Super Bowl XLIX: One of the Most Costly Games

infographicBetween advertisements, team salaries, and the halftime show, it should be no surprise that the Super Bowl XLIX was one of the most financially invested Super Bowls of all time.

It also should come as no surprise that it was the most watched television event in US history. Was it Tom Brady’s good looks, the fact we could see Marshawn Lynch diss every major journalist in the country, or was it because of deflategate? Whatever the reason, the Super Bowl was watched by 114 million viewers which beat the previous year’s record of 112.2 million set by the Seahawks and Broncos. NBC Sports reported that Super Bowl XLIX’s 49.7 rating also exceeded any previous matchups.

With such high viewership numbers, the Super Bowl is considered the honey hole for those in marketing. It is estimated that half of the Super Bowl’s viewers tune into the event simply to see amusing advertisements, however, this year provided very grim commercials.

“I definitely expected the commercials to be funnier since they always have a such a high expectation for everyone to be excited about since the Super Bowl is such a highly watched and publicized even,” said Ashley Sandler, a senior communication major.

Forbes reported that on average, a Super Bowl commercial costs $1 million to produce while this year’s Super Bowl commercials were booked at $4.5 million for a 30 second spot. This surpasses last year’s 30-second cost of $4 million.

The high note of the commercials was, of course, Budweiser’s Clydesdale-Puppy. In brief, a puppy gets lost and finds its way back to its adopted family of Clydesdale horses. What most don’t know is Don Jeanes, the featured actor, made his third consecutive appearance in these Budweiser Super Bowl ads. The 34-year-old actor from Texas has appeared in ‘Brotherhood,’ ‘Puppy Love,’ and now ‘Lost Dog.’

“I think the company using the same actor gave the commercial a more personal touch because the audience has formed an emotional bond with this guy, his puppy, and his horses over the years,” Becca Zidik, a senior communication major, said. “The Budweiser Super Bowl commercial was and has always been my favorite. I personally like these commercials because of the horses but adding the puppy makes the commercial even more emotional.”

If you thought the commercial cost was high, brace yourself for the halftime production cost. 

Associate Professor Aaron Furgason described the half-time spectacle as pop-licious. “No seriously, it was what one would expect for such a large event over-the-top production, with a flying star that was very similar to the network’s star and good old-fashion pop lip syncing,” said Furgason. “I thought the guest appearances were split evenly. Long live Missy Elliot, not sure why Lenny Kravitz was there but to serve as a buffer for a costume change.”

Much like Katy Perry’s predecessors (Bruno Mars, Beyonce), she was not paid for her performance and the National Football League agreed to pick up her production tab. While the NFL has yet to disclose the exact number, the Toronto Star reported Perry had “a multi-million dollar budget larger than the GDP of some countries.”

The most staggering cost of all comes from the teams themselves. According to Time, the New England Patriots were awarded a $97,000 bonus per player for their win while the Seattle Seahawks squad each received $49,000 for almost winning, but not quite.

If that was not enough, the NFL distributes $5,000 per ring for those who participated in the game. However, since these rings are so rare, and depending on whom they belong to, their value greatly increases. For example, ESPN reported that Terrell Owens’ 2004 NFC Championship, not even a Super Bowl ring, sold for $48,200 in an online auction in 2005.

Of course those who decided to purchase a single ticket for thousands of dollars were able to see all this talent in person. StubHub and NFL Ticket Exchange reported that the average price for a ticket sold on its website was $4,600 while NFL Ticket Exchange said its average was $4,131. The face value of these tickets before they were resold was between $800 and $1,900.

Although ticket prices were high, Matt Cox, a junior communication major, believes the prices were not out of line. “In my opinion for the type of event, the Super Bowl is, the pricing is completely fair.”

Perhaps the highest cost of the game was Pete Carroll’s final play call. Sorry Carroll, but that may have cost you your job.