Super Bowl Politics: Punts, PACs, and Passes

While Americans remain divided over politics, football is one of the few things we can all agree to love. The Super Bowl LVIII kickoff is hours away, so we are taking a look at the top companies involved this year. We’ll be considering their donation distributions, contribution sizes, and campaign finance reform (CFR) scores to provide a rundown of game day politics.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs: Their political contributions are of medium magnitude, with a CFR score of -35. Donations are rather skewed, with 69% going toward Democrats.
  2. San Francisco 49ers: Their CFR score is 71, but contribution level is minimal. Donations are 100% left-leaning.
  3. Las Vegas Raiders: This year’s Super Bowl will take place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, which opened just four years ago in 2020. This stadium is home to the Las Vegas Raiders, who have a medium political contribution level, CFR score of 40, and a 54% Republican lean.
  4. CBS: They will be broadcasting the game this year. They have a CFR score of 39 and a 66% Democratic lean in their political spending. They have recently funded Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Kamala Harris.
  5. NFL: The NFL has a very high political contribution level with a CFR score of -41, but their donations are evenly split between parties, with 48% going to Democrats and 52% going to Republicans. 
  6. Anheuser-Busch InBev: Bud Light is the official sponsor of the NFL, and the brand has faced massive political controversy over the past year due to their sponsorship deal with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. They have been committed to regaining support from their right-leaning customers, but their political donations are still mostly Democratic at 60%. Contributions are very high in magnitude, and the brand has a CFR score of -71.
  7. Wilson: All of the NFL’s footballs are produced by Wilson. The company does not donate significant amounts to politicians or PACs, giving them a CFR score of 100.
  8. Apple: The official sponsor of this year’s halftime show, starring Usher, is Apple Music. The company has an 85% Democratic lean in political donations, which come entirely from Apple’s senior executives rather than the company itself. They have a very high contribution level and a CFR score of 66.
  9. Verizon: The official network of the NFL has a very high contribution level with a CFR score of -55. They are split evenly in terms of political party, with 51% of donations going to Democrats and 49% to Republicans.
  10. Toyota: This year, Toyota will be advertising their new 2024 Tacoma during the game, because there can’t be a Super Bowl without car commercials! The company has a very high contribution level which is evenly split between parties. Their CFR score is -46.

It seems that no matter which team takes home the trophy this weekend, the true winners are Democrats, with their considerable gains from the brands participating in this year’s Super Bowl.

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