Top Menu

3 Super Bowl Marketing Wins for Athletes

The first Super Bowl game ever was broadcast on public television in 1967, with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers going head-to-head. Back then, a thirty-second ad slot cost $37,500. This year, the same amount of time on CBS was a 5 million dollar deal. There are many components to sending the correct message, whether it be a picture, a gesture, or a video. When your company is spending that kind of money for half a minute, you want to get all three of them right.

This year’s Super Bowl was full of memorable moments. From the puppy-monkey-baby to Beyoncé’s performance, we were struck again and again by the event’s elaborate production. Sports marketers can learn from the commotion by focusing on the marketing tactics that were used to bring certain brands to the forefront of the audience’s attention.

Super Bowl Marketing Scores

Months after the game has ended, here are three marketing wins from the Super Bowl that stood out to us:

Serena Williams’ Snaps

serena-snapchat-super bowl

Serena Williams’ Snapchat debut took the digital world by surprise, as this is the first year that Snapchat has advertised during the Super Bowl. The newest social media platform to be used for sporting event ads featured a GIF of Williams being doused in Gatorade. Little did viewers know, Snapchat was using special technology that simulated the dunk—Williams never actually got wet.


With 119 million views, Serena’s endorsement helped Gatorade’s brand gain traction across multiple audiences thanks to this simple, yet effective ad.

Peyton Manning’s “Unofficial” endorsements

Peyton Manning endorsed Budweiser (without “officially” endorsing them), which was expected given that he owns a share in the beverage company. Peyton also hugged Papa John on the field after his team won the game, unofficially endorsing one of the largest pizza companies in the country. Though Manning’s gestures were understated, they highlighted his deep connection to two brands in a way outside of the standard TV spot. Whether intentional or not, these events demonstrate the fishbowl effect that many athletes experience: constantly being under public scrutiny while the audience is analyzing every decision against their brand.

Mini’s Marketing

Abby Wambach starred in a 30-second ad for Mini USA, the American division of the British Mini brand. As a retired FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, Wambach was a strong choice for this role. Mini USA was transparent in its technique: listing labels and then having the actors transcend them.

Randy Johnson, a pitcher for the Seattle Mariners in the 90s, joined Wambach in the “defy labels” commercial by using his height to highlight the idea of “This is a short man’s car.” Mini USA effectively used multiple athletic endorsements to convey that their product can be for anyone. By using a variety of people, the company used the ad to combat purchase barriers, change the perception of consumers, and ultimately boost sales.

After 50 years of being broadcast on public television, the Super Bowl has had its fair share of shockers and unexpected wins. But 2016 highlighted the various ways that social media and other forms of targeted communication can affect the reputation of a brand, a team, or a player in public and behind the scenes. Being a sports marketer means combining knowledge about communication, technology, and human motivation to craft a message that will impact people’s behavior. Any marketer’s goal is to provide a positive view of a brand and motivate a purchase. Sports marketers leverage their contacts in the media and athletic worlds to promote brands, boost sales, and more.

Interested in learning more about the impact of marketing on the sports industry? Click here to explore the University of Florida’s online Master of Science in Sport Management.

Steve Richards Twitter Feed

I run a pick em league and these were my picks for the primetime game score tiebreakers. #FlyEaglesFly baby
Read more →

16 hours ago

I’m cool with him going to the parade again. He won a couple games this year…
Read more →

16 hours ago

I was just thinking about this. Who’s making the payments? Is it just an excitement on Christmas thing, now it’s yo……
Read more →

17 hours ago

🎵 Silver bells 🔔 Silver bells 🔔 It’s Christmas time in the... suburbs 🎵 @ Hatfield, Pennsylvania…
Read more →

21 hours ago

This real? The Onion hacked the DHS right?…
Read more →

a day ago

RT @jimmykimmel: reminder - TODAY is the deadline to sign up for health care - do it now…
Read more →

2 days ago

Yo. Once Upon A Deadpool is [redacted] good. It’s PG-13, but still kept the Deadpool feel. Loved it. Go see it. And……
Read more →

5 days ago

@DTMattSmith The shows you mentioned are different, not cookie cutter. So I think you’d like it
Read more →

a week ago

@DTMattSmith Yeah it’s great. It’s also different from the other cookie cutter sitcom formats, which is what all th……
Read more →

a week ago

Steve Richards Facebook Feed

No post item found

Steve Richards Google Plus Feed

5 years ago

Steve Richards posted:

