The New England Patriots weren’t the only victors of Super Bowl LI. Online lender Social Finance, otherwise known as SoFi, scored a touchdown by making a bet the game would go into overtime, the first time ever in NFL history.
When it comes to the Super Bowl, companies pay exorbitant amounts of money for a 30 second spot. But SoFi and a handful of other companies negotiated a reduced rate with Fox which broadcasted Sunday’s game. Under the deal, SoFi’s advertisement would run if and only if the Super Bowl ended up going into overtime. In exchange, SoFi told MarketWatch that it paid less than half of the rough $5 million that Fox charged advertisers for a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl game.
That bet paid off when the match-up between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons went into overtime. Had the game ended after four quarters, SoFi wouldn’t have owed Fox anything, noted MarketWatch. After three quarters, it appeared to be a blow out for the underdog Falcons, but the result would not hold.
While SoFi is known mainly as a student loan lender, it used the Super Bowl ad to highlight its other loan products including mortgages and personal loans. The Super Bowl ad ended with the tagline “Here’s to conquering more together in 2017.” The ad is a far cry from the spot it ran in last year’s Super Bowl, which was widely criticized for being divisive. Last year, it ran the tagline “great loans for great people.”
For SoFi, its new advertisement spot comes at a critical time for the online lender. By far the biggest alternative student loan lender, SoFi has raised a ton of venture capital dollars–$1.38 billion to date–and has expanded into other areas including mortgages and now banking.
Earlier this month, SoFi inked a deal to acquire Zenbanx Holding, a startup fintech that provides online and mobile banking accounts in different currencies and enables customers to transfer money across the globe. While terms of the deal were not disclosed, the Wall Street Journal citied a person familiar with the matter as saying the deal, in which SoFi paid with all stock, was valued at around $100 million.
Author: Donna Fuscaldo
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