With the Pro Bowl over (and mostly unwatched), the true NFL spectacle begins with Super Bowl week — a media circus unlike any other. For the next seven days, the United States (and much of the world) will be inundated with everything Super Bowl XLVI, from gameday matchups to asinine questions about the Kardashian sisters. No, really, there’s precedent.
However, some of the most interesting facts revolve around the game itself. The Super Bowl is its own monster, and SmartMoney recently looked at some of the more interesting economic, financial and other facets of America’s greatest sports spectacle. A quick rundown of some of the biggest side effects from the Super Bowl:
If you’re going to pay about $3.5 million per 30-second ad, it had better pay off. And it does! Rama Yelkur, a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire marketing professor, says that from 1996 to 2010, Super Bowl advertisers topped the S&P 500 by an average of 1% in a two-week period surrounding the game — and many companies that used those same ads throughout the year topped the market even longer. Also, the Super Bowl result itself has coincidental ties to the market — 80% of the time an “original” NFL team has won the super bowl, the Dow Jones has finished the year in the black.
There’s a reason those aforementioned commercial slots go for millions apiece — the 100 million-plus pairs of eyes watching them. And as much as football purists would love to think the game is growing its fan base, the truth is, many watch just for the ads. Last year’s “Dark Side of the Force” Volkswagen (PINK:VLKAY) ad was the talk of the office after the fact, and is the most-shared ad of all time, according to Unruly Media.
Everyone knows everyday ticket prices continue to skyrocket (regardless of your team’s decade-long postseason-less streak), but the Super Bowl runs away with the concept. Sports ticket aggregator TiqIq says an average resale ticket costs 74% more ($4,000) than last year, with a high of $15,300 — and one report shows a ticket broke the $16,000 mark. Factor in travel and lodging costs, and most working stiffs can forget about it.
Playoff pools, score pools, stat pools — despite the cold weather, February is a poolside vacation for most cubicle dwellers. And according to estimates by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, employers lost $1 billion last year in wasted work time during Super Bowl week. According to SmartMoney, “American employers lost $205 million for every 10 minutes employees spent talking about the Super Bowl instead of working.”
Speaking of pools, the gambling itch overcomes more than half of American adults during the Super Bowl, according to Pregame.com. And CouponCabin says 92% of the people it surveyed have lost money on a Super Bowl bet before. For those slow at math, that means unless you’re Rob Gronkowski’s trainer, you shouldn’t be putting money down on this game. Of course, people don’t just gamble on the final result — quarterly scores, postgame awards, individual stats and anything else you can tally is up for grabs.