Super Bowl 50 Taps into The Entrepreneurial Spirit

February 08, 2016

Yes, two teams may toss around a ball for four quarters, but at the end of the day the Super Bowl is so much  than just a football game. With more than 95 ads (sold at untold millions of dollars a pop), a star-studded half time show, and a military flyover, the Super Bowl is the pinnacle of American commercial performance. For small business owners watching the spectacle, there were several moments that stood out for being entrepreneurial in nature. From the advertisements, to the performances and, yes, even the football, here are the top 3 entrepreneurial moments from Super Bowl 50.

1. Beyoncé

The most successful entrepreneurs  are committed to their business and are able to effectively use timing and spectacle to create demand for their product. That Beyoncé is a master of entrepreneurship should come as a surprise to no one, given her astronomical record and merchandise sales. Nevertheless, the manner in which she used the Super Bowl to create a drumbeat of enthusiasm for her world tour is instructive for any student of entrepreneurship and logistics. For those that were not privy to the details, her Super Bowl coup d’état took place in 3 parts: a. Beyoncé releases a brand new single, Formation, the day before the Super Bowl. Within 24 hours, it amasses 7 million views on Tidal (her husband’s startup music service set to rival the monolithic Spotify). b. Beyoncé performs the new single at the Super Bowl. (Apparently Coldplay and Bruno Mars were there too.) c. Beyoncé uses the following Super Bowl commercial break to announce her brand new world tour with tickets on sale the following week. Fans go so crazy that they literally crash her website. Small business owners, take note: whether you’re trying to launch a new product, or a marketing campaign, everything is in the timing. If you want to slay, channel your inner Beyoncé. In case you missed it, this was Beyoncé's triumphant:

2. Steve Harvey

Whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur or just thinking of starting your first business, the fact is mistakes are inevitable – it’s one of the many reasons to get business insurance. Steve Harvey, a noted entrepreneur in his own right, is no stranger to mistakes. Millions have viewed the cringe-inducing moment in which he, as host of the  Miss Universe 2015 Pageant,  famously crowned the wrong winner.  Less than 2 months later, Harvey starred in one of the Super Bowl’s most talked about ads mocking his famous pageant gaffe. As an entrepreneur, you’re going to make mistakes. Sometimes you need to be able to laugh at yourself, and even capitalize them if you can. If it worked for Steve Harvey, it could work for you.

3. PayPal’s New Money Ad Debut

PayPal put a new spin on an old insult in its New Money  Super Bowl Advertisement, and in doing so, made a significant (dare we say, emotional?) appeal to small business owners and entrepreneurs.   Typically, when the phrase ‘New Money’ is an insult directed at people who managed to get rich without inherited wealth. In recent history ‘new money’ types were considered brash, unworldly, and ostentatious. PayPal’s ad turned the tables with a decidedly 21st century point of view in this their first Super Bowl Ad. For PayPal,  new money represents the everyday people who start small businesses and drive our new economy. The add, highlighting a diverse cast of small business owners has been named one of the top ads by Rolling Stone Magazine. I’m inclined to agree.

In your opinion, what Super Bowl 50 moments tapped into the spirit of entrepreneurship? Let us know in the comments!