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Athlete Partnerships Highlight Super Bowl Week

By: Chris Tulley


Every year, the Super Bowl attracts a wide variety of sponsorships and partnerships. Brands use the Super Bowl to help leverage their marketing tactics and attract viewership. When people think of Super Bowl activations, they think of Super Bowl commercials. Advertisement space for Super Bowl LV in 2021 cost an average of $5.6 million for a 30-second time slot. This year, Super Bowl LVI has seen some sponsors paying up to $6.5 million for a 30-second time slot. This may seem like a normal advertisement cost, however, the average TV advertisement for a 30-second time slot unrelated to the Super Bowl averages around $115,000. Brands are investing their marketing budgets in the Super Bowl in hopes of a positive ROI.


Broadcasting advertisements are used by brands to market their business, but it is not the only way they can activate around the Super Bowl. Another big way these brands can market themselves is through athlete partnerships. One partnership that we’ve already seen this year is between WynnBET and Julian Edelman. WynnBET gave the former New England Patriots Wide Receiver $100,000 for their partnership agreement. Edelman then used the partnership money to place a bet on having the New England Patriots vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to play in Super Bowl LVI. Even though the bet didn’t work out for Edelman, WynnBET got the attention they hoped for.


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski and Groupon have partnered together to create a once in a lifetime experience for Super Bowl LVI. Gronkowski will be flying out a fan and their friends to his home in Massachusetts to watch the Super Bowl with him. The Super Bowl watch party will consist of beer and wine tastings, mini golf and other experiences. Fans enter the sweepstakes through the groupon app creating the ultimate athlete partnership.


During the Super Bowl week in 2019, Adidas leveraged NFL athletes and influencers to help market their brand. Adidas hosted a 7-on-7 football tournament featuring young players from Atlanta and had a pop up-up shop in the city. Adidas then leveraged athlete partnerships by having NFL athletes such as Patrick Mahomes, Emmanuel Sanders, Aaron Rodgers, Alvin Kamara, Dak Prescott, and many others to make appearances at these events. Adidas used the theme of “Creators Unite” to help market and promote their campaign during the week of the Super Bowl.


Another company that is leveraging athlete partnerships during Super Bowl week is the popular chip brand, Lay’s. Lay’s is creating a new product called “Lay’s Golden Grounds”, and is launching this campaign during Super Bowl LVI. Lay’s Golden Grounds is a limited edition product where the chips are made from soil from NFL stadiums around the country. Lay’s has partnered with the three-time Super Bowl champion Jerry Rice to promote this product. This campaign is designed to make consumers feel connected to their favorite NFL team. Through this athlete partnership, Lay’s hopes to leverage Rice and promote their new product.


Super Bowl week is a brand's best friend when it comes to marketing and activation. As millions of viewers tune in each year to watch the Super Bowl, brands are spending countless dollars to get their name out there. Athlete partnerships are a key way to help promote campaigns and products. Brands can partner with NFL athletes by having them promote their brand on social media, PR appearances, radio interviews, commercials, and so much more. The opportunity for athlete partnerships is endless, especially during the week of the Super Bowl with so many eyes watching.



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