Freeman Cebu Sports

Mixing entertainment, sports and commercialism

FEEL THE GAME - Bobby Motus - The Freeman

After winning their respective conference titles, Super Bowl LVIII had the San Francisco 49’ers and the Kansas City Chiefs squaring off for the second time in four years for the 2024 NFL championship.

Dubbed by some US media outlets as Showdown in Sin City, the Chiefs, with Taylor Swift as their lucky charm, retained the Vince Lombardi trophy in an overtime win early last Monday morning (PH time) at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.  Fans paid between $7,000 to as much as $90,000 to watch the Chiefs get their third Super Bowl title in five years and fourth overall.

CBS Television Network broadcasted the game on its multiple media platforms (CBS Sports, Paramount+, Univision and Nickelodeon) and recorded more than 123 million viewers, up by 7 percent from last year’s Super Bowl viewership.  Yes, and saving at least $7,000 by just watching commercials interrupted by a game on TV.

Each 30-second Super Bowl commercial reportedly costs $7 million for airtime alone and stars on it were paid at least $5 million.  Millions more were spent on production, but companies don’t hesitate on Super Bowl prime time ads as evidenced by more than a hundred million viewers.  59 companies showed their best, and bad, commercials for this year’s Super Bowl.

There’s beer brand Michelob Ultra ad starring Leo Messi showing his skills on the beach and then kicking the ball to NFL legend Dan Marino on a yacht.  There was the amusing Dunkin’ Donuts ad showing Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Tom Brady in Dunkin’ track suits appearing as a band and gate crashing at Jennifer Lopez’s recording studio for an audition.

Then came Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito also in an amusing State Farm ad.  Jason Momoa showed his dance moves in a T-Mobile ad.  Uber Eats had Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer.  For BMW, there’s Christopher Walken and Usher.  I don’t think these ads will land on our shores, but we can all find them on YouTube.

And talking about the R&B star Usher, who just released his ninth album, “Coming Home”, headlined the halftime show.  It’s surprising the NFL doesn’t pay the performers, but they take care of all the production cost and glitz.  Stars readily perform during the halftime show knowing that it is viewed by a widespread audience and is the perfect way to introduce or reintroduce them, and in Usher’s case, promote his new album.

It was Taylor Swift’s TV special disguised as a Super Bowl, comedy skits also known as commercials and a lavish halftime entertainment number, where, as per estimates, about one fourth of the entire viewership are just tuning in for the halftime show.

Like three reunited siblings, this is a perfect mix of entertainment, pro sports and commercialism.

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