Rolling Stone magazine is throwing an exclusive party in celebration of the NFL’s LVI Super Bowl and will use the event to boost an ongoing partnership with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase through a non-fungible token offering to attendees who own a Coinbase Wallet. The initiative showcases a push from the crypto industry to enter the Super Bowl advertising space and ongoing efforts to use sports to expand the crypto audience.
Cryptocurrency exchanges FTX and Crypto.com have both bought advertisement slots for the upcoming Super Bowl commercial breaks.
Over 94 million people watched the 2021 Super Bowl, and even for those who didn’t tune in, it is hard to completely ignore the broadcast as it is one of the most talked about topics in the days following the game.
A study conducted prior to the game reported that 75% of expected viewers cited ads as a reason for watching. For advertisers, the Super Bowl’s packed and engaged audience sets the perfect one-shot chance to success, and the prices reflect that. A 30 second commercial is selling for $6.5 million, almost $1 million more than last year.
The majority of Super Bowl’s viewership is based in the U.S., where 16% of people currently hold crypto of have traded it. Still, this is not the first nor the most expensive “give it a go” in sports that these crypto companies have been involved with.
Crypto.com agreed a 20-year $700 million deal for the naming rights at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It also has a $175 million deal with UFC and a $100 million sponsorship agreement with Formula 1.
As for FTX, it will pay $135 million as the naming partner for the NBA Miami HEAT arena and is an official partner of the MLB. It paid $210 million for the naming rights of an esports team, $10 million for a sponsorship partnership with NBA’s Golden State Warriors and even spent $17.5 million to sponsor University UC Berkeley Athletic Department.
All this money is not targeting the 16% of the population who already use crypto, but rather looking to expose the platforms to an audience that may not yet be familiar with it. Through multiple sports sponsorships, these companies can get their name repeated and generate interest and curiosity in more potential consumers.
“Crypto genuinely is for everybody,” Steven Kalifowitz, Crypto.com’s Chief of Marketing told the WSJ. “Going into different sports just allows me to reach everybody where they are. The Super Bowl is just one more step into that, where it’s as mass as you get.”
Coinbase’s partnership with the Rolling Stone highlights alternative routes to get involved in the sports industry. It also gives an opportunity to make a more practical demonstration of the product than an ad or sponsorship.
With two cryptocurrency exchanges airing ads at the Super Bowl, new consumers might get confused as to how to differentiate the quality of the offerings and either not participate in the market at all or be indifferent between FTX or Crypto.com.
U.S. ads are known for their disclaimers. Even Crypto.com’s existing ad features a barely legible disclaimer about volatility and risk appetite. If they don’t make those warnings visible enough, the real Super Bowl winners will be the class action lawyers.