Fanalytics Podcast: Super Bowl Advertisements

Goizueta Marketing Association’s Vice President of Career Services Nihar Thadani and Professor Mike Lewis do a live podcast on 2019 Super Bowl advertisements. They watch and analyze different advertisements to see what brands are trying to do.  For timing purposes, we have cut out the full version of advertisements being watched in the podcast.

Who are the winners and losers? Opinions are from Emory MBA students who answered a survey.

WINNERS:

  1. Stella Artois – Change Up The Usual
  2. Pepsi – More Than OK
  3. Bud Light – Game of Thrones

LOSERS:

  1. Mint Mobile – Chunky Style Milk
  2. Avocados From Mexico – Top Dog

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Fanalytics Podcast: Super Bowl History

Super Bowl LIII is right around the corner! With the big game being less than three weeks away, Mike and I wanted to talk about the history of the Super Bowl on this episode of the Fanalytics podcast. Talking about all 50+ Super Bowls would be a bit excessive so we picked the ones we felt were the most significant. Our goal was to see how much the Super Bowl has evolved and how it got to become the big sporting event it is today. Hope you enjoy!

Here’s some notes about the games we talked about.

1967 (AFL/NFL championship game):

  • The NFL champion Green Bay Packers defeated the AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs by 35–10
  • 51 million viewers – CBS and NBC two networks because it was the AFL/NFL championship game
  • Ticket pricing: $10 ($74.98 in 2018)
  • The halftime program was University of Arizona and Grambling State marching bands

1969 (Super Bowl 3):

  • First Super Bowl to be called by a number (Super Bowl III)
  • This championship proved the AFL was on par with the NFL for the very first time
  • New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath promised his team a victory – a guarantee that was obviously out of place, as the Colts were favored to win by as much as a 20-point margin
  • The Colts were unable to keep the game within one score, and the Jets took the title, 16-7
  • Ticket price: $12 ($83.15 in 2018)

1973 (Super Bowl 7):

  • Miami 14 – 7 Redskins
  • Miami was undefeated
  • Super Bowl ads did not become ‘famous’ until 1973 when Noxzema ran a commercial for their shaving cream featuring Joe Namath
  • Ticket price: $16 ($86.86 in 2018)
  • Halftime show: “Happiness Is.” with University of Michigan marching band and Woody Herman

1976 (Super Bowl 10):

  • Pittsburgh defeats Dallas 21-17
  • 1976 Up with People performs in Super Bowl X in Miami, FL for a live audience of 80,100 and 57.7 million TV viewers
  • Ticket price: $20 ($88.73 in 2018)

1984 (Super Bowl 18):

  • Raiders 38-9 Redskins
  • Apple MAC ad is a big deal
  • Halftime show: “Super Bowl XVIII’s Salute to the Superstars of the Silver Screen”
  • Ticket price: $60 ($145.24 in 2018)

1985 (Super Bowl 19):

  • Bears Super Bowl shuffle
  • Halftime show:”A World of Children’s Dreams”
  • Highlighted some trends in terms of the super bowl creating celebrities
  • Ticket price: $60 ($140 in 2018)

1991 (Super Bowl 25):

  • This Championship game had a lot of patriotic pride, as the U.S. was in the middle of the first Gulf War
  • The New York Giants were on their way to winning two Super Bowls in 5 years as they played the Buffalo Bills
  • New York had possession of the ball for a record 40 minutes and 33 seconds, with their longest drive clocking it at 9:29 in the third quarter before scoring on a one-yard run by running back Ottis Anderson
  • The Bills had one final chance to win the game on a field goal with seconds remaining, but the 47-yard attempt by Scott Norwood sailed wide, and the Giants sealed the victory, 20-19
  • Ticket price: $150 ($274.89 in 2018)
  • Halftime show: “A Small World Salute to 25 Years of the Super Bowl” featuring New Kids on the Block

1999 (Super Bowl 33):

  • Denver beat Atlanta 34-19
  • WASSUP Ad

2002 (Super Bowl 36):

  • With the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11 earlier in the season, it should only seem fitting that the New England Patriots would be competing in Super Bowl XXXVI. Though labeled as the underdogs
  • New England jumped to a 17-3 lead over the St. Louis Rams by the end of the second quarter. The game switched gears in the second half, as the Rams made up the points necessary to put the game at a 17-17 tie
  • On the final play of the game, Adam Vinatieri made a 48-yard field goal to give the Patriots the championship, 20-17. This game marked the first time a Super Bowl was decided on the points from the final play of the game
  • Ticket price: $400 ($554.94 in 2018)
  • Halftime show: U2

2004 (Super Bowl 38):

