SEO, Social Media & the Super Bowl

by Jeff Quipp January 21st, 2008 

It's that time of year again when everyone is talking about football. I don't know about you but at one point in my life, the lead up to the big game had me focused on nothing but. While life's priorities have lessened my interest in football, I still find myself watching the big game and it appears I'm not the only fair weather fan.

Last year, CBS aired the game before an astonishing 93.2 million viewers. Thirty-second spots cost as much as $2.6 million. Fox has the game this year and is asking everyone, except, for upwards of $3 million for a thirty second spot.

What's most surprising to me is the variety of advertisers lined up this year. You've got the ubiquitous brands; Budweiser, Pepsi and Kraft represented, but then you also have the internet economy with, and Yes it's true that's ad is "not approved", however I'm sure Fox will find a way to cash the cheque in time for the broadcast. At least Bob Parson is having a blast and generating buzz by blogging about how unfair it all is.

While there are many reasons why you don't see similar numbers and scope of advertisers for other sports finals, one thing is very apparent; whether you're a small business with a tiny budget or not, you can learn from the NFL's internet marketing strategies! They've recently employed the same marketing basics and strategic rules we speak to everyday.

SEO Super Bowl MySpace

Below are the top 5 Search Engine Marketing lessons the NFL implemented:

Optimize your Content: was recently redesigned to include video, audio and a searchable photo gallery

Integrated Marketing Strategy: is the home for their TV Network and magazine

Engage your Visitors: Added fantasy football, weekly rankings, editorial and analysis

Develop a Social Media Strategy: NFL have an official Super Bowl Ads page on Myspace:

Embrace new Techniques/Technologies: uses RSS feeds, blogs for each team, mobile & video marketing and just launched a customizable widget to place on your own profile or blog!

While the NFL may have started as the perfect sport for guys quaffing a few beers on Sunday afternoons, the League's marketing team never rested on their laurels. They focused on improving their brand by reaching out to new demographics, and the web has been an integral part of this strategy.

This is the key reason they added a web platform that will combine on-demand viewing of the Super Bowl commercials after the big game with interactive extensions on MySpace. TV will deliver millions of eyeballs to add to the estimated 30 million who will turn to the Web to find out more about Super Bowl advertisers after the game. Perhaps there's a lesson in here for all.

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7 Responses to “SEO, Social Media & the Super Bowl”

  1. I think it is a shame sport over the pond is so saturated in commercialism and advertising. I think this is epitomised by Pele's first goal while playing in the US was not aired because they play adverts during the game. In the UK, the only sport there is adverts on during play is cricket and they are only very quick bursts.

  2. I don't know what its like in Canada. My expirience of being in America is that TV programs are nearly twice as long as in the UK because there is so many adverts.

  3. Tom Tsinas says:

    @ Dave, this is why I've become a massive soccer..err…football fan. 2 – 2 1/2 hours max, no commercials and I'm on with my day.

    Go Man. U! :-)

  4. Dani says:

    David, I agree it's a shame how commercialized sports have become in the US, but I think in the case of the Super Bowl many people would argue that it just wouldn't be the same without the extravagant, funny and creative ads.
    That being said, yes I also a much bigger football than American football fan – and time is definitely a big issue.
    Tom, if you are one of the many who is searching around the web to review some of the better ads out there this year you Firebrand's made it easy ( We're going to have all the ads available for downloading on Monday and we're running a vote for the best commercial as well. We've created a social media news release page for bloggers such as yourself who have shown interest in the SB commercials this year. It is available here:
    Thanks for your time!

  5. […] unas alternativas más económica). No obstante, la idea tras todo esto es crear rumor. De hecho la propia NFL, ha tomado cartas en el asunto tras la experiencia del año pasado, con el auge de los anuncios realizados por los internautas, e […]

  6. […] unas alternativas más económica). No obstante, la idea tras todo esto es crear rumor. De hecho la propia NFL, ha tomado cartas en el asunto tras la experiencia del año pasado, con el auge de los anuncios realizados por los internautas, e […]

  7. Miguel C. says:

    We just posted our 4th annual study of how well super bowl advertisers integrated online and offline advertising – we'll be writing more about this on our blog, but the preliminary findings are already up on our site: Super Bowl XLII Scorecard.