The Business & Pleasure of Sports

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FedEx’s big bowl exposure

After 12 straight years of advertising during the Super Bowl – and a presence in 18 Super Bowls since 1989 – FedEx is bowing out of the 2009 game. At an average price of $3 million for a 30-second spot, lots of companies are making difficult choices about television’s most expensive advertising. Read FedEx Director of Advertising Steve Pacheco’s reasoning here.

But FedEx is likely to get plenty of exposure during the next week, with its name attached to the 75th annual Orange Bowl game tomorrow night and the BCS National Championship game a week later on Jan. 8.

When the BCS added a fifth bowl game to the mix three years ago, not only did the national championship host location get an extra bowl game, the title sponsors did, too. The eight-figure four-year agreement with Fox to broadcast the BCS games includes a number of ads for the title sponsors during the games and promotion during other Fox broadcasts and in print and radio advertising. FedEx is also the “official overnight delivery service of the BCS.”

Eric Wright, vice president of research and development for Joyce Julius, which measures sponsor exposure, says the title sponsor earns more mentions during the non-championship bowl game, but the value from the national championship game is higher.

“It looks like the sponsor grabs slightly more onscreen time and mentions in their traditional bowl than the championship game, but the ad rates being what they are [in the national championship game] were higher,” Wright said.

For example, Allstate received 61 mentions and two hours and 42 minutes of screen time during this year’s Allstate Sugar Bowl for a total value of $172.4 million, when measured against ad rates during the game. The insurance company got just 50 mentions and one hour and 53 minutes of screen time during the BCS National Championship game, but that time was valued at $231.1 million, Joyce Julius reported.

By contrast, the title sponsors FedEx for the Orange and Tostitos for the Fiesta and presenting sponsor Citi for the Rose Bowl, received less value from their exposure, even if there were more mentions or screen time. Joyce Julius figures show FedEx received 48 mentions and an hour and 49 minutes of screen time for a value of $117.3 million. Tostitos got 61 mentions and two hours and 12 minutes of screen time for a value of $142.3 million. And Citi got 29 mentions and an hour and 42 minutes of airtime for a value of $107.4 million.

The trend was similar in 2007, the first year the fifth game was added to the BCS rotation. Tostitos got 86 mentions and two hours 10 minutes of airtime for a value of $101.2 million for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. For the BCS National Championship game, the company got 36 mentions and an hour and 50 minutes of airtime for a value of $175.3 million.

Meanwhile, Fedex received 66 mentions and one hour and 55 minutes of airtime for a value of $88.6 million; Allstate received 56 mentions, an hour and 58 minutes of screen time for a value of $89.6 million; and Citi got 26 mentions and just 16 minutes of air time for a value of $26.6 million from the Rose Bowl.

Categories: Advertising (79), Orange Bowl (45), Sponsorship (101), Super Bowl (53), Television (35)

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About the author
CRAIG DAVIS In more than 33 years at the Sun Sentinel, Craig Davis has written about a wide variety of sports topics from baseball to yachting, fishing to triathlons, and also worked as a copy editor and page designer. Recently he reported on local sports, including running, swimming, cycling, equestrian and beach volleyball. He enjoys sports as a participant as well as a spectator, is active in the South Florida running scene plays in the curling club at Saveology Iceplex. This blog offers a glimpse at the business side of sports in the interest of enhancing enjoyment of the games and sporting options as a spectator as well as a participant.
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