This might be the biggest payoff from an iPad sales pitch ever

by David Needle

May 10 2013

The San Francisco 49ers used an iPad to bid on hosting the 50th Superbowl.
The San Francisco 49ers used an iPad to bid on hosting the 50th Superbowl.

Tablets are playing an increasingly important role in ecommerce and other business transactions, but the recent use of an iPad by a group of Silicon Valley heavyweights is especially noteworthy.

A group from the San Francisco Bay Area decided to package its bid to host the 50th Superbowl in 2016 in a white iPad, pre-loaded with the video pitch. 

“We're excited to show you what the Bay Area has to offer," San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee says on the screen, according to a report in the Mercury News.

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt also makes an appearance on the video, committing to a broad partnership with Silicon Valley megacompanies like Apple and Yahoo to io create "the most innovative Super Bowl ever."

Schmidt alludes to undisclosed technology and teases in the video that local tech companies "are finally capable of doing this thing together." 

If San Francisco gets the winning bid, it would host the 50th Superbowl at the 49ers new stadium in Santa Clara that is still being built, but set for completion in time for the start of next year's NFL football season.

Studies by both the NFL and groups competing to host the Super Bowl say the event typically brings in at least $300 million for the host city. Before Houston hosted Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, for example, a committee formed to generate support for the bid estimated that it would generate more than $330 million in revenue.

But an independent analysis reported by CBS News disputes such numbers. After the game, Houston controller's office found that it resulted in only $129 million in direct spending in the two-week period around the Superbowl. But whatever the number, the packaging of an iPad to make the bid was a clever and tiny investment compared to the potential payoff.

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