As The Wall Street Journal reported on 6th Feb, a number of cryptocurrency exchanges paid a premium for advertising time during the Super Bowl at that time. Cryptocurrency brands and sports betting companies were spending heavily on Super Bowl ads. Millions of Super Bowl viewers were going to get slammed by ads this year from cryptocurrency and online sports betting, two emerging markets attracting the kind of crowds that like to drop money on dicey investments.
Crypto companies are appearing in this year’s Super Bowl commercial battle, which also features, as usual, more conventional advertisers such as beer and automotive companies. Some marketing experts liken Sunday cryptocurrency ads to the Super Bowl of 2000, or the Dot-Com Bowl, where 14 different Web companies bought $44 million in ads. The sought-after Super Bowl LVI commercial breaks, in which 30-second spots can run as low as $7 million, had included attention-grabbing ads from cryptocurrency companies like Coinbase and eToro.
Coinbase Global Inc. debuted a new ad during Super Bowl LVI, which bore little resemblance to any of its surrounding ads on the broadcast. Coinbase’s smaller-scale spot was just the first crypto-related ad for a Super Bowl broadcast, which is expected to feature ads from other crypto exchanges. At least two crypto exchanges and two online sportsbook companies will shell out up to $7 million for 30 seconds of a Super Bowl commercial spot.
The Super Bowl ads are double-downs on those companies, Bloomberg News reported, since they spent $112.9 million in crypto-related ads nationally from the beginning of 2020. A recent analysis from Bloomberg shows cryptocurrency companies are flooding the sports world with funding from sponsorships. In 2019, according to GlobalData, crypto companies secured 31 new endorsements across sports, mainly for team deals in football. This year’s sharp drop in the crypto markets will test crypto companies’ willingness and ability to pour cash into leagues, teams, and athletes.
There are bound to be winners and losers and consolidation within sports betting and cryptocurrency markets. In the absence of any significant upswing, a recent analysis from Bloomberg notes that it is not clear what the future looks like for cryptocurrency ads. Cryptocurrency brands, as well as sports betting brands, are not going to be treating Super Bowl ads like this, though their products are still a bit of a mystery. For one, many crypto companies quickly distance themselves from comparisons with sports gambling, trying to distinguish between investing and gambling.
FTX, the $32bn crypto derivatives exchange, has been on a sports-marketing spending spree over the last year, buying Super Bowl ads in October. The ads, which ran before, during, and after the Super Bowl, generated significant buzz because of the large audiences that the ads reached, creating massive exposure for products and services.