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The business of the Super Bowl

Here are some things you might not know about the upcoming Super Bowl and some angles you can explore as a journalist.

Long-time sponsors stepping back

For the first time in a decade, Pepsi will not sponsor the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Instead, Apple took over that spot, signing a contract for the next five years. Pepsi had signed a 10-year contract in 2013 and when it expired last year, chose not to renew as the NFL was looking for more money for the sponsorship. The new deal with Apple is worth $50 million a year.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the company that owns brands like Budweiser and Michelob Ultra, has had an exclusive sponsorship deal, worth $250 million annually, to sponsor the Super Bowl since 1989. Their deal excludes competitors from running national commercials during the big game, however, competitors had always been able to run regional ads. As their chief marketing officer recently told CNN, “there was no true exclusivity.” Instead, the company has purchased only three minutes of national advertising slots this year.

New sponsors coming in include Diageo as the official hard alcohol sponsor (brands include Crown Royal, Ketel One, and Casamigos among many others) and E. & J. Gallo Winery as the official wine sponsor.

Sports betting

We’ve talked about sports betting quite a bit in previous tips, and the Super Bowl is certainly expecting a large turnout of betters all around the country. In addition to standard bets about who will win the game, what the spread will be, player performances, and who will be selected as Super Bowl MVP, there are also some novelty bets like what color of Gatorade will be poured on the winning head coach, whether the Super Bowl MVP will thank God, his teammates, or his family first, and if the coin toss will be heads or tails.

Local impact

This is the second time the Super Bowl has been held in Glendale, Arizona in the last decade and the city and local businesses are prepared for the fans. Here are some ways the Super Bowl touches the local economy and community.

  • Business Connect – This program has been focused on diversifying vendors and suppliers for the game. Check out some of the local businesses with contracts this year. These businesses include florists, equipment rental, tents, security, and waste removal.
  • Charitable giving – The Super Bowl Legacy Grant Program is awarding over $2 million in grants to various Arizona non-profits. Check out some of the organizations that have been awarded grants here.
  • Pre-game Events – The actual game isn’t the only event the Host Committee has put together for the Super Bowl. Local events in the Phoenix area begin February 4 with a Super Bowl Experience at the Phoenix Convention Center. Additional events include a music festival, a charity fashion show, and various parties for fans throughout the Phoenix area. Check out all the events here.
  • Short-term rentals – Near the stadium, some short-term rental sites are averaging nearly $1,800 a day during Super Bowl week, but not all locals are happy to have short-term rentals in their neighborhood. Scottsdale, a nearby city that hosts the annual U.S. Open Tournament on the same weekend is requiring short-term rentals to apply for an operating license in order to limit the number of short-term rentals this year. The last time Arizona hosted the Super Bowl in 2015, Scottsdale saw 500,000 people visit their city for the combined Super Bowl and U.S. Open weekend.


  • Julianne Culey

    Julianne is the Assistant Director of the Reynolds Center with expertise in marketing and communications and holds a master's in Sociology from Arizona State University.

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