PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- Just because a company shelled out billions to become a National Football League sponsor doesn't mean it won't take a beating from rivals the day of the Super Bowl.
The NFL has an official soup sponsor, a tire sponsor, a hot cereal sponsor and even a grooming products sponsor. What it doesn't have is sponsor exclusivity for Super Bowl ads, which allows 2013 Super Bowl broadcaster CBS (CBS) to let any advertiser in on the game that it wants and open the door for non-sponsor "ambush" advertisers.
It also puts a whole lot of pressure on the NFL's official sponsors to shell out even more cash to maintain their association with the league. According to Kantar Media, the Super Bowl has generated $1.9 billion in ad sales since 2003. Total ad spending climbed from $130.1 million a decade ago to $262.5 million just last year. The cost for a 30-second ad also skyrocketed to $3.5 million from $2.2 million during that span.
Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) paid the NFL $1 billion a couple years ago to wrest the league's official beer sponsorship from MolsonCoors (TAP). It's also spent $248.6 million during the past decade to not only air ads for Budweiser and other brands during the Super Bowl, but to buy exclusivity deals from CBS, NBC (CMCSA), Fox (NWS) and ABC (DIS) that prevent all other beer companies from buying big-game airtime.If it seems a bit paranoid on A-B's part, it's just an indication of how high the stakes have become. While the amount of Super Bowl commercial time has increased from 40 minutes and 35 seconds in 2003 to 47 minutes and 25 seconds last year, the number of commercials aired has fallen from 83 to 78 during that same period. With commercials of a minute or more making up 19% of all ad purchases last year, there's far too much cash on the table for a company to risk losing its Super Bowl advantage. Despite their best efforts, however, NFL sponsors are seeing their rivals steal their game day spotlight. Here are just five examples of companies who can't get a moment's peace on Super Bowl Sunday:
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