Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs, winners of consecutive Super Bowls and their fourth in franchise history – but even bigger congratulations to soccer, which made quite a few appearances during the coverage of Sunday’s big game.
The appearances come at a time where the sport continues to make inroads in pop culture. From pre-game sports crossover appearances to commercials with award-winning actors, here’s what caught our attention:
CBS Sports / Paramount+
That’s not all, however. Late in the fourth quarter, our longtime client, Paramount+, and collaborative partners, 72andSunny, ran a UEFA Champions League commercial celebrating the mid-day, mid-week viewing fans know all too well.
More and more people continue to enter the soccer fandom funnel through means beyond participation. General sports fandom is a leading contributor, which is why commercials like the one above are valuable. Consider the following:
- One of soccer’s biggest competitions being advertised during a peak viewing period of American sports’ biggest game
- Hundreds of millions of sport fan eyeballs live and hundreds of millions more digitally on a premier sporting event with kickoff times that conflict with no others
- Use of event-specific theme with newly-created memorable lyrics celebrating the atypical viewing scenarios to which fans of March Madness (also a CBS property) can relate
Add these things up and you get a creative way to develop intrigue among general sports fans in America and encourage them to check out the UEFA Champions League.
Fun fact: According to a nationwide survey of soccer fans we conducted in November 2023, 17% of those who became soccer fans in the past five years attribute general sports fandom as the primary reason for their newfound fandom.
STōK Cold Brew
The UEFA Champions League commercial wasn’t the only with a hint of European soccer flavor. As of May 2023, American brand, STōK Cold Brew, is the official stadium sponsor of Wrexham AFC – the current English League Two club famously owned by actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. In their commercial, STōK enlisted actor Sir Anthony Hopkins to play the role of Wrexham mascot, Wrex the red dragon.
The last commercial to directly feature soccer came via Michelob ULTRA. The star of the show was Lionel Messi, whose popularity and recognition among general sports fans continues to grow while playing in the U.S. The commercial also featured Jason Sudeikis reprising his role as Ted Lasso. Miami Dolphins legend, Dan Marino, also made a brief cameo.
The commercial comes at an important time for the brand. Not only is Michelob ULTRA the Official Beer Partner of the U.S. Soccer Federation, it’s also the Official Global Beer Sponsor of Copa America 2024. Additionally, the brand signed an official partnership with Team USA ahead of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. As a result, the brand will feature the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams on custom packaging leading up to and during this summer’s event.
If all the above soccer connections weren’t enough, the Kansas City Chiefs owners, the Hunt family, also own FC Dallas of MLS and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes is a part-owner of Sporting Kansas City and Kansas City Current of MLS and the NWSL, respectively.
The Lombardi Trophy is football’s greatest prize, but on Sunday, Super Bowl LVIII’s solace was soccer’s many appearances on American sports’ greatest stage.