T-Mobile released an amusing 60-second commercial Friday morning that reimagines the chain of events that brought Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to Florida to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brady, 43, and Gronk, 31, are seen video chatting on their phones, with Gronk talking up the retirement lifestyle and trying to get Brady to hang up his cleats and join him.
But in the end, the message doesn't get through to Tom...
The spot has all the earmarks of a Super Bowl commercial, but T-Mobile says it won't air on Sunday's telecast. In posts on Twitter and YouTube, the company claims the spot has been "banned," apparently because of the NFL's partnership with Verizon.
"Even after editing, the spot was still banned 'based on the ... protected telco rights deal,' " the brand wrote on YouTube. "So, watch and decide for yourself ... what does the 'official telco sponsor' not want you to see?"
"This ad will not air on Sunday. Why was it banned?" T-Mobile wrote on Twitter. Meanwhile, CEO Mike Sievert posted several times on Twitter himself, also saying the spot was "banned." And yet the Today show debuted the spot Friday morning, saying it was indeed a Super Bowl commercial.
Well this is fun... one of our @TMobile commercials was BANNED from the big game on Sunday. Want to see it anyway…? 😉— Mike Sievert (@MikeSievert) February 5, 2021
You're in luck! We’re giving it to the @TODAYshow to air today at 8am ET!! #TheGOATin5G
We've reached out to both telcoms for comment. T-Mobile has a long history of irreverent marketing stunts, so its claim that the spot was ever in consideration for a Super Bowl slot seems dubious. It's also possible that Verizon has secured a new category exclusivity on the game—having significantly expanded its relationship with the NFL this year.
Verizon is introducing in-stadium 5G solutions for fans attending in-person in Tampa, delivering immersive and interactive viewing experiences, and creating the first-ever 5G Stadium in Fortnite Creative—among other efforts (including an in-game spot).