Super Bowl host cities normally receive inundated with outdoor advertising leading to the Big Game. However, this year the OOH ad might be different for Tampa, host city of Super Bowl 55 because the increase in the number of Covid-19 will probably lead to a significant drop in attendance.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league plans to have as many fans as possible safely attend the event on February 7, but capacity numbers – and who exactly will be invited – are still pending.
A representative of Outfront MediaThe Tampa Bay outpost, which operates more than 1,800 digital and static billboards in the area, said OOH advertisers operate with a wait-and-see attitude. “We’ve had a lot of inquiries and expect to see last minute purchases based on the participation guidelines set by the NFL,” the rep said.
Opinion on OOH seems divided
Rick Robinson, CSO of Outdoors Agency Billups, said the pandemic would likely result in less OOH publicity around the Super Bowl than in a typical year, but the desire to ‘be there’ means brands will find ways to get involved.
“The backdrop will have a different feel with less NFL executives, ex-players and business types hovering around the game,” he said.
Mariana Skeadas, director of local activation for the independent Noble People news agency, said the pandemic had not had as big an impact on OOH in Tampa as one might expect.
“Many traditional advertisers and categories are returning – like alcohol, wireless, automotive – despite the unique nature of the event this year,” she said. “Tampa, for the most part, is ‘open’, so while there is limited fan capacity at the game itself and traffic entering the market, there is still above-average occupancy on the outdoor inventory in the region. “
As for where consumers are likely to see advertisements, the Outfront representative explained that the NFL has established two clean zones: one surrounding the Raymond James Stadium, located in the center, and the other encompassing the majority. from downtown Tampa, where most of the pre-game events will take place. The representative said vendors who wish to operate in an area must obtain permission from the NFL and the City of Tampa to promote anything related to the event.
“Clean zones prevent companies from selling unlicensed NFL material. But it also means that local restaurants and businesses located inside the clean areas will have to apply for special use permits to take advantage of the Super Bowl, ”the representative said. “Anything posted on signs, tents, walls or anywhere in town in an area is regulated by the NFL. It essentially protects fans from purchasing unlicensed equipment, regulates activities, and monitors all advertisements near the game and around its events.
Local ads could take center stage
Anna bager, president and CEO of the Out of Home Advertising Association of America, said local OOH media have been an integral part of the pandemic and will play a major role in Super Bowl 2021.
“While the national brands will be present at the game, it is the local advertisers who will increase their share of the vote during the Super Bowl,” said Bager. “Local restaurants and amenities are eager to join Tampa Bay area football fans and those heading to the market for the outdoor activities and events that will take place in sunny Florida. As a result, traditional traffic reports and digital formats capture the largest reservations. “
Outside advertisers will also need to consider who might be in attendance, as the exact number of regular fans, as well as NFL officers and players, remains unclear.