Macro commentary by eToro analyst for Romania, Bogdan Maioreanu: Taylor Swift effect adds value to the most profitable competition in the world
The Super Bowl is much more than an American football championship game. It is an entertainment show, it is a place for celebrities to see and be seen and for companies to access over a hundred million avid viewers that waited a whole year to see the new Super Bowl commercials. And this year also had Taylor Swift in the stands, which led the TV audience to a record estimated over 123 million viewers, the most watched TV transmission since the Moon landing.
Super Bowl 58, the American football championship final for 2024 ended in Las Vegas with the back to back victory of the reigning champions Kansas City Chiefs in overtime. Called by the press probably the most expensive Super Bowl ever, it skyrocketed the price of the seats. This year seat prices were from $950 for a „nosebleed” seat to $9,500 to be just behind the teams but the resale value online ranged from around $7,000 to more than $60,000.
This Super Bowl was different in another way. The romance between the hugely popular American singer Taylor Swift and Chiefs star player Travis Kelce has helped the NFL to tap into newer demographics. With Swift only attending matches without singing, the NFL’s surge in female viewership among teenage girls has increased by 53% and among the 18-24 age demographic, there has been an increase of 24%. According to Apex Marketing, “Swift effect” has generated an additional $331.5m in brand value for the Chiefs and NFL. Taylor flew from Japan where her latest leg of the Eras Tour ended one day before, to watch the SB. Her tour is the first one in history to exceed $1 billion in sales with just over 60 shows in half a year. By comparison, Elton John managed to gain over $930 million but from over 350 shows in 5 years.
When it comes to profitability the NFL is dwarfing European football. For example, the Dallas Cowboys ended 2022 with over $460 million in profits, while the Buffalo Bills had the lowest profits in the NFL with $65 million, but higher than Manchester United’s $59 million. So, it is a very lucrative business. Unfortunately, there is no way to directly invest in the NFL, other than buying a team if you happen to be a billionaire… But the things that surround the NFL might offer opportunities to retail investors.
Every year the Super Bowl commercials are eagerly awaited by the viewers – it is said that these are the only commercials that people really want to watch. The advertisers take advantage of having the exclusive attention of potentially over 100 million viewers. Companies try their best to be one of the most remembered. The first 30-second ad for Super Bowl I in 1967 cost only $42,500 or adjusted for inflation, it would have cost $372,390.34, today’s money. For the 2024 Super Bowl edition, the ads were estimated at around $7 million for 30 seconds.
This year Europeans watching the show have seen Leo Messi in an Anheuser- Busch beer advert but also a clip for the UEFA Champions League. Also the automotive sector was present with adverts of EVs from BMW, Volkswagen, Kia. We also had Toyota, Hyundai and Kawasaki, but none from the big US car makers. Snapchat, Doordash, Booking and cybersecurity company Crowdstrike were also present. All are listed companies seeking the attention of the potential clients but also investors. Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet – Google also had their ad time, with the three tech giants also in the top 10 most held by the Romanian investors on eToro trading and investment platform, respectively in 5th, 6th, and 8th place.
To cater to the public interest, Taylor Swift was shown 12 times totaling 53 seconds or at the price of advertisement, over $12.3 million worth of notoriety. Apparently a small price to pay for the”Swift effect.” Notably, after the final whistle of an emotional final, with a last-minute turnaround giving Kansas City Chiefs the win over the San Francisco 49ers, Swift joined the wild celebrations on the pitch and kissed her football star boyfriend, Travis Kelce, live on national TV.
Bogdan Maioreanu, eToro analyst and markets commentator, has over 20 years of experience in financial services and investments and a strong background in journalism. He held different Corporate Banking management positions in both Raiffeisen Bank and OTP Bank, before moving to business consultancy roles working for IBM Romania among others. Bogdan is an Executive MBA from Asebuss and Washington University.
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