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 godaddy.com, 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 cars.com, careerbuilder.com and salesgenie.com. Yes it's true that godaddy.com'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.
Below are the top 5 Search Engine Marketing lessons the NFL implemented:
Optimize your Content: NFL.com was recently redesigned to include video, audio and a searchable photo gallery
Integrated Marketing Strategy: NFL.com 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: http://www.myspace.com/superbowlads
Embrace new Techniques/Technologies: NFL.com 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.