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No "Crypto Bowl" this year: Fox Sports bans all crypto ads during Super Bowl LVII

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(Kitco News) - Following the devastating crypto winter of 2022 that saw numerous high-profile bankruptcies, Fox Sports decided to effectively ban cryptocurrency-related ads during this year’s Super Bowl LVII in an effort to help protect their viewers from financial loss.

According to a report from Associated Press, Fox sold out all the available spots for in-game ads for the upcoming Super Bowl – scheduled to take place this Sunday between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles – and not a single crypto company acquired a spot on the day of the big game.

The prevalence of cryptocurrency-related ads during last year's Super Bowl was so noticeable that many dubbed it the “Crypto Bowl” as some of the biggest names in the industry at the time, including FTX, Coinbase, eToro and ran flashy commercials as part of a broader effort to promote cryptocurrency adoption.

The fact that FTX was heavily promoted last year, notably in an ad featuring seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady, likely contributed to the decision by Fox to exclude crypto advertisements, as the beleaguered exchange has played a major role in the struggles that the crypto ecosystem faced in recent months.

The Super Bowl is the premier annual stage for advertisers, with a 30-second spot costing upwards of $7 million for the chance to reach more than 100 million viewers.

According to Mark Evans, Executive Vice President of ad sales for Fox Sports, the biggest advertiser this year is Anheuser-Busch, which purchased three minutes of national airtime. Aside from alcohol, other big advertising categories include packaged food like Doritos and M&Ms, movie studios and streaming services, automakers and tech companies.


The only category excluded this year was crypto companies, Evans said, noting that two crypto advertisers had commercials “booked and done” and two others were “on the one-yard line,” prior to the downfall of FTX. Once the exchange went under, Fox decided to scuttle the plans that were in the works and ultimately nixed all crypto adverts. “There’s zero representation in that category on the day at all,” Evans said.

Most Super Bowl ads actually sold much earlier than usual this year, Evans added, with more than 90% of the ad inventory bought up before the end of summer. A few ads went for more than $7 million for a 30-second spot, while most sold for between $6 million and $7 million.

Evans said the spots that didn’t sell during the summer took longer to offload, partly due to the implosion of the crypto space along with general advertiser concerns about the global economy.

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