AT&T, Dr Pepper Shut Out of Super Bowl XLV Fun

After our discussion about the sponsors of Super Bowl XLV, the CEO of the North Texas Host Committee, Bill Lively, told me today that there are seven other possible “founding $1 million sponsors” in some stage of negotiation. While it’s unlikely that all seven of those will come through, he said he’s confident that they’re close to securing deals with at least two of them, possibly a third.

Two North Texas companies that won’t be among those are AT&T and Dr Pepper. Both would love to be involved with supporting the efforts behind the Feb. 6, 2011, game at Cowboys Stadium, according to Lively. The Host Committee would love to accept $1 million donations from each of them, and believes that it would have already, except that the NFL’s  rules have gotten in the way.

The league has existing official national sponsors in both the telecommunications (Sprint) and soft drink (Pepsi) industries. Those deals prevent competitors from being allowed to brand themselves with the NFL. The Host Committee could take money from AT&T and Dr Pepper, but the companies wouldn’t be able to use the Super Bowl logo or to be acknowledged publicly as a sponsor. So why would they bother?

Lively and Host Committee chairman Roger Staubach have tried to come up with ways in which AT&T and Dr Pepper can participate, being “creative” in their proposals. But so far, there’s been no way to get a deal done with these seemingly willing partners.