"Stick to sports" is a ridiculous misnomer that evokes a concept which could never exist in real life, but in recent years the idea is, fortunately, going away. Standing, with your hat removed and your right hand over your heart for the national anthem is strongly political act in and of itself.
This year's Super Bowl, even with the recent issue of protests staged during the Star Spangled Banner in the long past, will still have plenty of political imagery and messages from political figures. So get ready, as Super Bowl 54 arrives on Sunday.
A 30 second advertisement this Super Bowl will cost a record $5.6 million, with both Democratic Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg and incumbent Donald J. Trump among those who purchased air time. Not to mention the in game activity of Twitter account @realdonaldtrump which has even inspired prop betting this year. The Super Bowl odds at TopBet set the over/under of Trump tweets, from kickoff to the last play at one and a half.
That seems rather modest, okay, it seems egregiously low, considering how Trump, just this past Wednesday, broke his own record by sending out a whopping 131 tweets and retweets in a single day. Given how active his Twitter account his, and how consistently the mainstream media obsesses about each and every single on of his Twitter posting, Trump is wasting his money on a Super Bowl ad.
Brands are spending north of five and a half million in order to enhance awareness of who they are and what they do. We're all well aware, actually too aware, painfully so, of who Trump is.
It's Bloomberg who will be seeing better return on investment in the big budget big game ad buy, as people have already made their minds up about Trump. Doug Gould, an ad wizard who won two awards for Super Bowl spots he made for Budweiser, agrees.
“I don't think this will make a difference for him,” Gould is quoted by The Sports Bank in reference to the $10 million the Trump campaign spent on a 60 second spot.
“It's valuable to Bloomberg because he still doesn't have enough name recognition,” Gould said of the former New York City Mayor.
"He's running at the back of pack, and this will help him get in good position for the primaries in February. The timing of it is super important.”
Gould also agrees that while Presidential campaign spending is new to the Super Bowl, politics intertwining with huge sporting events is anything but new.
“I don't remember seeing politicians advertise nationally at the Super Bowl before," added Gould, a two time Emmy nominee and Professor at Boston University.
“Politics has been injected into sport in the past – if you go back to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, and then the 1980 games in Moscow – so I guess it was just a matter of time until it found its way into the Super Bowl.”
In other words, the old cliche about trying to avoid family political discussion at Thanksgiving dinner- looks like you'll have to assess that factor on Super Bowl 54 Sunday as well.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry," regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the "Let's Get Weird, Sports" podcast on SB Nation.
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