Almost a decade later, the doggie extravaganza's 12-hour run is
watched by an aggregate of more than 12 million people and Animal
Planet has successfully sold nearly every inch of the field. In
2012, it sold the naming rights to the stadium to Geico. This year
it is introducing a VIP suite, sponsored by Sheba cat food, where
cats will hang out.
The telecast this year has nine sponsors, up from six in 2013,
and ad revenue that's up 30% from last year, said Jeff Pellegrini,
VP-ad sales, Animal Planet. AT&T is the newest
sponsor of the game, while Chase is expanding its presence. Subaru,
Hershey, Geico, Bissell,
Warner Bros., Walt Disney and Sheba
owner Mars round out the list.
This will be Subaru's fifth year as a sponsor of Puppy Bowl. For
the automaker, the event has always been a natural fit, appealing
to its customers' passion for animals, said Alan Bethke,
VP-marketing, Subaru. About 70% of Subaru owners have a pet, and a
large percentage of those have a dog, according to Mr. Bethke.
Subaru will air four traditional ads during the "Puppy Bowl"
along with custom vignettes throughout the game. It's also the
sponsor of the "drive of the day" and "kiss cam" segments.
"We like to partner with properties our viewers can see
themselves in and there is a genuine connection," Mr. Bethke
The new VIP suite being sponsored by Mars' Sheba will include
TVs, Sheba-branded food and toys for entertainment.
To take advantage of the Super Bowl's location in the New York
area this year, Animal Planet will host a "Puppy Bowl" experience
the week before the game at the Discovery Times Square museum and
exhibition space in Manhattan. The 15,000 square-foot area will
include puppies to play with, a recreated set and booths for
sponsors to interact with fans.
"Puppy Bowl," actually a two-hour show that plays six times, was
watched by an average of 2.6 million people during its initial
two-hour run in 2013, and averaged 1.1 million viewers during the
Super Bowl blackout that night. Those are impressive numbers for
Animal Planet, but not the largest audience it's seen. Last May's
controversial faux documentary "Mermaids: The New Evidence"
delivered 3.6 million viewers, a new network record.
While "Puppy Bowl" has reigned as the top dog of ancillary Super
Bowl programming, for the first time it will need to compete for
the attention of animal lovers: Hallmark Channel and Nat Geo Wild are airing
Super Bowl programming featuring kittens and a goldfish.
Like its forerunner on Animal Planet, Hallmark's "Kitten Bowl" features shelter
animals that are available for adoption. "Kitten Bowl," scheduled
to air from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday, will be hosted
by Beth Ostrosky Stern and Yankees radio sportscaster John
Sterling. A Feline Fantasy
League on Facebook allows viewers collect digital interactive
trading cards, read up on the "competitors" and watch a live kitten
cam. (Puppy Bowl has a fantasy
Nat Geo Wild will air "Fish Bowl" from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on
Super Bowl Sunday, when viewers can tune in to see a goldfish swim
around her bowl.
Neither event is expected to impact "Puppy Bowl" much more than
"Puppy Bowl" impacts the Super Bowl.
"Puppy Bowl was there first, it was unique and different," Mr.
Campanelli said. "I don't think either will get the play that Puppy