Peter King plays Monday morning quarterback. So, let’s play Monday morning CEO. For that, we are joined by Michele Steele. She’s a reporter for Bloomberg TV, focusing on media and sports business (and she uses twitter @MicheleSteele)
SCP: Who had the best day yesterday from a business standpoint? Was it a player, a company, a network?
MS: A lot of people would say Drew Brees – and this win is going to translate into larger and more national endorsements for him. A lot of other people might say the Saints, because now they can charge more for luxury boxes and get bigger deals from sponsors. But I say the NFL – ratings for yesterday’s game are expected to be HUGE, the league is coming off its best-rated regular season in 20 years – and let’s not forget, from a merchandising point of view, the win for the Saints is going to result in much larger sales than the Colts for two reasons – one, the Colts don’t have a lot of appeal outside of Indianapolis, two, everyone that wanted Colts-related Super Bowl gear got it the last time. (As a Bears fan, I’m still a little sore about that loss.) And all that merchandising revenue is shared.
SCP: What about the Who? Tom Petty’s halftime performance a few years ago spurred a massive surge in his record sales in the subsequent days. Can we expect a similar spike for Pete and Roger?
MS: The Super Bowl is the biggest media platform, period. 100 million people tuning in should result in a sales spike for them – particularly if a younger generation of fans latches on. The question is – will they? That laser light show was pretty awesome, so hope they can take that with them on the road because the big money will be from a tour.
SCP: Which advertisement do you think will be remembered as the best? How about the worst?
MS: No offense to the Doritos kid and Betty White but the Google ad wins this contest. It was a surprise to see in the third quarter from a company that doesn’t really advertise plus it was cheap to produce and had a memorable message (you can get a French lady friend by just googling her!) Worst ad – tie for Toyota insisting the “Moving Forward” tagline in its commercial (NOT the message you want to send when you have problems with sticky accelerator pedals) and the U.S. Census Bureau ad, which left a lot of people saying one thing: HUH?
SCP: After a week of controversy and concern, now that you’ve seen the Tim Tebow ad, was it worth all the attention?
MS: Snooze. A lot less political than everyone expected. That said, I talked to EA Sports President Peter Moore last week and he was very supportive of Tebow taking a stance on a controversial topic. (There’s a lot of speculation right now that Tebow may be on the cover of their next college football game.)
SCP: CBS premiered Undercover Boss after the Superbowl. Do you think that was a good choice? The concept for the show seems like a good one, during a time of populist outrage against corporate executives.
MS: Yeah, and they also mentioned CSI roughly 949 times.
SCP: Ordinarily a massive winter storm would translate into higher television ratings across the board. Obviously, that doesn’t apply during an event like the Superbowl. But do you think the fact that much of the East Coast was snowed had any affect on anything? Maybe higher ratings for the pre-game show? I would imagine the big loser in this case might be sports bars or restaurants who planned on having big crowds for the game.
MS: Yes- you’ve got the biggest media market in the country buried under snow – and while there may have been one or two Jets fans who decided to boycott watching, there will be a ratings bump. CBS is expecting 100 million+ – we’ll hear later today what ratings were. The big thing for advertisers isn’t the weather – it’s that the game remains competitive until the fourth quarter so people stay glued to their screens, which it basically did yesterday.
SCP: Your name is very similar to Michael Steele, chair of the Republican National Committee. Do you agree that he looks remarkably similar to the Muppet on Sesame Street who always sent his soup back when Grover was a waiter?
MS: And – according to my best estimates – I’ve never seen the two in a room together… a little suspicious, right?