When you look at the revenue of professional sports leagues across the globe, America’s National Football League (NFL) sits at the very top by a good margin. It should come as no surprise then, that the most profitable pro athletic association in the world generates an enormous amount of money with their annual championship game. So it makes sense that with a few simple Super Bowl marketing ideas, you could score part of that monetary prize.
4 winning Super Bowl marketing ideas
The Super Bowl is an enormous event for businesses — from mom-and-pop shops to mega brands and everything in-between. But as the owner of an eCommerce store, how do you tap into some of that profit without spending exorbitant amounts of money on televised Super Bowl ads?
Thankfully, there are ways to do get in on the action without breaking the bank, including:
Start building “big game” marketing hype early.
Use the party vibe to your advantage.
During the game, focus on mobile PPC.
Dive into real-time marketing.
Here are four actionable strategies for using the excitement surrounding the big game to boost your revenue (and maybe even attract a bit of publicity in the process).
Editor’s note: Prior to pushing any sort of advertisement hard, though, make sure you know what is and isn’t legally permitted by the NFL. For example, the words “Super Bowl,” the iconic NFL shield and NFL team names are trademarked and closely monitored by high-powered corporate attorneys. It’s in your best interest to creatively avoid direct mentions of the “Super Bowl,” and embrace acceptable synonyms like “the Big Game” instead, particularly when you are selling something.
1. Start building “big game” marketing hype early
While the Super Bowl might still be on the horizon, that doesn’t mean it’s too soon to start establishing your business’s connection to it. If you want to have a “super” sale, get the word out early. Consumers will be inundated with Super Bowl-related advertising the week leading up to the big game, so it’ll be easier to get your voice heard if you begin before everyone else.
Example No. 1: PepsiCo
In 2018, PepsiCo started teasing consumers with their upcoming Super Bowl advertisement weeks before the actual event. By the time the game rolled around people were actually excited to see their commercial. As a result, consumers had Pepsi products on the mind as they did their gameday shopping.
While you probably can’t afford to hire Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman to create buzz around your product, you can get a head start on the competition.
How does your product tie into the realm of football? Even if it doesn’t, how can you make it tie in?
Example No. 2: Gardiner Furniture
If you’re not in the food or beverage industry, consider linking a promotion that’s specific to results from the actual game.
People love betting on the Super Bowl (we’re talking billions of dollars) and by offering customers a chance to win something, you strongly encourage them to patronize your eCommerce store.
Gardiner, a furniture store in Baltimore, did just this. Gardiner offered to fully reimburse customers who made purchases at their establishment the week before the Super Bowl if the Ravens scored a touchdown on a kickoff return. For non-football fans: The odds were in favor of the merchant not losing any money.
Well, Jacoby Jones of the Baltimore Ravens made it happen, and his 108-yard romp into the end zone cost Gardiner a cool $600,000 worth of merchandise.
However, it gained the store significant publicity, brought people into the store who would have never otherwise visited, and an insurance company even ended up fronting most of the cost! Not a bad move, Gardiner.
2. Use the party vibe to your advantage
For some avid fans, Super Bowl Sunday means sweaty palms, anxious commercial breaks and moments of extreme tension as their team marches down the field with less than a minute left on the clock. However, for most people, the arrival of the Super Bowl signifies that it’s time to party.
If you’re able to draw from this frenetic energy, you’ll be in a much better position to capture the attention of your target audience with your online advertisements.
To achieve this, try leveraging social media. For example, a cooking website named CopyKat gained significant publicity by hosting a Super Bowl recipe competition, and its success largely hinged on effectively tying their brand to the big game via social media.
If you’re not fully fluent in the various areas of social media yet, it’s time to enlighten yourself. The more platforms you embrace, the greater chance you’ll strike a chord somewhere with your consumers.
Editor’s note: If you don’t want to or don’t have time to work on your social media strategy, the experts at GoDaddy Social can help. They’ll take over and keep your social media platforms fresh with new content — bringing you more customers.
3. During the game, focus on mobile PPC
While millions of viewers will attentively be watching the actual game and even the commercials, millions of others will be swiping their phones. What better time than to channel energy into a mobile PPC (pay-per-click) campaign?
If you’re experienced with Google AdWords and already use it on a regular basis, consider cutting back on desktop ads during the event. The extra resources pumped into mobile advertising could pay quantifiable dividends if used effectively.
4. Dive into real-time marketing
Part of what makes the Super Bowl compelling today is that technology has essentially transformed it into an enormous communal experience.
So many people from around the world are tuned in to the same thing at once, that the potential for something buzzworthy happening is astronomical — most would say inevitable.
As someone knowledgeable about operating an online business, you’ll be in prime position to contribute to the dialogue that takes place before, during, and after the Super Bowl, all across the internet. Plus, everyone will have a take since you’ve all just absorbed the same spectacle.
Example No. 1: Oreo
Take Oreo, for example. Referencing the blackout during Super Bowl XLVII when they tweeted “Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.” during the delay. People loved it.
Power out? No problem. pic.twitter.com/dnQ7pOgC
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013
Your business likely doesn’t have quite the same following as Oreo, but don’t be surprised at how quickly tweets can spread if they get picked up by even a single person with a sizable number of followers.
Example No. 2: Brewers Association
Immediately following the Denver Broncos’ underdog victory in Super Bowl 50, quarterback Peyton Manning mentioned how he was looking forward to drinking a Budweiser (nice product placement, Anheuser Busch).
In response, the Brewers Association, which is comprised of independent craft breweries across the United States and is based in Colorado, sent Manning two cases of craft beer plus a nice letter explaining how independently brewed beverages seem like a better representative of what the Broncos stand for (as an underdog with character).
At the cost of only two cases of beer, the Brewers Association received a nice bit of publicity, thanks to effectively tapping into real-time Super Bowl marketing ideas.
Game plan: Begin early and experiment
Don’t get intimidated by marketing your wares during the Super Bowl. Just because the big guns like Coca-Cola and Anheuser Busch are going to make a splash with their mountains of advertising dollars doesn’t mean you can’t get a piece of the multi-billion-dollar pie.
Get creative with your Super Bowl marketing ideas, start early and diversify your strategy — explore real-time, social media, PPC marketing and more — and you’ll be in a great position to profit from the big game. Just remember to not call it the Super Bowl. “Superb Owl,” however, should do the trick.