Social Media Meets The Super Bowl

Social media meets the Super Bowl

Sunday’s game will be a cutthroat match on the field and in social media. Super Bowl contenders the New York Giants have 1.5 million fans on Facebook while the New England Patriots have close to three million. So how does the NFL plan to stay current for the 2012 game? With a social media command center, of course.

According to MSNBC, Super Bowl XLVI will employ a social media team in charge of monitoring and responding to fans before, during and following the game. Based in Indianapolis — home of this year’s Super Bowl — the center will filter social chatter and assist fans with such things as parking and directions to the stadium.

In 2011, we witnessed Audi implement the first Twitter hashtag #ProgressIs during a Super Bowl commercial. The explosive growth of social media has impacted the NFL like any brand, yet as a franchise rooted in traditional media, a unique set of complications have emerged. Actions such as the social media command center and a NFL Social Media policy have been enacted to control and comprehend the overlap between new media and the NFL.

Breaking Down the NFL Social Media Policy

Following a slew of incidents involving Twitter in 2009, the NFL implemented an official social media policy. Amongst the controversy was a Tweet from cornerback Antonio Cromartie criticizing training camp food service and a plot by wide receiver Chad Ochocinco to send out a message to fans immediately following a touchdown pass.

The NFL’s current Social media policy allows for players and members of the league to use Social networks, but not for the 90-minutes leading up to a game and not until post-game media interviews have been conducted. Not only that, messages cannot be sent out on a player’s behalf (by a friend, manager, or otherwise) during a game. While many fans would covet a picture Tweeted from the sidelines or an update from a player following an injury on the field, according to the policy, it just isn’t going to happen.

The policy has been met with criticism by players and fans alike.


Super Bowl Information You May Not Know

* This year, a 30-second commercial costs $3.5 million, up $400,000 from last year, according to
* Football fans are anticipated to consume an estimated 71.4 million pounds of Hass avocados during Big Game gatherings this year, according to the Hass Avocado Board.
* If you still think the 1983 season finale of M*A*S*H was the most-watched broadcast in the U.S., think again. The 2010 Super Bowl between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts stole that title, only to be beaten exactly one year later when 111 million people tuned in to watch the 2011 Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to Nielsen Co. Will this year’s game top the 2011 record?
* Heading into the game, The New York Giants have three Super Bowl titles (XXI in 1986, XXV in 1990, and XLII in 2007). They also have four titles in the pre-Super Bowl era: 1927, 1934, 1938, 1956).
* On the other hand, The New England Patriots have also won three Super Bowl championships (XXXVI in 2001, XXXVIII in 2003, and XXXIX in 2004).

League office: 25.2%
AFC Champion: 17.5%
NFC Champion: 17.5%
Other 29 clubs: 34.8% (1.2% each)
Host team: 5 %

Cost of the Vince Lombardi Trophy: $25,000
Maker of the Vince Lombardi Trophy : Tiffany & Co. of New York

Cost of Super Bowl Rings: The NFL pays for up to 150 rings at $5,000 per ring (plus adjustments for increases in gold and diamonds). The league also pays for 150 pieces of jewelry for the losing team which may not cost more than one-half the price set for the Super Bowl ring.

Super Bowl ads and Social Media

It’s funny, I tell people all the time that I think websites are dying. I say the internet will live on but websites as we know them are dying. As we view more and more from our smartphones and tablets we will depend less on the browser. This becomes clearly evident this weekend with the Super Bowl. That’s not to say that we will never go to websites or that there isn’t a strategy for websites, but we will rely much less on websites and lean heavier on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social channels. Sorry, its just the facts.

Will you go online during the Super Bowl to follow what people are saying about the game? In the age of Twitter and Facebook, many Super Bowl viewers will be. This year, advertisers want them to tweet about their favorite commercials as well. You will find lots of real-time voting tools and APPS that will allow you to engage with the Super Bowl. To become part of the event and to share your thoughts with 100’s of millions of people around the world. I, as a Giants fan, will not be, but many of you will.