  • Super Bowl XXXVIII turned into a shootout in the fourth quarter, as the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers combined for a record 37 points in that period
  • When it was over, the New England Patriots came on top, 32-29, to win their second Super Bowl
  • The game was also noteworthy for its halftime show and the famous “wardrobe malfunction” when Janet Jackson’s breast was exposed by Justin Timberlake
  • Ticket price: $400 ($529.90 in 2018)

2015 (Super Bowl 49):

  • The hype leading up to Super bowl XLIX was some of the biggest of any game in the decade before it
  • The defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks and their Legion of Boom on defense would take on one of the greatest post season quarterbacks of all time in Tom Brady
  • Brady and the Patriots had lost their two previous Super Bowl appearances and were looking for redemption
  • A back and forth game saw the Patriots take the lead with just over 2 minutes remaining in the game. But Russell Wilson and company drove the ball the length of the field and had a 2nd and goal situation with 26 seconds remaining. The game looked all but won for the Seahawks, when Malcolm Butler stepped in front of a slant route, to intercept Wilson, and seal the Patriots 4th Super Bowl win
  • Ticket price: $1,750 ($1,839.07 in 2018)
  • Halftime show: Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott

2017 (Super Bowl 51):

  • Patriots 34, Falcons 28
  • It was the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history — the Patriots once trailed by 25 — led by Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback in NFL history, who threw for 466 yards. It gave Bill Belichick and Brady their fifth championship in seven trips, and it cemented the Patriots as one of the league’s top dynasties
  • Ticket price: $1,700 ($1,721.40 in 2018)
  • Halftime show: Lady Gaga

Sources:

ABC

TicketCity blog

History

 

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Fanalytics Podcast: 2018 NFL Playoff Fandom Preview

Before the 2018 NFL season ends, Mike Lewis and passionate sports fan Rhett Grametbauer give their general impressions of various teams’ fan bases. Grametbauer has visited every NFL stadium in the country so who better to ask than someone who has interacted with football fans across the country? What are Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, and Los Angeles Rams fans like?

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Fanalytics Podcast: A Visit To Every NFL Stadium

In this Fanalytics episode, sports enthusiast and author Rhett Grametbauer joins Mike Lewis to talk about his thrilling journey visiting every NFL stadium in 16 weeks. Grametbauer took his 1967 Volkswagen bus named Hail Mary to visit the 32 football teams. He wrote about his adventure in his book called “25,000 Miles to Glory.”

This episode delves into the incredible escapade, study of consumers, ethnography, childhood memories, and what makes a stadium special.

To learn more about Rhett Grametbauer: https://www.rhettgrametbauer.com/

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Fanalytics Podcast: Super Bowl Economic Impact

Ever wonder about the economic impact a Super Bowl has on a city? Super Bowl LIII is taking place in Atlanta. Emory University Finance Professor Tom Smith and Marketing Professor Mike Lewis talk about the cash flow going through the city when the big showdown happens. Does it matter who’s playing in the Super Bowl from Atlanta’s economic perspective? Where does all the spending money go? What are the long term impacts a Super Bowl has on a city?

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Fanalytics Podcast: Social Media Branding

In this episode of the Fanalytics podcast, I sit down with Brian Penter of the Harlem Globetrotters.  The Globetrotters are an iconic brand that is reinventing itself for a new generation of fans.  Older fans probably remember the Globetrotters from mass media outlets like ABC’s Wide World of Sports or Saturday morning episodes of Scooby-Doo.

In today’s era, the brand and team have needed to embrace the digital and social worlds.  Brian implements the Globetrotters brand strategy through YouTube based content and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

We talk about a variety of issues including:

  • How social media provides a connection point for the fan community
  • How the Globetrotters leverage the fandom of an older generation to target new customers
  • How the Globetrotters deal with the challenges of converting social media metrics to the bottom line
  • How social media is used to communicate the Globetrotters brand

Brian was a great guest with lots of insights.  Social is a challenge for all teams (and brands) and Brian provides first-hand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities of using this new marketing tool.  It’s an especially cool story because of the brand under study.  The Globetrotters might be the perfect mix of sports and entertainment.  You add that the team faces some really interesting marketing challenges such as trying to engage fans while only visiting each city once a year and you have a truly fascinating business to study.

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Fanalytics Podcast: Business of Sports

In this Fanalytics episode, Mike Lewis and Goizueta Association for Media, Entertainment, and Sports (GAMES) President Taylor Prewitt discuss the business of sports. More specifically, they focus on how students can leverage a MBA program to develop a career in sports. What job positions are realistic for students coming right out of graduate school? What skills do employers look for?

They also talk about how sports players build their brands and how politics play into sports. At the end of the episode, Mike takes questions from other Goizueta students curious about the world of sports.

