This year's Super Bowl features the Green Bay Packers against the Pittsburgh Steelers. But there will be no cheerleaders. The Packers and the Steelers are just two of six teams (along with the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears) that don't field a pom-pom waving squad.
Although their seasons are over, cheerleaders are an important part of the NFL offseason for the 26 teams that do have them. Why? Because, when executed well, they provide endless clicks for Web surfing fans and additional revenue in appearances (teams usually charge between $100 and $500 per hour per cheerleader) and swimsuit calendar revenue. In fact, with plenty of women to audition and money to be had (most cheerleaders make less than $100 a game), the number of cheerleaders has increased exponentially in recent years.
In 2010, 15 teams each dressed more than 30 cheerleaders for games and have found ways, especially online, to generate revenue from their top squads. However, as valuations go, NFL teams are hesitant to put a dollar figure on their cheerleading squads, but the use of these cheerleaders as a vehicle for marketing is certainly in the public eye.
Here is my ranking of the top 10 teams that take the most monetary advantage of their cheerleaders.
By Darren RovellPosted 27 Jan 2011
While it's not the greatest cheerleader site, the sponsorship revenue the Broncos cheerleaders bring in is pretty impressive. There's a company sponsoring tanning, yoga and spa services.
The Broncos are also the only cheerleading squad that has a breast augmentation sponsor, Dr. Ben Lee. They’re also one of the only teams, if not the only team, to sell cheerleader packagesfor events.
Video is the major theme. The Patriots were smart in that they have video pre-rolled, so once you click on a cheerleader's bio, you'll automatically see video of them. They also have an extensive gallery of photos sorted by cheerleader and are one of the few teams to keep previous squad galleries up on their site -- why delete them?
After the Cowboys, the Raiderettes get the most press in the league. Given the team's performance in recent years, it's one of the few redeeming aspects of going to their games. The Raiderettes have among the most sponsors including Euphoria Nail and Body Bar, MAC makeup, Betsey Johnson swimwear and 365 Teeth Whitening.
As for appearance fees at events, Raiders cheerleaders cost a planner $400 each, per hour, to show up, with a minimum of two cheerleaders required at an event.
The Chiefs also understand that static pictures of cheerleaders aren't going to create buzz in 2011. The site features great videos of the cheerleaders, sponsored by Sprint, where fans can get to know the girls. But if you want to meet these cheerleaders in person, it’ll cost you $250 per hour, per cheerleader for their appearance fee.
To find some of the best cheerleader video, you'll have to go to the Tennessee Titans Web site. There, you'll find Swimsuit calendar video of all the entire team, which at 24 women is actually the smallest in the league.
However, if you want these cheerleaders to show up at an event, it’s going to cost you. The Titans charge $300 per hour, per cheerleader for performances and $200 per cheerleader per hour if you’re hosting a meet-and-greet.
The Eagles have the only cheerleader Web site that makes you click "continue" because of mature content ahead, click continue, it's worth it (for some people) . The Eagles have a really well organized roster section with easy to click video and photo galleries of each woman.
NFL teams have a 53-man active roster throughout the season. The Miami Dolphins field a league - high 41 cheerleaders, which translates into a lot of offseason clicks throughs on their Web site. There are plenty of 'Cheerleader of the Week' videos, photo galleries and calendar shots.
There's no doubt that this legendary group, with a history that spans 50 years, had to make this list. The team has its own Web page, has the most extensive schedule of off-the-field appearances and has a fully clickable roster with pictures of every group dating back to 1961.
There's no doubt that the Cowboys cheerleaders generate the most money of any squad in the league, not only from appearance fees but from exclusive sponsorships, including hair (Tigi Bed Head), Boots (Lucchese) and Tanning (Palm Beach Tan), but as far as online marketing goes, they're only number 3.
The Houston Texans were better than the Dallas Cowboys on the field this past season and they're better at exploiting their cheerleaders -- at least online -- than the Cowboys are.
The team has big bio pictures of the squad and is one of the few that offers screensaver wallpaper of every woman. The Texans are also the only team that offers fans the chance to see the girls in the gym as they give you their workout advice -- brilliant.
I know, you expected to find the Dallas Cowboys on the top of this list, but no team has a more extensive of a library of cheerleader photos than the Indianapolis Colts. You can sort through over 2,000 shots that not only can be looked at, but also ordered. No other team in the league allows fans to do that.
The Colts are also the only team in the league to post a photo gallery of some of the favorites to join the squad next season. Fans can look at 65 candidates for the team and vote for who they think should join the team next. There's also a voting leaderboard for the candidates and the top vote getter, Lindsey K., has more than 1,000 votes.