At over $3 million per spot, global brands from #Coca-Cola to #Volkwagen are looking to leverage social media to extend the buzz and reach of their ads.

It is my belief that the social media conversation has put more value on a Super Bowl ad, fans will be discussing ads on Twitter and Facebook and then go to YouTube to watch it on demand over and over again. That is the power of social media. The creation of a digital asset will live on forever and talked about for years to come.

NFL games are so valuable to advertisers that the league increased its rates to the Superbowl content and will bring in about $6 billion a year from Walt Disney Co’s ESPN, broadcast networks and satellite TV provider DirecTV for rights to air games and sell the advertising time.

The average price of Super Bowl ads have risen more than 50 percent in the last 10 years, defying economic downturns and secular industry issues. NBC sold out all 70 spots around this year’s game shortly after Thanksgiving weekend in November and reached a new high with one slot selling for around $4 million.

The game, could easily generate over a quarter of a billion dollars in ad sales.

Consumer research forecasts that 60 percent of fans watching the Super Bowl will also be tied into a second screen such as a smartphone or tablet.


#Anheuser-Busch, which typically buys exclusivity as the only beer advertiser during recent Super Bowls, is again the biggest spender.

Not unlike past Super Bowls, #Coca Cola Co and #PepsiCo Inc will face-off. Both beverage makers have come up with campaigns that attempt to leverage social media after their commercials air.

#Coca-Cola’s TV commercials, which will air during the first-and second-quarter breaks, will center around its computer-generated Arctic polar bears watching the game. The bears will then be brought to life on Twitter, Facebook and on a dedicated Website doing such things as responding to fans and commenting on the game. They will even have their own Twitter hashtag –#GameDayPolarBears — for fans to follow.

Fans who catch #Pepsi’s commercial with “X Factor USA” winner Melanie Amaro performing the Otis Redding song “Respect” will be able to download a free video of the performance by using the Shazam app on their phones to capture audio from the commercial.

There are also partnerships with online radio service Pandora Media Inc and social TV specialist GetGlue centered around the game and other free content.


The biggest spender by category is the autos industry, which made a big comeback last year and was noted for one of the most memorable spots — #Volkswagen AG’s ad with a young child dressed in a Darth Vader outfit believing he can control the Passat car’s lights.

This year, #Volkswagen’s #Audi is hoping to win more creative kudos with a spot that taps into the “Twilight” teen vampire pop culture phenomenon. The 60-second spot, which will air during the first break in the game, will highlight the new 2013 Audi S7 and its LED headlight technology, which has unfortunate consequences for a party of young vampires.

#Audi hopes to continue the conversation about the ad via the Twitter hashtag #SoLongVampires.

I have read that the auto makers are leading a trend toward long-form campaigns of 60 seconds or more, allowing high-end creative concepts to be fleshed out in the commercial’s narrative rather than just going for a quick gag and punchline.

#Chrysler, #Toyota, #Honda, #Hyundai, and other automakers will also be advertising during the game.

#GM mainstream #Chevy brand will run seven TV commercials before, during and after the game. It will also center its overall campaign heavily around Web-based partnerships with NBC, Twitter and Facebook.


With the conventional wisdom being that consumers are more likely to make a purchase if recommended by a friend or family member, chief marketing officers are keen to insert themselves in a Facebook or Twitter conversation about the products and services they sell.

Bluefin Labs, a start-up company that aggregates and analyzes TV viewer data and comments on Twitter and Facebook, has been hired by several advertising agencies with Super Bowl campaigns to help understand how football fans react to the commercials during the game.

While advertisers are eager to experiment with social media during a big event like the Super Bowl, there are still questions on how we measure its impact with a consistent, industry-accepted method. A tool like GetGlue, lets TV fans share their viewing experiences by ‘checking-in’ in exchange for online rewards. A pretty cool concept.

So have fun watching the Super Bowl and the commercials and watch how many of you are commenting on the game or commercials in real-time.

Go Giants!!!

Steve Rockman