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Fanalytics Podcast: 2018 NBA Competitive Balance & Super Stardom

In today’s episode, economist Tom Smith and I talk about the upcoming NBA season.  Specifically, we discuss the trends towards “super” teams comprised of multiple all stars.  The conversation covers everything from Tom’s love of musical theater to how the collective bargaining agreement (the max salary provision) leads to the concentration of all stars in just a few cities.

The NBA has long been more of a star powered league than MLB or the NFL.  It’s an interesting strategy because it means that the NBA often has players that are true popular culture icons.  This provides tremendous marketing benefits.  On the other hand, relying on stars to drive fan interest means that the league is always looking for the next big thing.

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Fanalytics Podcast: Political Moneyball

Every now and then, I go beyond sports and do some work related to politics.  I think it’s a natural extension because, just like sports, political campaigns are contests between human competitors.  In this addition of the podcast, Ada Chong and I discuss the role of appearance in political campaigns.

It’s an interesting topic that should be of interest to voters and campaigns.  There has long been a theory that attractiveness and generally looking more competent provide a benefit to candidates.  We take this idea to the next level and look at the role of appearance across political parties.  This is an important extension because the Republican and Democratic parties are very different brands that appeal to increasingly different constituencies.

In this episode we discuss a research paper I wrote with Dr. Joey Hoegg from the University of British Columbia.  The paper investigated how inferences about personality based appearance influence campaign results. One of the topics we discuss is the role of appearing “intelligent” versus looking “competent”.  We found that Democratic candidates gained an advantage from having more academic or intellectual types of appearances while Republicans benefited from having appearances that suggested more practical types of competence.

For those that are truly interested the abstract and citation for the research are below.

The Abstract

Spending on political advertising has grown dramatically in recent years, and political campaigns have increasingly adopted the language and techniques of marketing. As such political marketing efforts proliferate, the factors that drive electoral success warrant greater attention and investigation. The authors employ a combination of laboratory studies and analysis of actual election results to reveal influences of candidate appearance and spending strategies in campaigns. They analyze how personality trait inferences based on candidate appearance interact with political party brand image, advertising spending, and negative advertising. The results indicate that appearance-based inferences about candidates influence election outcomes, but their impact is driven partially by trait associations at the party brand level. This interaction between appearance and party alters the effects of advertising spending, particularly the effects of negative advertising. The findings have implications for the marketing of political candidates in terms of their party’s brand image.

The Citation

Hoegg, Joandrea, and Michael V. Lewis. “The impact of candidate appearance and advertising strategies on election results.” Journal of Marketing Research 48, no. 5 (2011): 895-909.

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Fanalytics Podcast: ESPN’s Get Up! Show Shaken Up

One of the more interesting “sports fandom” stories this summer has been the tribulations of ESPN and especially ESPN’s morning show Get Up!.  ESPN has long been the primary source of sports information and commentary for fans.  If you asked sports fans to name a source for sports information, I suspect that the “top of mind” answer would be ESPN for a large percentage of sports fans.  Similar to McDonald’s in fast food or Coca-Cola in soft drinks.

But ESPN has taken some hits.  A dwindling subscriber base.  Layoffs of talent.  And stumbling into political controversies.  And now a reworking of their new morning offering.

A big chunk of my research program is focused on fandom so I pay special attention to ESPN.   It’s the “go to” sports source for many fans so it both reflects and drives the interests of fans.  Or at least it used to be the go to source.  Sports Center, in particular, was almost a ritual for those of us coming of age in the 80s, 90s and 00s.  The current generation seems to be moving in a different direction.  Streaming services and YouTube are replacing cable TV.  So how is ESPN responding?

ESPN’s current morning show, “Get Up!”, is the best example of the sports channel’s efforts to reinvent itself.  Get Up! was a shift from the traditional news show format of Sports Center (We’ll ignore the “Woke” Center issue for the moment) to something more like a conversational morning show such as Good Morning America.  Get Up! even had much in common with the standard morning drive radio shows found in every market.  The show was built around Mike Greenberg from the Mike and Mike programming, with Michelle Beadle and Jalen Rose playing the supporting co-host roles.

I’ve been watching it from the beginning and monitoring the media reports surrounding the show.  This past week (I’m writing this on August 30th) I saw the announcement of major changes to the show.  The major change being the reassignment of Michelle Beadle to host NBA Countdown.

So what went wrong?

The conventional wisdom seems to be that Greenberg and Beadle were mismatched and lacked “chemistry.”  I think this is an easy answer.  It’s easy because Mike Greenberg’s stardom was largely formed by the interactions between Greenberg and Mike Golic on the Mike & Mike show.  The Mike and Mike show featured interplay between a gruff, self-deprecating former player in Golic and a prim, non-athletic grown up high school sports reporter in Greenberg. Two very different guys who were playing very different roles.  But it was a classic buddy film kind of pairing of guys.  In other words, the show worked largely because of the chemistry between the hosts.

