Nickelodeon Valuable Player
January 21, 2021
By Brett Grischo


Last year’s SuperBowl happened a month or so before the United States got serious about COVID. Little did we know that would be the last major sports championship in the world as we formerly knew it. No more huge crowds in-stadium and no more big parties at home with friends and seven-layer dips and chili and beer and square pools and jello shots and stolen tigers and fire engines and everything else typical of a SuperBowl viewing bashorama.

SuperBowl LV (55 to you roman-challenged folk) is upon us and its sure to be unlike any other. About the only thing that feels the same is the upcoming 17th annual Puppy Bowl over on Animal Planet.  Puppies are cute, especially in pandemics. Maybe the ad prices are familiar too as CBS has been getting $5.5 million for a thirty second spot in the SB (as of today, they are not sold out).

There are still two conference championship games and a couple weeks to get through until the Big Game on February 7th. Events leading up to SB55 indicate a truly wacky year in the NFL. Case in point would be my favorite team, the Chicago Bear’s hasty and expected exit from the first round of the playoffs.

The Bears are such a joke that their game was simulcast on Nickelodeon. Touchdowns were accompanied by slime graphics and Mitch Trubisky ‘won’ the NVP; that’s Nickelodeon Valuable Player to you cartoon channel challenged folk. This seems cool if you don’t know much about football. In reality, it was a mockery since the Bears got destroyed in the game and Trubisky didn’t play well at all. I doubt Nickelodeon even tried to give him the award.

Craziness abounded this football season with players out for COVID protocols. At one point, the Denver Broncos had to play with zero quarterbacks activated due to COVID. But the NFL powered on, which doesn’t make sense to the health conscious but sure makes cents to owners and the establishment.

Viewership has been as strong as ever and ad dollars came flying in all season long. In fact, the NFL granted networks an extra 90 seconds of spots during the playoffs so they could rake in even more dollars. More ad slots and expanding coverage to children’s networks and streaming services has created more reach and new revenue channels. Smart thinking, NFL.

We still haven’t had a client from Explore run an ad in the SuperBowl. We’ve had a few ask us to investigate though and even that was exciting. But alas, the dollars are hard to justify when you aren’t Coke, Pepsi (neither of which are running the SB this year), Budweiser or an insurance company with deep pockets.

So, we will look forward to watching on TV again, socially distanced and jello shots done via Zoom. Thank goodness for DVRs so we can take bathroom breaks since commercial breaks are often more interesting than the game. Since my team and clients are out, I’m rooting for the Bills and some more hilarious Progressive spots, whether they are from the Baker Mayfield sagas or better yet, the guy training people to not turn into their parents.

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