Sunday, February 5, 2006
Updated: February 7, 11:18 AM ET
Who cashed in, who went bust
By Darren Rovell
DETROIT -- Reputations are made. Millions are spent.
Golden opportunities are fumbled.
As always, Super Bowl Sunday is money time for more than just the NFL players involved. So, whose stock rose and whose stock fell in four hours Sunday night? We break it all down
Winner: Anyone who bet Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would score the game's first touchdown. A $100 bet yielded $1,800 at most sports books after a replay did not reverse the initial ruling that the ball had crossed the goal line.
Loser: Shaun Alexander. The NFL MVP -- who's about to become a free agent -- ran for 95 yards, but he didn't score a touchdown and wasn't really a focal point of Seattle's game plan. The league MVP's team is now 10-12 in Super Bowl play.
Winner: Game MVP Hines Ward. It can only be a good thing that Ward's given name is a homophone with the sponsor that has the naming rights of the Steelers' stadium: Heinz.
Loser: Burger King. The fast-food company spent approximately $4.8 million in advertising time for an awful ad of singing "Whopperettes" dressed as lettuce heads, pickles and burgers during the first commercial break. Do you think Burger King's core consumers are big fans of Broadway musicals? We'll go out on a limb here and guess not.
Winner: The estate of Dr. Seuss. After a pregame segment leading into the game based on Dr. Seuss' "Oh, the Places You'll Go" -- starring Harrison Ford, Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Roger Staubach and Bart Starr -- sales of the book went up on Amazon.com:
Pregame ranking: No. 760
Loser: Fans who came so close to cashing in on their 30-1 preseason odds that the Seahawks would win Super Bowl XL.
Winner: Jill Wagner. Who's that, you ask? She's the girl in the Mercury Milan commercial wearing that tight, teal sweater. Wagner, a 27-year-old actress, might be familiar to you from "Punk'd." She's currently working on a show for Spike TV.
Loser: Toyota and General Motors. Toyota's ad focused the viewer on the driver's ability to be bilingual instead of on the car. Then, it took me 25 seconds to figure out that the spot featuring slow-motion models on a runway was, in fact, an ad for GM's Cadillac Escalade.
Winner: Willie Parker. The Steelers' young running back rushed for 93 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown run, the longest in the 40-year history of the Super Bowl.
Winner who played like a loser: Ben Roethlisberger. Sure, he's the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl, but he did so with a QB rating in the 20s. Still, the endorsements will come flowing in, including one, potentially, from a razor company for the right to be the official razor of his beard shaving this week.
Loser who goes out a winner: Jerome Bettis. The Bus didn't really get rolling, running for just 43 yards on 14 carries. But he closed his career with a championship, and we really respect him for slamming the door on a stellar career with the trophy in hand.
Loser: Hummer. A monster and a robot fall in love. Are you serious?
Winner: Budweiser. Three years ago, Bud scored with its commercial depicting a zebra checking instant replay. This year, the beer brand took it a step further. A bunch of animals, including the Clydesdale horses, were playing a football game when a sheared sheep came across the field. When one of the cowboys pointed out that it was a "streaker," Bud scored one of the game's funniest spots.
Loser: GoDaddy.com. Last year, the domain-registration company had a commercial pulled and subsequently received more publicity than $2.4 million ever could have bought. Did the company really have to spend money this year on two commercials to remind us just how scandalous last year's ad was?
Winner: Nationwide. The last-second plot twist has been perfected by Geico, but Nationwide did a nice job of getting my attention with the fake Fabio shampoo spot.
Loser: The Seagals. A Super Bowl XL victory would have meant some nice money from party appearances for the Seahawks' cheerleaders.
Winner: Fanatics Only. The T-shirt company that makes Roethlisberger's officially licensed T-shirts trademarked "The Tackle" on Jan. 17. Big Ben's stop on Nick Harper in the AFC divisional playoffs saved the Steelers' season and allowed them to win the Super Bowl.
Loser: Emerald Nuts. You guys couldn't come up with a better motto than "Even Druids Love Them"?
Winner: ABC. From Super Bowl XVII (1983) to Super Bowl XXXVII (2003), no game was within four points heading into the fourth quarter. For the past three Super Bowls -- including Super Bowl XL -- no team has been up by more than four points heading into the fourth quarter. This only can be good for ratings.
Loser: Hair-replacement products. Matt Hasselbeck could have been one of the industry's greatest spokespeople.
Winner: Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, Terry Bradshaw and "Mean" Joe Greene. All the Steelers greats will be more popular than they ever have been in their 25 years on the autograph circuit.
Loser: Fans who bet the over of 47½ points.
Winner: Allegheny Valley School. This nonprofit Pennsylvania-based agency cares for mentally challenged children. In 1996, Steelers broadcaster and "Terrible Towel" creator Myron Cope signed over all trademark royalties on the towels to the school, where his autistic son lives. This year now will be the biggest year ever for the towel, and money will flow into the school.
Darren Rovell, who covers sports business for ESPN.com, can be reached at Darren.firstname.lastname@example.org.
End-of-first-quarter ranking: No. 707
Halftime ranking: No. 683
End-of-third-quarter ranking: No. 444
End-of-game ranking: No. 345