The Super Bowl, at its core, is an event of exposure for companies. There is no form of paid media in the U.S. that quite compares to a commercial during the game. There is also none more costly, about $5 million for a 30-second spot, Variety reports.
Which is what makes it all the more surprising that PepsiCo (PEP) - Get Report won't be running an ad for Doritos, snapping a 10-year streak. Of course, PepsiCo will still have a big-time screen presence. It's the title sponsor of Lady Gaga's halftime performance, and it made an ad buy for Lifewatr, a premium bottled water brand.
Perhaps that should serve as a reminder to look beyond the initial attention-grabbing headline.
"Frankly we've been surprised at just how little interest (long or short) there has been in the PepsiCo story," Barclays analyst Lauren Lieberman wrote in a research note. "We attribute this to the investor view that PepsiCo is a known entity that can deliver a steady beat and raise through varying macro conditions."
Speaking of known entities, the New England Patriots have reached their third Super Bowl in the past six seasons. Was there ever really a doubt that the Patriots would lay waste to the rest of the AFC once quarterback Tom Brady returned from his four-game suspension for being "generally aware" of a purported ball-deflating scheme?
That hasn't done much to help its stock price. Shares of the Baltimore company have fallen by 31.9% since Dec. 9 and were sitting at $19.53 Tuesday afternoon.
In terms of name recognition and access to the major professional leagues' intellectual property, no other apparel company can touch that swoosh. For now, that is.
"Nike has the best arsenal of endorsements," Wilsey Asset Management analyst Chase Wilsey said. "It definitely helps with that brand recognition. We've definitely seen the whole sports activewear area appreciate over the last couple of years."
Say what you will about the NFL's drop in TV ratings this season, the Super Bowl is still the king, and Nike is its tailor.
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PepsiCo is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio
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