Three years ago, Mike Brown sold his car, moved back in with his mother, and prayed that his nascent coffee concept would somehow get off the ground.
His business, Death Wish Coffee, sells through six retail partners, and has a strong
e-commerce branch. Now it's expected to significantly expand its reach thanks to a 30-second ad during Super Bowl 50, which airs on television February 7.
On Thursday, Death Wish Coffee was announced as the winner of Intuit's "Small Business, Big Game" competition. In hopes of winning the first prize of a Super Bowl ad spot, companies raced to apply last summer. Judges selected by the software maker picked 10 finalists from a total of 15,000 small-business applicants. The American public then voted on their favorites.
The ad will be produced by production agency RPA. All costs will be covered by Intuit.
"The goal of this competition is really to help fuel the success of small businesses," said entrepreneur Bill Rancic, the host of the contest.
Death Wish Coffee is clearly poised for a major sales boost. Last year the Super Bowl drew 114 million viewers, making it the most-watch television event to date.
Major companies typically spend around $4.4 million for a slot (that's 76 percent more than what it cost 10 years ago, according to data from ad-tracking research firm Kantar Media). Between 2006 and 2015, the Super Bowl generated a whopping $2.38 billion in sales for those brands, data showed.
The runners-up in the competition were Vidler's 5 & 10, a traditional five-and-dime store based in East Aurora, New York, and Chubbie's Shorts, a clothing retailer based in San Francisco, California.