What is the financial prize for winning the Super Bowl?

Patriots World Champions banners at Gillette S...

Patriots World Champions banners at Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you win the Super Bowl, you get a big ring and your team takes home a giant trophy. But for most guys out on the field, there’s a bigger prize waiting elsewhere. There are financial incentives associated with winning the big game. Some of them are direct, while others come later, in ways that most people will never see. The financial incentives are even different for coaches, players, and the owners who already have billions of dollars anyway. So how do the finances of the Super Bowl shake out?

A Direct Bonus

When Seahawks coach Pete Carroll threw away the Super Bowl, he cost his players and coaches a significant amount of money. Each player from the winning team receives $97,000 as a bonus. The losers are not left empty-handed, of course. They make off with a cool $49,000 each. Still Carroll’s mistake cost his players $48,000, as they had to settle for the consolation prize.

Endorsements Galore

Where things really get interesting is when one considers the marketing gains that players make when they become Super Bowl champions. The calculations are necessarily very indirect when talking about things like sponsorship value, but there is definitely some benefit to winning the big game. In the wake of winning the Super Bowl in 2014, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman signed endorsement deals with Campbell’s, Nike, and Microsoft. Running back Marshawn Lynch used his Super Bowl win to propel him to a deal with Skittles.

It’s difficult to know just how value the Super Bowl win was to these players and their financial futures, but it’s clear that winning the big game elevates players in the marketing sense.

Ownership Rewards

Super Bowl wins work out well for owners, too. The New England Patriots have won four big games over the last 15 years. In doing so, Tom Brady and company have turned the franchise into one worth over $2 billion. In addition, the Patriots “brand value” alone is worth $350 million. Some of these gains would have happened without wins in the big game, but it’s clear that taking home trophies helped the franchise grow in value.
What’s in it for coaches?

Winning a Super Bowl is the brass ring for coaches, and they are often defined by their ability or inability to take home a ring. When Pete Carroll led the Seahawks to last year’s Super Bowl victory, he was signed to a five-year extension that made him the NFL’s highest paid head coach at around seven million bucks per year. While he might be the goat in this year’s Super Bowl for his horrific goal line call, he’s living proof that if you can win the Super Bowl at least once, you can cash in on financial rewards in a big way.

There’s something to be had for nearly everyone when a Super Bowl win is in the offing. This year, the Patriots will get to enjoy those rewards. Next year, it’s bound to be some other team, some other coach, and some other owner.

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