Forget the ads in the game. Demand is plenty high for ads around it.
Major marketers hoping to capitalize on the attention and crowds the Super Bowl will bring to the region are snapping up outdoor ads in tourist-heavy parts of New York City and in New Jersey.
But marketers are also facing an unusual challenge: Where else should they buy out-of-home media in a region as large as the New York metro area?
"It's a different animal than when the Super Bowl was played in Indianapolis or even Miami, where people seemed to congregate in one centralized area," said David Krupp, CEO of the WPP agency Kinetic U.S., which focuses on out-of-home. "There's a ton of inventory in the marketplace. What is going to be valuable is where consumers and commuters are going to be."
Super Bowl XLVIII will be played at MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., about 10 miles from Manhattan. The throngs of people visiting for the Big Game, not to mention the millions who already live in New York, will be dispersed in hotels and residences across the city and in New Jersey.
Mr. Krupp said Kinetic has built packages for clients -- who are not National Football League sponsors -- that include a variety of outdoor media, such as billboards, bus shelters and mass transit.
The NFL and the city of New York have helped media buyers by creating experiences in areas of Manhattan, such as Super Bowl Boulevard, which will stretch from Times Square to Penn Station.
Crowds will, of course, pour into Times Square. There, in the "bow tie" area along Broadway, nearly all of Clear Channel Outdoor's billboards are sold out to NFL sponsors, according to Suzanne Grimes, president-chief operating officer of Clear Channel Outdoor North America. Fox, Verizon and Pepsi are among them. The few remaining spaces are being reserved for sponsors of the teams that make the Big Game, she said. And there is some leftover inventory on the "fringes" of Times Square.
Clear Channel Outdoor also owns a good chunk of the billboards along the New Jersey Turnpike and I-95, which is the literal road to this year's Super Bowl. The company is shoring up agreements with mostly national advertisers to buy its inventory of 20 billboards within five miles of MetLife stadium along I-95, according to Ms. Grimes, who declined to name them.
As the Big Game nears, local advertisers could join the mix, said Mr. Krupp. Right now, some out-of-home vendors are asking advertisers for eight-week guarantees, a departure from the usual four-week minimums, he said. That's been prohibitive to many small businesses that often buy out-of-home media. If there's inventory shortly before the game, the media owners could loosen these requirements, Mr. Krupp said. If that happens, "you might start to see local restaurants and others take advantage of the media in the marketplace."