By now, we all know that the Denver Broncos proved triumphant over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. But the big game is such an oversized spectacle that there are plenty of opportunities beyond the field of play for brands, personalities, and performers to also be deemed winners—or losers. Here are some that came out on top, and a few who maybe wish that they had nothing to do with the Super Bowl.
The Carolina Panthers were favored to win Super Bowl 50 over the Denver Broncos, by a point spread ranging from 4 to 6 points. But the vast majority of casual gamblers thought that the Broncos would not only lose, but that the Panthers and Cam Newton would absolutely crush Peyton Manning and his crew, just like the Panthers had blown out other teams on the way to the Super Bowl. Early on, nearly 9 out of 10 Super Bowl bets picked the Panthers to win and cover the point spread (meaning: win the game by more than 6 points, with a 6-point spread). On the other hand, professional gamblers, who analyze bets carefully, factor in the point spread, and make decisions without emotion, increasingly liked the Broncos in the game—and they tend to place much bigger wagers than the casual gambler. “There was a lot of Broncos money late,” Wynn Las Vegas book director John Avello told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Some people weren’t pleased that the outlandish, provocative Lady Gaga was chosen to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Super Bowl 50. In 2013, Gaga sang the national anthem for a gay pride rally in New York City and altered the lyrics to insert a crowd-pleasing pro-LBGT message. Naturally, conservatives thought that changing the song was disrespectful, and some worried that she would do something similarly sacrilegious before the kickoff of the Super Bowl. What happened instead was that Lady Gaga blew away everyone with a classic, universally loved rendition of the national anthem that was immediately called one of the all-time best. Oh, and Lady Gaga just won an Emmy, is nominated for an Oscar, and will perform a David Bowie memorial at the Grammys. In other words, Gaga is having quite a moment in early 2016.
Budweiser & Bud Light
The “King of Beers” and its light sibling were featured in three Super Bowl commercials—including a controversial one in which Budweiser mocked craft beer for the second year in a row—and it paid for the privilege, at a clip of $5 million per 30-second ad. Yet the big beer brands got perhaps their best endorsements of the day without spending a penny. In two separate interviews after the Broncos won the game, Peyton Manning said that he’d be partaking of plenty of Budweiser and Bud Light to celebrate. The plugs were estimated to be worth about $3.2 million in media exposure.
Papa John’s Gatorade, Nationwide
They are all brands endorsed by the Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning, and they’ll benefit from added exposure in light of the Broncos win—and, likely, Manning’s final game before retirement. Of course, Manning himself came out as a big winner, not only because he won a second Super Bowl, but because he pocketed $4 million in bonus money after winning the last two games.
Fans groaned in puzzlement and exasperation when it was announced that Coldplay would headline the Super Bowl 50 halftime show, assuming that the mellow British band would prove underwhelming and lame. And, well, Coldplay delivered as promised. Chris Martin and Co. looked especially unenergetic and unworthy when Beyonce and Bruno Mars hit the stage to spice things up.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, didn’t do his company any favors by tweeting a photo he took on field after the Broncos won the Super Bowl. The resulting image was horribly blurry, and it’s not like Cook could pretend he took the shot with anything other than an iPhone. Predictably, both Cook and iPhone cameras were ridiculed on social media.
The NFL Family
One of the strangest and most awkward Super Bowl ad campaigns came from the NFL itself. “Data suggests 9 months after a Super Bowl victory, winning cities see a rise in births,” the “Super Bowl babies” commercial states. What follows is a sing-along with Seal and assorted groups of “babies” who were supposedly conceived during the excitement of the local team winning the Super Bowl. The ad ends with the message, “Football Is Family.” Naturally, the Internet couldn’t help itself from weighing in on how gross and weird the idea is. What’s more, because the NFL didn’t release the data supposedly backing up the idea, there’s tons of skepticism about there being any correlation whatsoever.
According to the Super Bowl Indicator, when an AFC team wins the Super Bowl title, the stock market will have a down year. It’ll be an up year when an NFC wins the title, on the other hand. There is nothing scientific or even logical about this concept, and yet it’s held true for the past seven consecutive years—and 40 out of 49 Super Bowls. And, unfortunately for investors, the newly crowned Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos are part of the AFC.