Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:CO) and PespsiCo Inc. (NASDAQ:PEP) have announced that they will not be advertising their namesake sodas at this year’s Super Bowl.

Coke will not advertise at this year’s Super Bowl

Traditionally the rivalry between the two has always been at the center stage of advertising at the annual NFL game. However, this year both are sitting out with Coke stating that this year it will toast to other brands. Kate Hartman a spokesperson for Coca-Cola said that the decision was difficult but it ensures that the company invests in the right resources considering the current unprecedented times.

In 2019, Coke had opted to run an ad before the annual NFL championship game instead of during the game. However, over recent months the beverage behemoth has suffered the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first nine months of last year, it saw its revenue decline 13% after missing out on restaurant, office buildings, and gas station sales.

PepsiCo to focus on halftime show sponsorship

On its part, PepsiCo indicated that it was cutting its traditional ads and focus on its halftime show sponsorship featuring the weekend. PepsiCo has been sponsoring the Super Bowl halftime show for the past ten years. Despite the beverage company sitting out of traditional ads, its subsidiary, Frito-Lay, is planning to feature in-game ads. Frito-lay said it will run three Super Bowl ads including one featuring NFL stars Troy Aikman and Deion Sanders, Peyto, and Eli Manning.

The Super Bowl is one of the largest sporting events in the US and the biggest TV ad showcase each year. Companies get a 30-second spot to advertise which commands around $5 to $6 million per spot. But, in recent times NFL has struggled with dropping broadcasts ratings throughout the season even though they have made efforts to appeal to new audiences.

In mid-December, NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell said that the organization hasn’t decided on the number of fans allowed to attend the Super Bowl in the wake of the pandemic. Initially, plans were to limit attendance to 20%.