Two major sporting events were held this past Sunday, the Super Bowl, and the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The water cooler conversations this week has focused on the football game and, of course, the halftime show and the Super Bowl commercials. As we know, many people watch the Super Bowl simply for the commercials.
Over the years, AB has not only been the company with the most commercials, AB has also won the best commercial award multiple times. This year, a 30-second commercial was said to have cost around $5 million dollars. At the time of writing this post, the first viewership numbers for the Super Bowl just became available, however, if this year’s trends continue, viewership for the game has been declining by around -7%. AB, or any advertiser, cannot be pleased with these numbers even though millions still watched the game.
There are a number of reasons viewership of pro football is down. Much of the reason is due to cord cutting and costs, but no doubt, the political and abuse issue actions by the NFL and their players have had a negative effect on viewers. More than likely, even if AB chose not to advertise at the Super Bowl, some other major brewery would have jumped in and bought the available spots. There are still millions of people watching the game.
Yet, some years ago, the Phoenix Open made the decision to be the golf tournament which would be played on the week of the Super Bowl. This golf tournament, put on by the Thunderbird organization, annually has the largest attendance of any PGA tournament around. The goal of tournament officials is to end the final round just prior to kick off of the Super Bowl. And fortunately, this has successfully happened every year.
In last year’s tournament, attendance on Saturday was around 200K people. This year the Thunderbirds are anticipating up to 220K people on Saturday. Attendance for the week exceeded 700K people, an amazing fact!
The Phoenix Open and the Thunderbirds have used the proceeds from the tournament for various local charities and have given away millions throughout the years. Since 2010, more than $50 million has been donated. All in all, the PGA tour has given billions to charity. In every city in which a tournament is held, local charities benefit from professional golf.
In 2019, Michelob Ultra, the fastest growing beer in the U.S., might be the second largest selling brand in the country, surpassing both Miller Lite and Coors Light in dollar sales. Ultra has been the longtime beer sponsor of the PGA, a fact that most certainly has helped Ultra.
In fairness to the NFL, they do contribute to charitable organizations and many star players donate to their charity of choice. The NFL issues are political, drug use and abuse. On the other hand, the PGA issues deal with slow play and on-course rules.
In some way, it is almost like two sports going in two different directions… not unlike Bud Light and Michelob Ultra.
The character of a people may be ruined by charity…