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Superbowl, Sports and Social Media Marketing

How can sports marketers leverage social media for to support their electronic media campaigns?As an American, now Aussiefied after spending more than half of my life here, I am still amazed at the growth and excitement of not only America’s biggest sporting event of the year, the Superbowl, but the buzz and anticipation around the ads that will appear throughout the broadcast.

The broadcast typically ranks very highly in the Nielsen ratings, as stated by representatives at Nielsen, reaching more than 90 million viewers. Prices for advertising space can typically cost millions of dollars for a 30 second ad.

The high price tag of the commercials, and the ubiquity of the event in which they air, all but promises that they will be spectacular and innovative in most cases.

This year the emerging trend of crowdsourcing has gained even more momentum in the excitement and lead up to big event due to air Sunday, 3rd February (Monday, 4th February for Australia).  The American social media experts are calling the event the ‘Crowdsourcing Bowl’ whereby advertisers have reached out to the public via social media for help with their ads.

“If you have an emotional attachment to a commercial, you’re more likely to sit through it,” says Jason Therrien, president of Thunder Tech, a social-media marketing agency. Consumers who vote on — much less create — Super Bowl ads are more likely to have that attachment, he says. “This is a shtick to create more fodder before the game, and get more out of the huge investment.”

Therrien sites some examples of how top brands leverage the popularity of the game coupled with the hype and virality of social media with the examples below.

Pepsi – You can be in the halftime show. Pepsi has asked fans to submit photos for a video to air on CBS prior to Beyonce taking the stage at halftime and has received more than 80,000. There even will be a crowdsourced halftime show, with 50 winning fans on the field with Beyonce. “We know that Pepsi fans prefer to live their lives as participants, not just observers,” says Angelique Krembs, vice president of marketing.

Pizza Hut – You can star in a Game Day TV spot. Pizza Hut has asked fans to upload football-themed video of themselves saying the words every quarterback utters at the start of each play, “Hut. Hut. Hut.” Sure, getting quality content can be difficult, says spokesman Doug Terfehr. But, he notes, it’s a platform created to “engage with our fans in a deeper way.”

Doritos – Your ad can air. For the seventh year, Doritos will air consumer- created Super Bowl ads. Two will air, in the game based on online consumer votes on the five finalists in its “Crash the Super Bowl” contest. “Crowdsourcing is always a little bit of a gamble,” says Ram Krishnan, vice president of marketing at Frito-Lay. “But you’re giving up control to fans who know your brand best.”

Australia can also be very innovative with both the Rugby codes and Australian Rules grand finals hosting some great half time talent and iconic advertisers.  What will be in store for advertisers, crowsourcers and Aussie fans for 2013?

Oh, and ps, my team the San Francisco 49ers are in the Superbowl, GO NINERS!!!!!!!!!


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