NBCUniversal’s E! cable network is suiting up for the Super Bowl.
The entertainment channel was hired as the exclusive media partner for the Bud Light Hotel, a 4,000 passenger cruise ship docked off Manhattan that will be the site of celebrity parties and big-name concerts in the days leading up to the championship game.
E News will cover events at the Bud Light Hotel and E online will serve as a digital hub where users can get behind-the-scenes access to the venue.
"E! is such a natural place for advertisers to connect with pop culture," said Laura Molen, executive VP, lifestyle advertising sales group, NBCUniversal. "We see more and more advertisers coming to E! looking to amplify what they’re doing that is wrapped around pop culture."
E! News anchors Jason Kennedy and Alicia Quarles will be reporting from the Bud Light Hotel on Thursday and Friday. Additional coverage will feature concerts headlined by artists including The Roots and Imagine Dragons. After the weekend, E! News will provide a wrap up of the event.
In addition to commercials on the network, Bud Light will be integrated into entertainment news programming, including promotions that will drive viewers to the digital hub for online and mobile content. The digital hub will also stream musical performances from the hotel.
"Our partnership with E! will allow us to take the Bud Light Hotel experience and share it with fans across the country," said Blaise D'Sylva, VP of sports, media and antertainment marketing for Anheuser-Busch. "Not only will viewers have the opportunity to watch some of our world-class concerts throughout the weekend, they will be able to access a variety of content around football’s biggest weekend."
Molen said beer was a growing category at the channel. "E! has a very young media age of 35 versus the rest of both broadcast and cable, so it's really a great sweet spot for an advertiser like A-B that’s looking to reach that young adult."
After Super Bowl weekend, Bud Light will continue to have a commercial presence on the network throughout the quarter. We're talking about building another segment with them," she said.
E! plans to continue to build marketing programs around big pop culture events, Molen said. The network just finished covering the Grammys and is gearing up for its Red Carpet coverage of the Academy Awards. Also coming up are the Olympics, where it will join other NBCU networks in providing coverage, and Fashion Week, where E! will be venturing for the first time.