This year’s Super Bowl has earned the moniker ‘Crypto Bowl’ after attracting millions of dollars from leading crypto exchanges.
Singapore-based Crypto.com, which secured Matt Damon as their face, reportedly paid millions for 30-second adverts in the upcoming clash between the LA Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals. The move comes just months after LA’s iconic Staples Center was renamed the Crypto.com Arena.
FTX has made similar moves. “It’s a way to get our name out there”, said FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. “In terms of venues to do that, it’s hard to find a higher-profile one than this”.
Meanwhile, Canada’s Bitbuy teamed up with Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry for a Super Bowl commercial. The deal marks the first time a Canadian crypto firm has partnered with a professional sportsperson.
Super Bowl broadcaster NBC has sold all of its commercial space for this Sunday’s game, earning up to USD 7 million for a 30-second spot – an increase of 27% from last year. 40% of this year’s Super Bowl’s advertisers are new companies.
Sponsorship consulting firm IEG expects crypto companies on sports sponsorships in North America to total more than USD 160 million this year.
“It’s a staggering increase in spending,” said Peter Laatz, IEG’s global managing director. “They are looking to educate people because not a lot of people have heard of these companies, and there is still some confusion about what crypto even is.”
However, Binance – whose CEO and founder is the world’s richest crypto billionaire – has taken a slightly different approach to capitalise on the world’s biggest annual sporting event.
Instead of signing endorsement deals with sports teams and shelling out for primetime ads, Binance is producing its own Super Bowl related content.
A Binance spokesperson said their competitors are going “head-to-head” during the Super Bowl, “recruiting big celebs to coax audiences… without educating them on crypto [fundamentals].”
On Twitter, the China founded exchange posted a purposefully ironic video with Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler to promote the Super Bowl.
“On Feb. 13, you’re going to hear some of the biggest names telling you to get into crypto”, Butler says in the 14-second clip. “But they don’t know you, or your finances. Only you do. Binance and I are here to tell you: Trust yourself and of course do your own research. Be on the look out for more before the game.”
Andrew Simon, global creative lead and chief creative officer at public relations and marketing consultancy Edelman Canada described Binance’s “counter-programming approach” strategy as “smart” and “well-played.”
Binance is “the offering that’s on the side of investors. It’s a smart way to stand out leading up to the big game, and afterwards”, Simon said.
Of course, despite averaging over 100 million viewers over the past nine years, there’s no guarantee that Super Bowl advertising will pay off.
University of Delaware’s John Antil, an associate professor of marketing, warned that “No one has yet come up with a good way to measure [the] ROI of a Super Bowl ad. It’s very difficult to convert most factors gained from the broadcast to a dollar value.”
“Most dot-com companies in the  broadcast didn’t last until next year”, he highlighted.