Statistics Reveal Super Bowl is a Marketing Godzilla

Super Bowl Sunday explodes in all its extravaganza on February 1. The New England Patriots face the Seattle Seahawks, with Katy Perry as the halftime bacchanalia. Idina Menzel will sing the National Anthem, and John Travolta will likely not be there to mistake her name a second time.

The event is truly the Promised Land for marketers—a quasi-holiday celebrating not so much physical prowess but untethered capitalism.

This is truly apparent by simply inspecting some business-drooling statistics, the Holy (Moly!) Trinity of Super Bowl:


Only on Thanksgiving Day do Americans eat more in the course of the year. From recent numbers, the population will eat approximately 1.5 billion chicken wings. Other food data makes one wonder who was the sadist who scheduled Super Bowl Sunday so close to New Year’s Day and its resolutions. They are:

  $50 million on food during the four days prior to the Super Bowl.
–  Beer sales will increase by $17.9 million during Super Bowl week.
–  4,000 tons of popcorn will be devoured.
–  Eight million pounds of guacamole and 14,500 tons of chips will be consumed.
–  5,000 pounds of hot dogs will be sold during the game.

After Super Bowl Sunday, it is likely the deadly sin of Gluttony will take the rest of the year off or at least be the first one at Disneyland.


Although not as popular as the World Cup in gross numbers, the Super Bowl is the most viewed sporting event in the U.S. It actually ranks higher than any other television show. Last year’s game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks was the most watched show in history (111.5 million viewers, basically one out of 63 people in the world). In fact, nine out of ten most-viewed shows are Super Bowls.

That doesn’t come cheap for advertisers, needless to say. A 30-second spot is estimated to cost between $4-4.5 million, basically at$150,000 per second. This is a long way from the first Super Bowl in 1967 that cost between $37,500 to $42,500.

That’s the type of inflation Patriot ball handlers never want to see…

The cost of Super Bowl advertising is not throwing money into the wind, mind you, for it is as sound as betting on a polar vortex arriving to a Chicago in winter. Our own qSample study revealed the high ROI of investing in Super Bowl commercials:

More than 60 percent of respondents said they typically took some sort of action after viewing a Super Bowl ad. For example, nearly 12 percent of those polled said they search for a particular product after viewing a Super Bowl ad. Nearly 10 percent claim to have visited the advertiser’s web site. Almost 10 percent said they plan to visit the advertiser’s Facebook page.


From a gambling perspective the Super Bowl is a money Godzilla. A Northwest Business Review article stated:

Each year, over $90 million is wagered on the game, and over half of Americans surveyed admitted to having bet on the Super Bowl—41% of men and 21% of women.

Some gambling will be friendly, some will professional, and some will have nothing to do with the game at all (like the crucial notion of whether Idina Menzelin will omit a word from the National Anthem, with or without John Travolta present).

Here are some other noteworthy dollar statistics on the Super Bowl, lest we forget there is an actual game:

  $5,000 is the average price of a ticket.
  $13,888 is what one ticket goes for on EBay.
  $97,000 the amount each winning team player gets.
  $50,000 the amount each loser team player gets.

The Super Bowl is certainly the perfect marriage between sport and television, entertainment and community (an average of 17 people attend each Super Bowl party). This marketing nirvana did not happen overnight, but was cultivated for years once its potential was noticed by a huge portion of the business culture. Even the Monday after the Super Bowl affects the consumer world, as 6% of people call in sick from work and Antacid sales increase by 20%.

They key in any marketing, same as it ever was, is to make a business not seem like a business but part of something greater and meaningful, an overarching narrative where everyone belongs in some manner or another. In a way, that is the American Dream.

That is Super Bowl Sunday.


Superbowl Infographic 2015

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