While last year’s Super Bowl cryptocurrency commercials weren’t near the top of the most memorable lists, they were certainly notable for their presence. So it’s interesting to hear that there won’t be any cryptocurrency commercials on Super Bowl LVII. That comes out of a number of stories Monday on Fox ad inventory for Sunday’s Super Bowl. Let’s start with one from John Ourand of Sports Business Journal:

Fox Sports officially sold out Super Bowl LVII inventory, selling its final in-game spot in the week before the NFL conference championship games. The network only has two spots left in its pre-kick show that runs right up until kickoff, and it currently is selling spots for an overtime that may not occur. Some one-time advertisers are paying more than $7M for a 30-second spot. Most are paying in the mid-$6M range. “It’s certainly far and away the most money that we’ve ever booked in a Super Bowl,” said Fox Sports EVP/Sales Mark Evans.

Evans cited three reasons this Super Bowl’s ad sales came slower than previous years, especially considering that Fox started the regular season with the Super Bowl 90% sold. First, there’s the collapse of FTX and other crypto companies, which had bought several spots early. FTX, in fact, had committed to a 60-second spot. This year’s game, though, will not feature any crypto companies. Crypto companies bought around five spots in last year’s game. Fox had sold several spots to crypto companies that had to back out. A few other unnamed advertisers had to back out on commitments because of supply chain issues that affected some of the products they had planned to advertise during the game. Finally, some companies were jittery about the economy. “While there was never any hysteria, we did have a handful of brands tell us that they planned on advertising but wanted to see one more earnings report or jobs report before they could commit,” Evans said.

Beyond that Ourand piece, there are a lot of interesting comments here about crypto. Here are some Evans made to Mollie Cahillane of AdWeek on the crypto “implosion”:

Less than a week before the Big Game, Fox Sports announced this morning that it has sold all of its in-game Super Bowl 57 inventory.

That’s much closer to game day than the company had anticipated, due to an “atypical” series of events—including the “implosion” of one of last year’s biggest Super Bowl categories, said Mark Evans, evp of ad sales for Fox Sports.

And here’s some of what appeared in an Insider piece from Ryan Joe, Lara O’Reilly, and Lauren Johnson:

“The players have changed from what we’ve been used to over the last 50 years,” said Denise Ocasio, US investment lead at the WPP media agency Mindshare.

Every year brings a new crop of advertisers — last year’s Super Bowl was dominated by electric vehicles and crypto advertisers, who’ve largely pulled out this year due to the recent crypto crash and bankruptcy of FTX.

…”Over the last couple of years we’ve realized it’s quite difficult to see into the future,” this second executive said. “You commit media money and then the production money and before Christmas and in the autumn everyone was seeing these winds of change coming.”

There’s a fair point there on the long lead cycle for Super Bowl ads, and on how that can pose challenges for companies in more volatile sectors. And cryptocurrency is certainly one of those. And it’s definitely notable that there won’t be any crypto ads this year. We’ll see how that works out for Fox, and how that works out for the crypto industry.

[Sports Business Journal, AdWeek, Insider; logo from Fox Sports Press Pass]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.