5 years ago

Football is back and so am I.
Football is back and so am I.Read more →

Latest Posts by Steve Richards

Jerry Maguire

  Between Entourage, Jerry Maguire, and a whole host of glamorous media portrayals of sports agents it’s no wonder that interest in the career has spiked. They’re often portrayed as macho, masterful negotiators, shouting into their cell phones while driving to their palatial home in a custom Mercedes; all this while rubbing elbows with star…

Jobs In Sports Management

It takes much more than star athletes to make a sports franchise successful. Behind every win on the field, there’s a team of skilled sports management professionals keeping the organization’s basic operations moving, coordinating game day events, promoting ticket sales, supporting athletes, and filling a wide variety of other critical roles. It’s no surprise that…

sporting events

2016 will showcase a range of highly anticipated sporting events all around the world. We’re sure you’d like to plan around these events, and as far in advance as possible. From cycling to the Olympics, it’s going to be an action-packed year in the sports industry. The Most Anticipated Sporting Events in 2016 That said,…

The first Super Bowl game ever was broadcast on public television in 1967, with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers going head-to-head. Back then, a thirty-second ad slot cost $37,500. This year, the same amount of time on CBS was a 5 million dollar deal. There are many components to sending the…

Many times, coaching athletes involves looking at them from a sports psychology perspective. Enhancing even the best player’s physical performance is only part of the end goal. Coaches should strive to support their athletes mentally and emotionally, all while preparing themselves to deal with the psychological challenges of being a coach. Below, we’ve compiled a…

With instant updates, live streaming video, and social media the world of sport management has become increasingly digital. A public relations professional is charged with maintaining the client’s image while carefully mitigating and managing any negative press. So When does it become necessary to use damage control? Here are some of the top PR challenges…

concussions in the NFL

It’s hard to understand how some 500 players have suffered concussions in the NFL in just the last few years without it having athlete safety become a more important topic in our society. The recent film Concussion, featuring Will Smith, has brought the issue of sports-related traumatic brain injuries back to center stage in the mainstream media….

In this day and age different types of sports are coming up everywhere. This includes eSports, which combine the technology of 2015 with the competition of traditional sports. ESPN recently aired a broadcast of colleges competing against each other in “Heroes of the Storm,” which got a quality rating for its channel and time slot….

RosterBot logo

When you think about it there are millions of people who each make sports great in their own way. Fans make up most of that population, but there are also players, trainers, reporters and announcers. Then there are the men and women who make up the foundation of our favorite franchises – coaches and management….

Everyone has a favorite sports bar or pub, and a great factor that influences our choice is the people you get to interact with there. What would sports bars be without fans to cheer with (or against) your favorite team? You think you could easily win any debate while the game is on. But you…

, , , , ,

14 Responses to 3 Super Bowl Marketing Wins for Athletes

  1. Banking April 7, 2016 at 12:21 am #

    Good point!

  2. Bapu April 11, 2016 at 2:57 am #

    Great article, Really enjoyed the reading

  3. ani February 7, 2017 at 10:09 am #

    well Super bowl is going to be live soon..

  4. Infohowler March 4, 2017 at 10:10 am #

    You have got very good info in this article

  5. Run 2 Online April 11, 2017 at 12:31 am #

    Very nice post, had a great time. Thanks for sharing

  6. liteblue login May 7, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

    Very nice post
    Thanks for all of your time and work.

  7. Survey May 11, 2017 at 7:13 am #

    great post it is very informative!

  8. paycomonline June 20, 2017 at 2:07 pm #

    Nice weblog right here! Also your website
    a lot up very fast! What host are you using.

  9. paycomonline June 20, 2017 at 2:09 pm #

    Really great Post you have shared.

  10. webkinz August 9, 2017 at 3:57 pm #

    Amazing content and nice to read the blog

  11. myaccountaccess August 10, 2017 at 5:04 am #

    Really nice articles and great points.

  12. starbucks menu August 10, 2017 at 8:37 am #

    Your Story is very nice and interesting
    McDonald’s Menu Prices

  13. mcdvoice August 27, 2017 at 12:18 am #

    Thanks a lot you shared a pretty nice post with us. Survey Feedback

  14. johny May 16, 2018 at 1:41 am #

    Interested in joining the Customer Panel? frontline. Not yet a member of the Kroger Family of Stores Customer Panel? You can provide feedback on your shopping experiences. Just click here and complete a brief online feedback survey
    to join the panel. As a member, you’ll receive more survey invitations periodically by email.

Leave a Reply