I’ve watched the show.  Not every day but pretty regularly and extensively.  I don’t think it’s fair to blame Michelle Beadle.  I think the blame falls on whoever conceived and designed the show.  The lack of chemistry is because the show feels artificial and inauthentic.  While Mike and Mike were a couple of opposites (The Odd Couple meets sports radio?) giving their perspectives on the day’s sporting events, Get Up! seems to be a show designed by a focus group.  A sports journalist – check.  A female co-host – check.  A former player – check.  One from column A, one from column B and one from column C.

The real point is that the casting felt forced.  Unauthentic, pre-packaged, formulaic – take your pick.  To be clear though, I’m not criticizing any of the talent.  Michelle Beadle was actually my favorite part of the show.  But, it’s a team effort and the casting needs to emphasize talent and synergies.  The interactions between Golic and Greenberg were amusing and interesting – different perspectives and different sensibilities.  On Get Up! Beadle was asked to provide the “irreverence”.  A former defensive linemen teasing a sports reporter has a different vibe than a female anchor being snarky to a male anchor.  It’s just a different vibe.

When the show was first launched much was made of the show’s costs.  Greenberg was reported to be in the $6 million range, Beadle at about $5 million and Rose was at $4 million.  How do these salaries make sense?  The tough one was Beadle.  I spend a lot of time working on analyses related to measuring “star power”.  I have no idea how that type of salary could be justified.  The question in celebrity salaries is whether the star is going to bring consumers to the program.  You could argue that Greenberg would bring the Mike and Mike audience and that Rose has some cache.  But how did Michelle Beadle merit that level?

The Get Up! salaries were a significant part of the press surrounding the launch of the show.  Were they a negative factor in viewer response?  Tough to say.  I want to say that most viewers have no idea about the salaries but given the level of viewership I’m not sure that’s the case.  News reports suggest that the show tends to reach fewer than 300,000 viewers.  That is .1% of the population.  While the general population has no idea what a celebrity talking head makes, this potential audience might be a bit different.  It’s a very narrow audience.  People watching a sports talk show at 8 am?  Sports junkies or the unemployed?

There’s also a bit of background.  ESPN has been shedding talent for a while.  Laying off potentially well liked talent in the lead up to launching a new show with very highly paid hosts may not go over well with viewers.  Maybe it’s not consumer backlash but shows don’t exist in isolation.  Imagine an ESPN loyalist subjected to the following sequence.  Someone watching Sports Center for years who has long-term favorites in terms of on-air talent.  First, ESPN lays off talent.  Second, they change the political tone of the show (Woke Center).  Third, ESPN blows up your favorite morning radio show (Mike and Mike).  Fourth, they then get rid of Sports Center (in the time slot).  Finally, after all this they make headlines by paying a new cast in an unproven format a huge set of salaries.  The branding version of death by a thousand cuts.

The “Analytics” person in me also wants to make a point about replacement value.  The idea of replacement value pervades almost all sports these days.  The basic issue is how a player compares to an alternative player (a replacement).  What are the replacement values for the cast of Get Up!?  What kind of ratings impact do the various hosts have versus how much they can demand in salary?  This isn’t actually that difficult of a problem if you have the data.  Minute by minute ratings data, a database of who was on screen at any given time and information on salaries would be enough to develop a pretty good analysis.

What’s next?  At the time of this writing it seems like the plan is to keep Greenberg and Rose and bring in a rotation of female co-hosts.  It also sounds like ESPN is trying to move further away from politics.  Will this help?  Time will tell. Maybe Rose and Greenberg will develop some synergies?  Maybe the bump in baseline viewers that comes from the NFL season will help the show acquire an audience?  Or maybe, nothing works and this is an expensive black eye for ESPN.

Postscript: We did this episode and the preceding article about a month ago.  In the interim, we have had a chance to see how the program evolves.  I haven’t seen much in the way of updated ratings and viewership so it’s unclear if the NFL season has provided a bump in viewership.  But in terms of content, it appears that the program has evolved into more of a one-man show.  Greenberg is the constant and the other co-hosts seem to come in and out of his orbit.  If the original goal was to develop a vehicle driven by the interplay between co-hosts, the new goal seems to be very different.  It appears that the plan is to leverage the appeal of Greenberg as the clear anchor of the show.  The other co-hosts seem to be purely a supporting cast.

I think this is an interesting strategy.  One of my interests these days is the idea of “star power.”  The basic idea is that humans sometimes become brands and drive the success of entertainment and sporting events.  Get Up! is now a live test of Mike Greenberg’s Star Power.

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