Super Bowl 2017 Advertising: Long Live Livestream

Editor’s Note:  This is the fourth in a five-part series where we discuss the brand stories tied to participation in big event marketing.  Click here to read Part I ,  Part II or Part III.

By Brian Cristiano, Founder & CEO, BOLD Worldwide

Sporting events used to always follow a linear broadcasting structure: one network would purchase the rights to broadcast the event, along with exclusive materials, to its audience — with pre-selected, exclusive advertisers. Livestreaming has completely changed the playing field for broadcasters and brands looking to get in front of targeted fans. Now anyone can produce content, and the experience of watching a sporting event is no longer universal — it’s particular to each person experiencing different content on different platforms.

(Image Source: Twitter)

(Image Source: Twitter)

No longer bound by traditional television contracts, livestreaming has opened up a world of options to digital sports marketers around the globe. These companies have found new ways to insert themselves into the conversation surrounding sporting events, and, as a result, have increased brand exposure. Based on what we’ve seen as a result, what actually makes sense for the Super Bowl? Here are a few livestreaming strategies to consider for the biggest football event of the year.

A major new content platform on the scene since last year’s Super Bowl, livestreaming has now extended beyond the game itself. For the first time in history, Fox is offering livestream-only ads for $700k, and brands are taking notice. But for an event so driven by broadcast viewers, is it worth it to invest even that much money in live-stream only ads? Short answer: no. Unless brands are considering combining a livestream spot with a traditional broadcast spot, it’s not worth the money. These livestream-only ads will benefit companies looking to beef up exposure for a 30-second broadcast spot, but will fall flat if the message lives on livestream alone.

Online streaming is continuing to become more and more relevant, and on any day outside of Super Bowl Sunday, I would value livestream more than television, but as I’ve said before, the Super Bowl is the exception to the new rule. This is one of the few times that broadcast has the advantage over digital and livestreaming. But for smaller brands who may not be able to also buy a broadcast spot at $5 million, this isn’t the way to go.

Snickers is cashing in on this opportunity with a 36-hour livestream on leading up to the first live commercial to ever air during the Super Bowl. The 30-second spot will feature rising actor Adam Driver and will kick off the third quarter of the game. The brand released four 30-second teaser spots for the live commercial, which have generated positive buzz leading up to the live air date. For a commercial that still has yet to air, Snickers has pretty much already nailed it.

An important thing to remember in the world of livestream is that quality still matters. Just because the content is being aired and consumed in real time doesn’t mean that viewers are lowering their standards. It’s crucial to maintain a high level of quality for livestreamed content – after all, it’s still your brand’s reputation on the line.


About the Author: Sports fan, marketing expert, entrepreneur, competitive cyclist, husband, rescue dog dad. As Founder and CEO of BOLD Worldwide, Brian Cristiano helps sports brands like Polar, R&A Cycles, the New York Mets, Pepsico, and Feetures find their voice in a notoriously crowded space. Brian is exhilarated by the constantly evolving sports marketing scene and pours that enthusiasm into each episode of his daily podcast, the Sports Marketing Huddle, a show for the forward-looking sports marketing pro. He has a deep understanding of how social, video, emerging technology, and live activations contribute to sports, fitness, and lifestyle brands. This knowledge and awareness enable the team at BOLD deliver innovative results for clients, while Brian’s passion for sports marketing drives him and his team to consistently create cutting-edge content light years ahead of competition.