Super Bowl ad wars: It's Bloomberg vs. Trump, and they're spending millions

The game is set for Feb. 2, the day before the Iowa caucuses, and could be watched by roughly 100 million people in the U.S.
Image: Super Bowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams played the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3, 2019.Rob Carr / Getty Images

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By Jordan Jackson, Monica Alba and Allan Smith

It's the battle of the billionaires.

The campaigns of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and President Donald Trump each plan to spend $10 million for advertisements during the telecast of next month's Super Bowl.

Bloomberg locked down a 60-second spot, The New York Times reported Tuesday. The Bloomberg campaign confirmed the ad buy, which will target Trump, to NBC News.

The Super Bowl, which is set for Feb. 2, will air on Fox and could be watched by more than 100 million people in the United States. It is some of the most expensive TV ad time of the year.

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A Bloomberg campaign spokesperson said that when they heard reports that Trump was potentially running a 30-second Super Bowl ad, Bloomberg "opted for more impact and more time with 60 seconds."

"Mike is taking the fight to Trump," the spokesperson added.

After the reports about Bloomberg, a Trump campaign spokesman said the president's re-election campaign will spend about $10 million to advertise during the Super Bowl. It has purchased 60 seconds of commercial time, which could be one spot or two 30-second versions.

"We moved early and got prime ad position early in the game," one of the Trump officials said, highlighting that the Bloomberg campaign was acting in response to their original plans.

The 2020 Trump campaign began discussing the airtime with Fox back in the fall and reserved time officially last month. It was paid for last week, the officials said.

The ad will be previewed in text message to Trump supporters, days before the game.

“The president’s decision to stay aggressive and keep the campaign open after his first election gave us a huge head start on his re-election," Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said. "The president has built an awesome, high-performance, omnichannel machine, and it's time to give it some gas."

For his part, Bloomberg boosted his campaign staff to more than 800 people and has spent more than $100 million so far on advertising. A late entrant to the Democratic presidential primary, he is bypassing the early-voting states and instead focusing his campaign on Super Tuesday on March 3 and states that vote later in the primary calendar.

Ali Vitali contributed.