Super Bowl Winners Don’t Get Paid as Much as You Think

The Super Bowl is one of the most expensive spectacles in the world. And NFL, a multi-billion dollar company, spares no expense putting on a show that’s equal parts sporting event and concert. Because of this, people may think winning the Super Bowl comes with hefty financial rewards. While the players do make decent money, it’s not as much as people think. 

Cost of the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is often lauded as being beneficial for the host city. The NFL claims the game can bring in up to a half-billion dollars in revenue, although some people dispute this number. Regardless, the global event puts one game in the spotlight for not only Americans but interested parties around the world.

To advertise during the Super Bowl this season, companies likely need to shell out more than last year’s $4.5 million for ad space. This revenue is huge for both the NFL and the companies doing the advertising. On top of the $4.5 million in ad space, commercials can cost millions more in production. 

Then, there are stadiums. These venues are often built with dreams of a Super Bowl occurring there. When a stadium hosts the game, it will often undergo a renovation that can cost millions in its own right. Tickets, however, can be worth five or six figures for the game alone.

Despite the millions, if not billions, that the Super Bowl entails, the players see little monetary action. 

How much do NFL players make in the Super Bowl?

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Julian Edelman celebrate winning Super Bowl LIII
The Patriots’ Tom Brady and Julian Edelman celebrate winning Super Bowl LIII | Al Bello/Getty Images

The players are paid throughout the playoffs thanks to an incentive-based model that rewards winning. According to 95.1 The Bull, division winners are given $31,000 and a bye week, while the wild-card participants make $28,000 a person.

Make it to the conference championship, and the players each make $56,000. These are nice salaries for those who don’t make NFL salaries — and the paychecks only grow from there. 

Once it’s time for the Super Bowl, the NFL shells out $124,000 per member to the winning team and $62,000 per member to the losers. All in all, winning the Super Bowl can net players $250,000 for making it all the way. When we break down the math, however, we can see this is not necessarily a great payday for them all. 

Is this good pay for Super Bowl participants? 

Players at the end of the bench likely relish this amount of money. $30,000 alone is more than many people make in a year, and for millionaires, it could mean a little bit more fun on vacation or at home. However, for star players who often make upwards of $20 million, this is drastically low.

Should Jimmy Garoppolo lead the San Francisco 49ers to the big game and win, the six-figure bonus would be a harsh pay cut when compared to what he makes in a single game during the regular season. His contract, should he reach all of the incentives, can net him over $1 million per matchup. This is the case with many big-name players. 

At the end of the day, the goal of the Super Bowl is to win — not to make money. Still, for an event as lucrative as the Super Bowl, it’s surprising that the combined bonuses for the winners amount to only two commercials worth of money. 

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