SBD/December 4, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Fox Sells Out Of Super Bowl XLVIII Inventory More Than Two Months Prior To Game

Fox Sports sold its final Super Bowl commercial before Thanksgiving, and the network is announcing that it has no more spots left to sell more than eight weeks before the game. CBS Sports last year announced that it sold out the game in January. Sources said advertisers this year paid between upwards of $4M per 30-second spot during the game, with some of the late spots going for $4.5M. Fox Sports Media Group Exec VP/Sales Neal Mulcahy said that Fox still has time to sell during its pre- and postgame shows, which are 50-75% sold. Mulcahy, who has sold seven Super Bowls during his 25-year career at the net, said advertisers have become convinced that the Super Bowl provides a good return on investment, even at the high rates being offered. "Having the game in New York -- as big as a spectacle as it's going to be -- drove it to be sold out this early," he said. Mulcahy would not list specific advertisers who bought time, but did say the roster is made up of "lots of the same people who have been there over the last few years." Movie studios are the only sector that has seen some dropoff, but that quickly was made up by the auto sector, Mulcahy said. Electronics and packaged goods are the other big categories. Mulcahy blamed the movie studio drop on the timing of movie releases this year. Fox sold spots to 43 advertisers during the game. They bought spots ranging from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. This year's sales effort was complemented by an increased digital presence in addition to FS1, which will kick off the Super Bowl week telecasts with a show from a Times Square set on the morning of Monday, Jan. 27.

LIVESTREAMS EXPECTED TO DOUBLE: Fox this year will livestream the game to unauthenticated users from FoxSports.com and expects to double the number of live video streams from the 10 million CBS had the previous year. The Super Bowl would become Fox' biggest livestreaming event. "Historically, CBS doubled the number of livestreams from the year before," said Fox Sports Senior VP/Digital Ad Sales Marla Newman. "We believe the same growth will take place." Fox execs would not say how many traditional in-game TV advertisers bought digital spots in the livestream, saying only that the livestream would have "many" of the same advertisers. Mulcahy said Fox started selling the Super Bowl in earnest at its upfront presentation in May. He added Fox currently is negotiating a title sponsor for its Red Carpet event outside the stadium on Super Bowl Sunday. Mulcahy said, "The usual suspects bought the same half hours and hours."
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