PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- The National Football League's shield logo doesn't protect its official sponsors from attacks by their fiercest rivals during 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 2014 Super Bowl broadcaster Fox to let any advertiser in on the game that it wants and open the door for non-sponsor "ambush". advertisers.
It also squeezes the NFL's official sponsors for even more cash just to maintain their association with the league's brand. According to Kantar Media, the Super Bowl has generated $2 billion in ad sales since 2004. Total ad spending climbed from $149.6 million a decade ago to $292 million just last year. The cost for a 30-second ad also skyrocketed, from $2.15 million to $4 million during that span.
Anheuser-Busch InBev paid the NFL $1 billion a couple years ago to wrest the league's official beer sponsorship away from MolsonCoors. It's also spent nearly $250 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, Fox and ABC that prevent all other beer companies from buying big-game airtime.
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This year, A-B is sinking at least $28 million into Super Bowl ads alone. That's just how high the stakes have become. The amount of Super Bowl commercial time has increased from 41 minutes and 55 seconds in 2004 to 51 minutes and 40 seconds last year, while the number of commercials aired has risen from 88 to 97 during that same period. With commercials of a minute or more making up 15% 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.
Even huge spending can't guarantee an NFL sponsor's share of the spotlight. Here are just five who are seeing their home field advantage disappear during the Super Bowl: