Congratulations to 2016 Small Business Big Game Winner, Death Wish Coffee Company!

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We all know that small businesses drive our economy, but rarely stand in the national spotlight. Small Business Big Game was one way Intuit QuickBooks gave small businesses a voice. It was the massive recognition and celebration small businesses deserve.

And it created the opportunity of a lifetime for one small business: a 30-second commercial on the Big Game.

Every year, some of the world's biggest brands pay top dollar to feature their brands during the Big Game. They pay a premium for good reason. The live TV audience on game day has reached upwards of 121 million viewers! Because of the high demand and high cost, the commercials that run are usually just for huge national corporations.

But that has changed.

The winner, Death Wish Coffee Company, received a 30-second TV commercial promoting their products that ran on the Big Game. Intuit QuickBooks covered the cost of developing and producing the commercial as well as the cost of purchasing 30 seconds' worth of advertising time during the Big Game.large (1).png

It’s a great story. Death Wish Coffee Company sells “The World’s Strongest Coffee” using the strongest combination of beans and a perfect roasting process. They were able to beat out 17,000 other small businesses who entered the contest looking to win a commercial on the big game. Their loyal fan base of avid customers rallied together to help them garner more votes than any other small business.

And it paid off – big time. In 2015, Death Wish Coffee generated revenue of about $3 million. Mike Brown, founder and CEO, said he and his accountants conservatively estimated revenue would top out at $10 million last year as a result of the commercial. The actual number was twice that at $20 million.

"In 30 seconds, we tripled in size," said John Swedish, operations manager for Death Wish Coffee. And the trajectory is continuing into 2017. "The Super Bowl took Death Wish Coffee from a little warehouse park in Round Lake, [New York] and sent it on a rocket across the world," Mr. Brown said.

So, don’t walk, RUN to to get yourself a cup of the strongest Joe around. You won’t regret it!

Community Manager

Tripling your business's size in 30 short seconds?! Amazing :-) 

Senior Explorer **

This is an excellent piece that speaks to the power of content marketing. Specialty coffee is a saturated market and there is fierce industry competition between shops and large-scale roasting companies. Visibility is a challenge, standing out even more so. The TV spot was very creative, visually excellent, and certainly entertaining. 


I'd be curious to see a comparison of Deathwish's growth trends before and after the Superbowl as well as learn about the changes to their client-base - the Superbowl doesn't strike me as the natural market for coffee but it certainly worked! Coffee has a lot to do with branding and brand loyalty. What got them started on their journey from becoming a small business to a nationally recognized brand? I'd love to hear more about their internal efforts. 


Great article and great collaboration, thank you. 

Established Community Backer ***

Hi @Hayaibookusu and welcome to QB Community! I too think it's pretty awesome that a small business coffee brand was given a commercial spot in the Super Bowl. And how cool is it that they tripled in size from just a 30 second commercial??  You can find a little bit more about Mike Brown and his company here and the impact the exposure had on their small business here.  


Senior Explorer **

Hello @AudreyPratt. Thank you for the warm welcome.


Agreed, it is really incredible. I've worked in the industry in shops/operations of many sizes in all capacities, so stories about budding aspirations and rocketed growth in coffee are quite interesting. More and more specialty coffee is getting recognized which is fantastic, and a lot of it has to do with craftsmen and owners sticking to values, letting them stew, and outside sources recognizing and then supporting that passion. Glad sticking to their core mission really launched their success. 


Thank you for the additional resources. Any chance these interviews will be on video? 

Established Community Backer ***

@Hayaibookusu Happy Friday! I too LOVE that the coffee industry has expanded and grown so much. I have become quite picky when it comes to my coffee preference. Smiley Wink Like a fine wine, a lot of energy and attention to detail goes into making a great cup of coffee and I'm happy their hard work is getting the attention it deserves. 

These interviews are not on video, however I just discovered that Death Wish Coffee has an awesome podcast and blog. There may be some great information for you there!