When You Host the Super Bowl, Every Minute is a Commercial

GMCVB CMO on hosting the Big Game in Miami

Sunday was Miami's 11th Super Bowl, more than any other city in the country.
Getty Images

It was the scene where Joe Namath, double scotch in hand, famously guaranteed a victory for the New York Jets’ first and only Super Bowl Championship. It was where Peyton Manning and Drew Brees shed the monkeys off their backs and won their first rings. On Sunday, it was where Andy Reid cemented his legacy as a Hall of Fame coach after 28 years in the National Football League.

No other city in the country has hosted as many Super Bowls as Miami, Fla., and like the Kansas City Chiefs, the city was another clear winner after a week of festivities. Even though New Orleans will tie Miami’s run when it hosts the game in 2024, Miami already has a bid in to host the game again before 2030.

During a press event before the game, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters that the league would be back in Miami “many times in the future.”

“They know how to put on great events. … It’s just a great spot for the Super Bowl,” Goodell said.

The city’s tourism department didn’t advertise during the game. It didn’t need to.

Miami’s iconic beaches, palm trees, and Cuban music were prominently featured during Fox’s broadcast of the game. All week, the NFL Network and ESPN had a presence in South Beach, not to mention the hundreds of journalists partaking in the week’s events. Fox’s broadcast alone was watched by 102.1 million viewers, almost four million fewer than CBS’ broadcast back in 2010.

Despite the drop-off in viewers, Rolando Aedo, CMO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, couldn’t be happier.

“We recognize the power of not just the direct economic impact of the event, but the hundred million people viewing the game,” said Aedo, who’s worked for the city for over 25 years.

“The economic impact to a city, be it Miami or any other city, is quite significant because you have hundreds of thousands of people descending onto one city, who are going to spend a certain amount of money,” said Arthur Dong, a business professor at Georgetown University. Whenever you have visitors come in from outside the city there is a huge net inflow of tax revenue into the city’s coffers.”

The 200,000 fans expected to visit the city would need housing, transportation, food, entertainment, and probably thousands of gallons of mojitos. Miami’s Super Bowl Host Committee estimates that revenue generated by the game could come in as high as $500 million. Besides security, that revenue comes without too much of a cost, either.

“You’re not building schools for these people,” Dong said.

Since Miami’s last Super Bowl, Aedo estimates that the city has added about 15,000 hotel rooms, with the current total hovering around 58,500 rooms. These rooms become the bread and butter for event economies, as taxes generated from visitors fuel the city’s tourism budget.

In the lead-up to the game, Aedo and his team launched their new campaign, “Miami Land,” which implores visitors to look beyond the city towards its surrounding nature, like Biscayne National Park and the Everglades. Miami will target the entire country with banner ads, out-of-home buys and media buys with an emphasis on New York, Chicago, and Atlanta markets.

Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

“Our number one responsibility is to drive demand, not just to have more people [visit] but to have more people stay longer,” Aedo said.

Of course, Miami isn’t exactly hurting for exposure. In 2018, Miami brought in over 16.5 million overnight visitors generating over $18 billion in local revenue.

“We’ll definitely get a bump … but Miami is a marquee destination. This isn’t going to make or break our budget,” Aedo said.

Even though Tampa, Fla. is already slated to host next year’s game, Aedo isn’t worried about the hometown rivalry.

“The only competition between Miami and Tampa is who’s got the better Cuban sandwich,” Aedo joked.

Recommended videos