Anheuser-Busch Is the Super Bowl’s Top Sponsor

Beer giant has spent $149 million in the big game since 2009

The King of Beers also rules the Super Bowl.

According to Nielsen, Anheuser-Busch was the top spender in the last five Super Bowls, ponying up $149 million between 2009-2013. That the maker of Budweiser and Bud Light is the biggest backer of the NFL championship tilt isn’t at all surprising; on average, the brewer scoops up four-and-a-half minutes of airtime, mixing it up with 30- and 60-second executions.

Bud Light is an official NFL sponsor, supplanting MillerCoors’ Coors Light in April 2011 after a decade-long hiatus. Anheuser-Busch is now halfway through its six-year, $1.2 billion contract with the league.

For Super Bowl XLVIII, A-B has three Bud Light spots ready to go, including 30- and 60-second cutdowns of BBDO’s “Up for Whatever” spot, which features Reggie Watts, Minka Kelly, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Don Cheadle and a llama named Lilly.

Meanwhile, Budweiser once again trots out its iconic Clydesdales for two 60-second spots, the awwwwsome “Puppy Love” and the affecting soldier’s tale, “A Hero’s Welcome.”

The Super Bowl’s second biggest sponsor, PepsiCo, has invested $97 million in ads going back to 2009. Pepsi is sponsoring the 2014 Halftime Show and is airing a single :30, while PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay unit will be represented by a pair of user-generated spots for Doritos.

Other big spenders in Super Bowls XLIII through XLVII include Coca-Cola ($62 million), Volkswagen ($57 million) and Fiat ($55 million).

Over the past five years, auto has been the most committed category, investing $298 million in Super Bowl airtime, while beer is a distant second ($149 million). Movie studios have accounted for $130 million in big game ad inventory, while soft drinks ($89 million) and tortilla chips ($42 million) round out the top five.

As Nielsen notes, the average $4 million asking price Fox secured for each 30-second sliver of its broadcast is nearly 50 times greater than the average prime-time spot.

Super Bowl XLVIII kicks off on Fox Sunday, Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m. EST. 

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