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Are Superbowl Ad Sales Untouchable During The Economic Crisis?

Comments  /  Amy Wisner

The 2009 Superbowl set to air Feb. 1st seems to be holding up fine during these tough economic times. The actual game will run 67 commercials priced by NBC at $3 million each. This is an increase from 2008 where FOX charged $2.7 million. And right now NBC is 90% sold out. The question remains if they can sell the remaining inventory in these last few weeks.

Tactics will be used to ensure a sell out such as offering discounts to advertisers who already booked spots and also packaging up pre and post game spots with the $3 million price tag. Traditional Superbowl advertisers such as FedEx and GM have pulled out this year due to drastic cuts in advertising spending forcing NBC to look for new companies to expand into the Superbowl advertising arena. One example just announced today is Teleflora which will run its first ever Superbowl spot reminding male viewers that Valentine’s day is just around the corner.

NBC had sold most of these units before the economic slump really hit and was actually at the 85% mark by September 2008. So the question remains if the Superbowl is REALLY immune to the economic recession? The answer in my opinion will not truly be revealed until the 2010 game.