After Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch rumbled for two touchdowns in the NFL playoffs last weekend, the hometown fans tossed his favorite candy, Skittles, onto the field as FOX cameras zoomed in.
The Seahawks won that game on the back of Mr. Lynch's performance and, should they punch a ticket to the Super Bowl by winning again this weekend, the free exposure for Skittles could be worth up to $5 million dollars, according to Kantar Media.
Kantar's Sports division reached the figure by building a model based off camera time and mentions of Skittles by broadcasters during last week's game. It also included the assumption of a short segment about the running back's relationship with the candy. The number was churned out by Kantar Media's Sports measurement software.
Mr. Lynch's love affair with the brand has long been documented. His mother, Delisa Lynch, used to bring Skittles to his youth football games, handing the "power pellets," as she called them, off to Mr. Lynch before kickoff. "I would give him a handful of Skittles and say, 'Eat 'em up, baby. They're going to make you run fast and they're going to make you play good,'" Ms. Lynch recalled in a 2012 interview with Seahawks.com.
There's even a Mr. Lynch-inspired 'Beast Burger' served at Seahawks home games with a side of fries and Skittles.
The total advertising value, Kantar Media found, could be upwards of $7 million dollars, but the $5 million dollar number was drawn from a slightly tempered "sponsorship value" calculation which accounts for the fact that being talked about by others is worth less than using screen time to air your own tailored message.
The value to Skittles could even be higher counting social mentions. "Discussion of Skittles – and of Marshawn Lynch for that matter -- was relatively light in January to date, except for this past Sunday, directly associated with the playoff game," wrote Beth Desautels, Kantar Media's VP-North America. Twitter, she said, was responsible for the majority of the spike.