Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Super Bowl Playbook: FedEx Passes

By Rick Munarriz - Updated Apr 5, 2017 at 7:55PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The shipper won't deliver an ad for this year's game.

FedEx (NYSE:FDX) commercials have been a Super Bowl staple for a dozen consecutive years. Last year's ad -- in which a fleet of carrier pigeons was enlisted to transport business documents -- was a winner. However, you won't find the overnight-delivery giant during this season's NFL finale. FedEx will not be paying up for a 30-second spot in February's Super Bowl.

With FedEx scaling back on payroll and even on its 401(k) matching contributions, the company didn't feel it prudent to fork over as much as $3 million for an ad. FedEx lowered its guidance two weeks ago.

General Electric's (NYSE:GE) NBC will be fine. It claims to have sold 85% of its Super Bowl ad slots three months ago. The economy has deteriorated significantly since then, but that burden will be on next season's championship, if things haven't picked up by next fall.

Still, I wouldn't worry about the Super Bowl ad market's long-term prospects, either. Many companies simply face too much peer pressure pushing them to advertise during the Super Bowl. If Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) buys in, PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) has to throw its chips onto the table, too.

I can respect FedEx's decision, but I don't necessarily agree with it. A Super Bowl ad is more than just a vanity plate. The right ad can be a real firestarter. True, this applies mostly to smaller companies such as domain-name registration specialist GoDaddy.com, or last season's E*Trade (NASDAQ:ETFC) talking baby ads, both of which represented supersized gambles. But even for bigger players, the right commercial can be really valuable.

FedEx is paying plenty already for the naming rights to FedEx Field, where the Washington Redskins play. Publicly pulling out of this season's highly watched Super Bowl is more a publicity stunt than a fiscal move.

In that sense, perhaps FedEx is milking more out of its decision not to advertise this time.

Well played, FedEx. You always know how to deliver.

PepsiCo is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. Coca-Cola is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. FedEx is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.  

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz can't believe that his hometown Miami Dolphins are a win away from making the playoffs this season, after going 1-15 a year ago. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

FedEx Corporation Stock Quote
FedEx Corporation
FDX
$229.02 (-2.50%) $-5.87
The Coca-Cola Company Stock Quote
The Coca-Cola Company
KO
$62.97 (-0.65%) $0.41
General Electric Company Stock Quote
General Electric Company
GE
$75.18 (1.10%) $0.82
Pepsico, Inc. Stock Quote
Pepsico, Inc.
PEP
$173.85 (-0.40%) $0.70
E*TRADE Financial Corporation Stock Quote
E*TRADE Financial Corporation
ETFC

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
377%
 
S&P 500 Returns
123%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/08/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.