While the 2022 game notably saw an uptick in fledgling categories, namely crypto and sports betting, Evans said next year’s commercial breaks “will look a lot like it has in years past.”
“The crypto category, in particular, is in a very different place this year than it was last year,” said Evans, referring to the market downturn. “But, whether it's autos, streamers, studios, the telcos—those guys are all still supportive. You will see some new individual clients, but not a massive influx of any new categories like we've seen in the past.”
One major departure for the game, which airs Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, is the competition for beer brands after AB InBev relinquished exclusivity for the category after 33 years. Evans said the brand, whose contract had previously extended to the upcoming game, sold two units back to Fox in exchange for surrendering the deal.
Read more: AB InBev drops Super Bowl ad exclusivity
“We jumped at that opportunity,” said Evans. “And since that became public, as you might imagine, multiple other players who have been looking to get into this game for many, many years have challenged their creative agencies with coming up with some phenomenal creative to break through and do things differently. And it's been a very active category for us. So you will see advertisers other than Anheuser Busch in the Super Bowl for the first time in decades.”
Molson Coors announced in July that it would run an ad in the Big Game, purchasing 30-seconds of commercial time.
Fox also described great enthusiasm from advertisers for its regular NFL season, which airs its first games on the network this Sunday. Inventory for high-viewership times, such as Thanksgiving and the NFC Championship in late January, is down to single-digit availability. Evans said that Fox struck deals with 28 first-time NFL clients, which equates to over $100 million for Fox’s upfront. The season also saw double-digit increases in volume from clients in the travel, pharma, dining (both casual and quick-service), entertainment and alcohol categories.
“You’ve got a lot of eyeballs that are quite frankly migrating to the SVOD world,” said Evans. “The non-advertiser-supported world is where a lot of these eyeballs have gone over the past five years, so there's a limited supply of major events where if you're launching a product or launching a new company and you need to aggregate the masses quickly, live sports and the marquee events within live sports are unquestionably the best place to do that.”