Super Bowl 50 by the Numbers

You just have to love the Super Bowl, especially if you teach sports marketing!  The “Big Game” creates such a fun environment for teaching some of the fundamental marketing principles that drive the business of sports and entertainment.

Looking for a current and relevant way to illustrate the concepts of supply and demand or economic impact? Need a discussion starter on the concept of ambush marketing or sponsorship?  How about advertising, ticket sales or merchandising?  Endorsement?  Promotion?  This look at the Super Bowl “by the numbers” has you covered.  Enjoy the “Big Game”!

$35 Million

According to, estimates put Cam Newton’s career endorsement earnings thus far at $35 million.  Newton’s endorsement portfolio includes brands like Under Armour, L’Oreal, Dannon, Beats By Dre and Carolinas Medical Center (among others).

$12 Million

Peyton Manning earned $12 million in endorsements last year alone.  According to Forbes, Manning was the NFL’s top pitchman in 2014 thanks to partnerships with companies like Buick, DirecTV, Gatorade, Nationwide and Papa John’s.

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Around the Horn: March 5th

Making headlines in Dallas this week is news that Sharon Simmons, a 55 year old grandmother of 2, will be auditioning to become a Cowboys Cheerleader.  The Cowboys Cheerleaders have long-established themselves as a brand, one that is as synonymous with game entertainment as the Laker Girls and the San Diego Chicken.  While Simmons is a nutritionist and personal trainer who is no doubt in excellent physical condition, the oldest member of the squad in team history was 37.  Ultimately, whether she makes it or not, the team will generate a lot of publicity as the tryouts continue… The question is, how will the publicity surrounding her efforts impact the team…will fans view the story in a positive or negative light?

In Major League Baseball news, the Detroit Tigers sold out of Opening Day tickets in just 45 minutes.  Dare we say the Prince Fielder signing is already beginning to pay dividends?

From the Twitterverse:  via @EricFisherSBJ – “Ticketmaster data: 50M sports tickets unsold last year, translating to $900M in lost/uncaptured revenue.”  It will be interesting to see what kind of solution the ticketing giant comes up with to minimize excess inventory in the future…

News from the upcoming Olympic Games in London:  Reuters recently published a story suggesting that, despite the organizing committee’s significant efforts to thwart ambush marketing, many non-sponsoring companies will attempt to align themselves with the Games in some way, shape or form.  While organizers of mega events continue to find ways to combat ambush marketing, it seems marketers have become more innovative in creating new opportunities to connect their brand without investing significant sums as an official event sponsor…certainly an interesting side story to watch develop as the Olympics draw near.