as the game itself, they produce a meaningful amplification of brand exposure beyond the whistle-to-whistle measurement.
“The amplification from in-game exposure in highlights and news coverage has long been notoriously undermeasured, namely due to limitations from legacy measurement solutions that have relied on largely manual processes,” said Dan Calpin, President, Hive – Enterprise AI. “The ability to measure the amplification of sponsorship placements accurately and at scale provides brands and rights holders alike the opportunity to more fully value their placements.”
As measurement capabilities have further developed in recent years, marketers have jockeyed not just for which sports and programming to align their brands with but also for how to increase both the impact and efficiency of their investments.
“There are many ways for brands to deliver content, ranging from official league partnerships, team partnerships, broadcast partnerships, athlete endorsements, to name a few. Across sports, brands are looking for what will deliver the most connectivity and relevancy to its target audience. The data now allows us to help brand’s decide where to invest to yield the greatest return.” said Cameron Wagner, Chief Client Officer at Elevate Sports Ventures who leads the company’s brand-specific consulting services.
In Super Bowl LVI, apparel brands commanded two-thirds of total screen time among brands within the telecast. This group was led by ubiquitous Nike swooshes, but also included exposure by Oakley-branded helmet visors and New Era-branded hats as well as a handful of native exposures for Adidas, Under Armour, and Air Jordan.
Among the other asset types, league sideline sponsorships earned the greatest exposure with 57% of the remaining screen time, followed by promotion for the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show (15%), and broadcaster-controlled assets (13%).
Interestingly, the amplification of sponsorship assets appears to be non-linear, according to data from Mensio on Super Bowl-related exposures across all nationally televised programming following 2021’s Super Bowl LV (see Figure 4). These trends are expected to be representative of expected brand exposure following 2022’s Super Bowl LVI.
While exposure for 2021’s stadium naming rights holder Raymond James earned only 9% of all visual brand exposure within the game (excluding apparel sponsors like Nike), the brand earned a staggering 45% of the amplification within non-sports programming across national television, led by numerous news and entertainment programs across TV networks filming coverage onsite on the night of and the day following 2021’s Super Bowl LV. This year’s stadium naming rights holder, SoFi, is likely to earn a similar boost in exposure in the days to follow.
Within sports programming, including the official post-game show as well as SportsCenter and other sports highlights shows on the night of and day following the game, post-game amplification favored the sponsorship assets on and nearest to the field. The league’s three official sideline sponsors (Gatorade, Bose, and Microsoft) and a handful of other in-stadium sponsors amassed 89% of the Super Bowl-related exposure among non-Apparel brands within sports programming through the Monday after the 2021 game, compared to 68% in-game.
While attention paid to broadcast sponsors – which typically include paired visual exposures and verbal mentions – may well be higher within game, those types of sponsorship placements typically earn less post-game amplification since those placements predominantly occur in between plays.
In-game signage and product placement may not make you laugh or cry in the same way that Super Bowl commercials do, but it’s hard to argue the volume of in-game exposure earned by top sponsors doesn’t help brands break through.
Hive is the leading provider of cloud-based enterprise AI solutions, helping companies use AI to interpret video, image, audio, and text. The company offers end-to-end AI services, including pre-trained AI models served via API and a suite of enterprise applications. Hive’s technology enables use cases including automated content moderation, brand protection and platform integrity, content-based ad targeting, advertising and sponsorship measurement, and more. Hive processes billions of API requests per month, with industry-leading accuracy enabled by Hive’s full-stack approach. For more information, visit thehive.ai or follow on LinkedIn.
About Elevate Sports Ventures
Elevate Sports Ventures is a best-in-class sports and entertainment consulting firm, providing proven, innovative solutions to organizations across the global sports and entertainment landscape. Elevate taps into the extensive resources, relationships, and expertise of its partners to innovate and execute comprehensive strategies and solutions in Venue Renovations, Sales and Marketing, Stadium Licenses, Premium Ticketing, Corporate Hospitality, Customer Research, Strategy and Analytics, Sales Training, and more. Formed in partnership between the San Francisco 49ers and Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE) in 2018, Elevate welcomed Oak View Group (OVG), Ticketmaster and Live Nation as partners in June, 2018. For more information, visit: www.ElevateSportsVentures.com or follow @ElevateSV on Twitter or LinkedIn.