Callaway Joins Super Bowl Pre-Game Sponsors

Armed with research that shows that 80 percent of America’s golfers watch the Super Bowl, Callaway Golf has bought a half-hour sponsorship in the Feb. 7 CBS pre-game show.

This marks the first time that Callaway has sponsored the Super Bowl pre-game show, and the first time a stand-alone golf company has done so, the marketer said.

Callaway will have 90 seconds of commercial time in the half-hour starting at 5 p.m. It will use the time to showcase its 2010 products, and also have integrations — including an opening interstitial to introduce its presence — product and branding exposure on the set and an appearance by Phil Mickelson, who has an endorsement deal with Callaway.

Terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed, but some marketers opt for pre-game exposure in order to participate in the Super Bowl hoopla without having to shell out a hefty premium ($2.5-3 million this year) for a fleeting 30-seconds of in-game time.

Last year, the 5-5:30 p.m. slot averaged 21 million viewers, per Nielsen. That’s a huge TV audience by almost any standard these days, except of course for the game itself, which last year averaged 98.7 million viewers.

“The Super Bowl has grown to become an unofficial American holiday and presents an unparalleled promotional platform,” said George Fellows, Callaway president and CEO. “There is no bigger, bolder way for us to position Callaway as the global leader.”

Callaway is sponsoring the penultimate half-hour of CBS’ four-hour pre-game show, The Super Bowl Today. The program at 2 p.m., and features the CBS Sports crew that anchors the weekly pre-game NFL Today broadcast, including James Brown, Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher. Other advertisers sponsoring half-hours in the program are: Ritz, Doritos, Monster.com, Pizza Hut and Vizio.

CBS will kick off the day’s Big Game-related programming at noon with Road to the Super Bowl, a one-hour recap of the season. That’ll be followed by the eighth annual edition of the Phil Simms All-Iron Team, which also runs for an hour. This year’s kick-off show, the half-hour leading into the game, is sponsored by Hyundai. The net is leveraging its Super Bowl platform with the debut of its new reality series Undercover Boss immediately after the game’s conclusion.