David Highhill, the NFL’s general manager for sports betting, announced that viewers of Super Bowl LVIII on 11 February will only see three sports betting ads during the game. The move was confirmed during a press conference on 30 January, according to the Associated Press.
The game will feature the Kansas City Chiefs facing off against the San Francisco 49ers at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Highhill revealed that one sports betting ad will be shown just before kickoff, with two others aired during the game. This decision aligns with the NFL’s previous implementation of restrictions on the number of sports betting ads televised during matches.
Highhill stated, “We’ve put some policies in place to limit the amount of advertising for sports betting that happens in our live games,” adding that it averages to roughly one ad per quarter, making up less than 5% of all in-game ads. NFL spokesperson Alex Riethmiller also noted that the three ads is a much lower number compared to the maximum allowed by the NFL.
In April last year, several professional sports leagues and broadcasters formed the Coalition for Responsible Betting Advertising, which includes members such as the NFL, MLB, NASCAR, NBC Universal, and Fox. The coalition aims to uphold principles on responsible betting advertising.
Highhill addressed criticisms towards the NFL for sports betting ads that run outside of NFL games, explaining, “There’s times when we’re held accountable for ads that are not running in our games, that are running on other sports programming or sports radio throughout the week. Unfortunately, we can’t control all ads everywhere.”
The three ads shown during the Super Bowl LVIII come from industry giants DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM. Earlier in the week, BetMGM’s UK director, Sam Behar, emphasized the importance of bringing the Vegas experience to the UK market. This move highlights the growing influence of sports betting in mainstream sports events.