NFL referees don’t get a lot of love, But the refs chosen to work the Superbowl do get their own Superbowl rings.
Receiving a Superbowl ring
A Superbowl ring is obviously a valuable object. Only the winning team gets them, but so do all the referees. The tradition goes all the way back to the first NFL-AFL Championship Game in 1967, which is retroactively called Superbowl I.
Only referees with the best reputations and records are chosen to officiate the Superbowl. They do receive compensation above and beyond their salaries for the work. But the ring serves as an extra reward and moment.
In fact, the refs are the only people guaranteed to get Superbowl rings regardless of the outcome of the game.
But rest assured, they’re nowhere near as large or as valuable as the massive diamond-encrusted rings the players get.
Who else gets a ring?
According to NBC 6 News (cited below):
“While there isn’t a hard-and-fast number to how much a Super Bowl ring is worth, depending on the circumstances and details of the ring, experts generally appraise them between $30,000 and $50,000 based on the jewels and features alone.”
As of 2020, all 53 players on a winning NFL team, as well as coaches, team executives, and the practice squad get Superbowl rings. But they’re not all worth the same amount of money. The bling that goes to non-players is up to the discretion of team owners. And they have so much discretion that they can even choose to bestow some type of ring on cheerleaders and trainers.
While the losing team members do not get Superbowl rings, they do get conference championship rings. But it’s a lot rarer for someone to show one of those off, so we don’t hear much about them.
Who makes and pays for Superbowl rings?
Ever wonder who makes Superbowl rings? It’s typically Jostens – the same company that makes most yearbooks and class rings! However, they have to bid on the job each year. In the past, they’ve been outbid a few times by Balfour and even Tiffany’s & Co.
Wondering who pays for all this bling?
The cost of team rings is split between the NFL (which contributes roughly $5k to $7k per ring for up to 150 rings per team) and team owners. — WTF fun facts