What's The Super Bowl Of Outdoor Buys? (Turns Out, It's Not Necessarily The Super Bowl)

Even as Fox came tripping over the goal line, selling out its Super Bowl LVII in-game TV ad units this week, the real action was on the sidelines for another medium -- out-of-home -- where the Super Bowl has also become the "Super Bowl of outdoor media buys."

That's what the team at outdoor media giant Outfront Media -- which controls much, if not most of the premium buys leading up to and surrounding the vicinity of the the State Farm Stadium and the NFL Experience & Fan Zone in Glendale, Arizona.

At least, that's the way they sell the nearly 250 billboards -- both static and dynamic -- out-of-home and transit ad inventory in the market.

And not surprisingly, the supply of Phoenix market out-of-home units -- like the Big Game's TV coverage -- also is sold out.



With Fox reportedly fetching upwards of $7 million per in-game :30, what do the Super Bowl outdoor media buys get?

"I had a feeling you'd ask that question, so I pulled all the contracts and looked at the cost," Outfront Executive Vice President and CMO Jodi Senese tells MediaPost, adding that while there are "an array of entry points" of outdoor inventory an advertiser could by, the going rate in Phoenix in February 2023 was "anywhere from $10,000 or so to two hundred thousand dollars."

"It's a supply-and-demand business model, so the more pressure there is on inventory in a market at any given time, the higher the rates get. Obviously, February 2023 is going to get a more expensive bump in Phoenix than August 2023," she explains.

While explicit prices vary on the amount and types of units in a package, Senese says the market's ad rates get a proportionate Super Bowl bump.

"It's not exactly the same ratio, but I can tell you, for the price of [an in-game] Super Bowl spot, you could have had every single out-of-home asset in Phoenix for the month of February," she notes.

But like their TV advertising counterpart, Super Bowl market outdoor media units benefit from residual media impressions on social media and press coverage, because there is so much attention being focused on them.

And just like the TV spots in the Big Game, the creative execution of the outdoor media units in the market are a major factor in generating that buzz. See examples below and above, including Pepsi's, which after years of having a big presence as a Super Bowl TV sponsor is taking different approach this year.

While the Super Bowl is the "Super Bowl" of outdoor media buys, the Outfront team are approaching -- and packaging -- other high-profile media event destinations in a similar way, under a sales slogan they call "Prime for a Time."

"We're using that leverage to tell mini-Super Bowl stories associated with an audience traveling to one location for a day, a week, or maybe a two-week period," Senese explains, citing location-based events such as Miami's Formula One car racing tournament, the Kentucky Derby, the Boston Marathon, or New Year's Eve in Times Square.

But the next mini-Super Bowl -- and for marketers seeking to reach a unique kind of audience -- the next Big Outdoor Media Game is the Coachella festival in April located east of Los Angeles.

"The Super Bowl is for advertisers who are targeting a predominantly male, 21- to-54-year-old audience," she says. "Coachella would be more of a bespoke demographic that certain brands really want to get in front of in a super cool way."

Next story loading loading..