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For Super Bowl ads this year, crypto is out, booze is in

In a scene from Budweiser's 2023 Super Bowl NFL football ad, a man shows a beer bottle to the camera.
Anheuser-Busch gave up its deal to be the exclusive alcohol brand for the Super Bowl, which takes place Sunday, but it remains the biggest advertiser with three minutes of national airtime.
(Associated Press)
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The hottest ticket in town for advertisers is officially sold out. Fox said Monday that in-game ads for Super Bowl LVII have all been sold.

The big game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles takes place on Sunday.

The Super Bowl is advertising’s biggest stage, with advertisers jockeying to get their products in front of the more than 100 million people who watch each year. Mark Evans, executive vice president of ad sales for Fox Sports, said a few ads went for more than $7 million for a 30-second spot. Most sold for between $6 million and $7 million.

Anheuser-Busch remains the biggest advertiser with three minutes of national airtime. The beverage giant gave up its deal to be the exclusive alcohol advertiser this year, so Heineken, Diageo, Remy Martin and Molson Coors are also in the game. Other big advertising categories include packaged foods such as Doritos and M&Ms, movie studios and streaming services, automakers and tech companies, Evans said. Out this year: crypto companies.

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Last year’s Super Bowl was dubbed the “Crypto Bowl” because four cryptocurrency companies — FTX, Coinbase, Crypto.com and EToro — ran splashy commercials. It was part of a larger effort by crypto companies to break into the mainstream with sports sponsorships. But in November, FTX filed for bankruptcy and its founder was charged in an alleged scheme to defraud investors.

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This year, two crypto advertisers had commercials “booked and done” and two others were ”on the one-yard line,” Evans said. But once FTX news broke, those deals weren’t completed.

Now, “There’s zero representation in that category on the day at all,” he said.

Evans said most Super Bowl ads sold much earlier than usual, with more than 90% of the Super Bowl ad inventory gone by the end of the summer, as established advertisers jockeyed for prime positions. But the remaining spots sold more slowly. Partly that was due to the implosion of the crypto space, as well as general advertiser concerns about the global economy, Evans said.

Last year, NBC sold out of its ad space briskly and said an undisclosed number of 30-second spots went for $7 million, a jump from the $6.5 million that 2021 ads went for.

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