After 256 regular season games and 12 playoff games, the Super Bowl opponents are set. On February 4th, the Philadelphia Eagles will be offered up as the latest potential sacrifice to the unstoppable machine that is Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. While there may not be much diversity in terms of who plays in (or wins…) the Super Bowl year after year, there will be a plethora of new ways in which you can watch the big game like live video and mobile streaming.
The Super Bowl’s popularity still seems to be increasing as the league’s popularity has supposedly waned (for reasons ranging from political protests to cultural changes in how we consume TV media). In fact, average resale ticket prices for the Super Bowl are setting records at more than $9,000 with some tickets going for as much as $66,700. Clearly, there is still a huge demand for the sport’s finale despite the general dip in TV ratings.
With that in mind, many companies are still willing to bet big advertising bucks on the Super Bowl—but in a different way from before. Live video and mobile streaming have exploded in popularity, with companies like Amazon and Twitter purchasing rights to air the Thursday Night Football package. They believe that the decline in NFL TV ratings could be a perfect storm of changing viewing habits by its audience and oversaturation of the product.
Everyone is looking to cut a piece of that Super Bowl pie. Here are how some major social media companies, TV networks, and internet giants are leveraging live video and mobile streaming during the Super Bowl to get their brand in front of new audiences.
This creative and ephemeral photo app has become a powerful tool to connect a younger audience with a brand’s campaign. Snapchat has over 173 million active users with 53% of users under 34 years old. This a huge opportunity for brands to leverage the popularity of the Super Bowl using Snapchat, and that’s exactly what Gatorade did last year. Gatorade sponsored the first animated filter that showed the user getting doused by a Gatorade cooler like the winning coach of the Super Bowl. This filter garnered 160 million impressions and gave wider brand exposure than a traditional TV Super Bowl ad ever could.
Snapchat also offers what’s called a “Discover” channel for the NFL. This channel shows video stories about teams, games, players, and news items every week during the NFL season. At our sports division, AQ Sports, we’re avid Snapchat users and NFL fans. The ability to see live videos of players on the field and see different viewing angles than TV markedly enhances the viewing experience.
Snapchat also collects the “stories” of fans at the games and curates the best ones for people to view in the NFL Discover channel. This blending of live video, advertisement, and screen convergence only has room to grow in this competitive “quick-view” content market.
The traditional TV network that is broadcasting Super Bowl LII will also be live streaming Super Bowl LII on both its sports app and its website. However, NBC also has a couple tricks up its sleeve in the live video and mobile streaming department.
NBC was the first network to live stream the Super Bowl back in 2012. When it broadcast Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, it removed the usual pay-TV package requirement for streaming NFL games. This effectively created an 11-hour preview for its “TV Everywhere” service that allows pay-TV subscribers to access live or on-demand TV on the web. The Super Bowl was a convenient and effective way to expand its brand into the mobile streaming and live video market.
NBC expects to make about $500 million in advertising money from traditional TV advertising alone. However, the network will also be selling “digital-only advertising packages” for the first time ever during the Super Bowl. This new revenue stream plus brand exposure during the game should be a huge boon to the network’s mobile streaming and live video ambitions.
Live streaming NFL sports in general has become a huge part of Verizon’s mobile and live video streaming strategy. With the purchase of AOL in 2015 and Yahoo! in 2017, Verizon wants to build a digital ad business that can rival the likes of Facebook and Google. The NFL created a partnership with Yahoo! starting in January 2018 where they streamed all of the NFL playoff games for free on their Yahoo! Sports app.
Yahoo’s deal spans until 2022, and they will be mobile streaming live in-market and nationally-televised NFL games, including the Super Bowl, during that period. This change will allow consumers to have more choice in how they receive their NFL content. Brands also have an opportunity to provide advertisements to new demographics or even tailor the advertisements to each individual consumer like Amazon did with its live streams for Prime members this year. In fact, Amazon is leveraging its streaming, much in the same way Verizon is, in order to “spin up a video channel, live or on-demand, about as easily as hosting a website on Amazon Web Services.”
A Changing Landscape for Entertainment
The TV entertainment industry is quickly adopting ways to create mobile convergence of its content by merging the internet with traditional TV. The Super Bowl is the biggest single sporting event in America every year. Chances are you and everyone you know will at least tune in once for the creative and funny commercials like this one with Melissa McCarthy, which honestly has to be a favorite from last year.
It only makes sense that these companies would try interesting and innovative ways to garner your attention for their brand. Brands are becoming more interactive with these emerging technologies, and this bodes well for creating a more personal and effective relationship with the consumer (just look at the hit app HQ for a lesson in interactivity). It will be exciting to see how companies will repurpose their content and utilize the growing world of mobile streaming and live video beyond big events like the Super Bowl.