Fathead’s online sales get no kick from a Broncos win

February 8, 2016 04:55 PM

E-commerce popped up in various ways during Super Bowl 50 on Sunday: Inc. ran its first Super Bowl ad, Pizza Hut broke its one-day online sales record and a sporting goods retailer paired with Uber to deliver championship T-shirts to Broncos fans right after the game ended. But Denver’s win over the Carolina Panthers appears to have fumbled away sales for at least one online retailer.

Michael Layne, director of Internet marketing at web-only sports and entertainment decal retailer Fathead LLC, says sales in the final two hours of Super Bowl Sunday, generally the busiest of the day, were half of what they were last year when the New England Patriots won. Traffic was up 35% in the final two hours of the day for Fathead, No. 385 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, which isn’t bad, but it’s not as good as last year when traffic surged 65% during that same time period, Layne says.

Layne and other web retailers say sales of Carolina Panthers gear, including items related to its star quarterback Cam Newton, were selling better than items tied to Denver Broncos and veteran quarterback Peyton Manning. Layne says a Panthers win likely would’ve meant more sales for Fathead. “Given the ratio of Panthers sales to Broncos sales, we would have anticipated about 18% more in team-specific product revenue had the Panthers won,” he says.

Carolina’s Newton may have been more lucrative in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, but on Super Bowl Sunday, search giant Google reported that more people were searching for Peyton Manning during the first half.

And while a Broncos win may not have delivered super sales for apparel and gear peddlers, the day proved to be healthy for food sales.

Pizza Hut trounced its single-day online sales record on Sunday, with customers placing almost $12 million in online orders, eclipsing the previous record of $10 million by 20%. Hungry customers with mobile devices at hand helped drive that growth, with 60% ($7.2 million) worth of orders placed on either a smartphone or a tablet.

"Pizza Hut is intensively focused on giving consumers what they want from a digital ordering experience, and the response we've seen to that strategy has been incredible," Jeff Fox, chief brand and concept officer said in a statement.

Meanwhile, companies that bought Super Bowl ads placed extra emphasis on getting viewers to visit them online. Market research intelligence provider Market Track reports that 50 of the 69 commercials (72%) that aired during last night’s broadcast on CBS had some form of a web or social media tie-in.

“As consumers are becoming more engaged with media, opportunities to tie advertising, promotion and social media messages together will be critical to brands’ success in breaking through the noise," Traci Gregorski, senior vice president of marketing at Market Track said. Inc., No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, was aiming for buzz with its first Super Bowl commercial, focused on its voice-controlled digital assistant device, Echo, and its voice, “Alexa." A teaser on YouTube was released before the big game, featuring actor Alec Baldwin and retired NFL quarterback Dan Marino. The game-day commercial shows Baldwin, after getting a phone call from fellow actor Jason Schwartzman, asking Alexa what happened the night before and to order him a new pair of cashmere socks. Amazon’s home page on Monday had the commercial at the top with #BaldwinBowl and links to Echo and other Amazon devices below it.

Dick’s Sporting Goods (No. 70) paired with Uber to deliver championship T-shirts ordered online to “displaced” Broncos fans in New York and Chicago immediately after the game. Shirts ($28) were delivered for two hours after the game ended Sunday night, and Monday morning via UberRush. Dick’s covered the UberRush delivery fee, typically $7-$9. On Sunday night, Dick’s surprised Broncos fans in a New York bar with free Super Bowl 50 championship gear.




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