Corporations went to great lengths and expense at Super Bowl XLIV to make the weekend in Miami fun — but not for the fun of it. Participation in events with a global audience can help a company make money, Boardroom Communications COO Don Silver told NBC 6 for a news report that aired on the eve of the big game.

Even though there is a trend to tone down the glitz and spending, companies still look for high-profile opportunities to showcase their products and services. Most important, Silver told a WTVJ reporter, the Super Bowl provides business owners and managers an exciting stage on which to solidify and build relationships with those most important to them: customers, prospects, distributors, vendors and employees.

A company that engages in sports marketing should evaluate whether the rewards justify the costs. If the payoff is there, he said, the public relations and advertising efforts tend to fall into these categories:

  • Branding of events and locations, such as the recent renaming of Sun Life Stadium, where the Super Bowl was played
  • Gaining paid endorsements from famous athletes like the Indianapolis Colts’ Peyton Manning
  • Getting exposure through sponsorships of sports organizations like the NFL
  • Hosting of events tied or timed to high-visibility sports competitions such as the Super Bowl

Even if a company has no direct connection to sports, the association with the nation’s most watched sporting event creates a buzz, Silver said. The lucky people invited to a sit in a skybox or go inside the velvet ropes of a VIP event come away with a more positive impression of a company or brand.

To capitalize on the huge audiences that watch the Super Bowl, many makers of consumer products and services think it is a good investment to pay millions of dollars for a 30-second spot to reach hundreds of millions of viewers, Silver said. Those dollars are leveraged through the free exposure that their crazy-funny ads get from news and entertainment media.

The most popular videos get free publicity through social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This is known as earned media, Silver said.

Super Bowl ads can also support online marketing campaigns that drive people to a company’s Web site, Facebook page or virtual store, he said. And the spots can help young companies and non-profit causes gain national notice from consumers and potential supporters.