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Super Bowl Ads Linked to Stock Market Success

RELEASED: Jan. 24, 2008

(see related Fact Sheet)

EAU CLAIRE — The aggregate stock price of publicly traded firms that ran in-game Super Bowl advertisements beat the Standard & Poors 500 performance in 10 of the last 12 years, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Dr. Chuck Tomkovick
Dr. Chuck Tomkovick

"During the two-week period of time (Monday before the Super Bowl through the Friday after the game) just before and after the 1996-2007 Super Bowls, the stocks of the companies that ran in-game ads outperformed the S&P stocks by nearly 1.3 percent," said Dr. Chuck Tomkovick, a marketing professor who has conducted Super Bowl advertising research for more than a decade. "It's a significant finding, because in essence, Wall Street rewards firms that run Super Bowl ads. It's a tradeable event."

If an investor bought every publicly traded Super Bowl stock in the last 12 years on the Monday before the Super Bowl and sold them all five days after the game, the investor would be up by nearly 1.3 percent over the S&P 500 during that same time period, Tomkovick said.

Given the large market caps involved, an increase of nearly 1.3 percent over the S&P 500 translates into billions of dollars of stock price improvement for those holding these investments, Tomkovick said

"Investing in Super Bowl ads seems to be shock resistant," Tomkovick said. "In each of the four years the S&P declined during the period of study, Super Bowl stocks beat the S&P 500."

Dr. Rama Yelkur
Dr. Rama Yelkur

Most Super Bowl related research has focused on the likeability of the ads rather than on financial factors, said Dr. Rama Yelkur, a marketing professor and Tomkovick's research partner.

"This study examines the financial performance of the firms that invest in Super Bowl ads and demonstrates there is a net positive effect, regardless of how likeable the ads were scored in USA Today's annual Ad Meter publication," Yelkur said.

In six of the 12-year period of study, the bottom ad likeability Super Bowl stocks out performed the top ad likeability Super Bowl stocks, Yelkur said.

"Overall, the performance of the bottom half ad likeability Super Bowl stocks exceeded the top half ad likeability Super Bowl stocks, but in an insignificant manner," Yelkur said.

The study is particularly meaningful because it looks at data over a long period of time rather than just on an annual basis, Yelkur said.

Tomkovick and Yelkur note that while the results indicate that a positive historical association exists between Super Bowl advertising investment and the financial performance of the firms that run them, it does not suggest causation.

"For example, while Federal Express in 2007 saw its stock rise by nearly $3.50 per share during this period of study, this does not mean that FedEx's Super Bowl commercial caused the result," Tomkovick said.

Researchers also noted that the study indicates the portfolio of publicly traded Super Bowl stocks has historically been superior to the S&P 500, rather than on an individual stock basis.

Yelkur and Tomkovick conducted their research with a team of undergraduate researchers. The students are Casey Bruce, a senior finance and marketing major from Shell Lake; Justin Huegel, a senior marketing major from Winona, Minn.; Joe Milburn, a senior marketing and psychology major from Watertown; Adam Peshaw, a senior marketing major from Boyceville; and Dan Rozumalski, a junior marketing major from De Pere.

The study was funded by UW-Eau Claire's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

Contacts:
Dr. Chuck Tomkovick, tomkovcl@uwec.edu, 715-836-2529
Dr. Rama Yelkur, yelkurr@uwec.edu, 715-836-4674

-30-

JB

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