SBD/Issue 56/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Fox About 70% Sold For Super Bowl At Around $2M A Pop

Fox has sold 70% of its commercial time for its broadcast of the February 3 Super Bowl, "about even with CBS's pace for last year's game," and Fox President of Sales Jon Nesvig said that the net has sold "about a quarter of its available ad time since" September 11, according to Rick Westhead of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Nesvig would not disclose what Fox was charging for its 58 Super Bowl ad units, saying only the net is "getting what CBS got last year," reportedly around $2M for a 30-second spot. Nesvig said that Fox "expects to sell more than" $200M in ads for 9 1/2 hours of Super Bowl Sunday programming, which would include about $150M at its flagship TV net and $50M at 22 local stations around the U.S. Nesvig added that "traditional Super Bowl advertisers" such as A-B, which is buying a "game-high 10 advertising spots, account for most of the network's sales." PepsiCo, Levi Strauss and Pizza Hut have also bought units (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 11/30). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Flint & Vranica write that "advertisers willing to hold out a little longer may be able to score some bargains" on the Super Bowl. But "some of the most visible sponsors of recent Super Bowl games" — Cingular Wireless, EDS and VW — are "taking a pass." Also, many advertisers are "putting their money on the Winter Olympics." Fox is planning "only 3 1/2 hours of pregame fare — because the ad market is too soft to support a longer show" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/3). USA TODAY's Michael McCarthy cites media buyers as saying that Fox is selling spots in the $2M range. Meanwhile, financial services companies are "still on the sidelines," and the number of dot-com advertisers "may be zero this time," as "may be in for a fourth year, but only if it gets a discount to about" $1.5M (USA TODAY, 12/3).

U2 Will Play Live At Super Bowl

LUXURIOUS: In this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Terry Lefton cites sources as saying that GM's Cadillac has signed a three-year NFL sponsorship worth more than $10M, making the brand the official car and passenger truck of the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl. The deal includes a $2M annual rights fee, "and the NFL also will get to use hundreds of cars at the two events." Cadillac gets Super Bowl and Pro Bowl tickets under the deal (SBJ, 12/3 issue).

BONO-FIDE: U2 will perform live during the E-Trade Super Bowl halftime show (NFL).

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