The impact of the Super Bowl isn’t just felt by the players and coaches. When it comes to the events surrounding the game itself, what happens can impact fans, media, and businesses. With the amount of attention the event garners, many people get a boost from the result.
While NFL Week 7 odds may not have an impact on the Super Bowl, there are many events leading up to the big game that impact the big game. Over the years, the Super Bowl has grown in popularity and has extended its reach beyond the United State’s borders. Here’s a look at why the Super Bowl is important and who it means the most to.
The Super Bowl and Korean War
Advertisers are always keen to buy airtime during the Super Bowl. For Super Bowl LVI last February, which paired the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals, NBC charged prospective advertisers $6.5 million for a 30-second commercial. That was an increase from $5.5 million the year before.
Part of the appeal of buying time is the amount of reach the Super Bowl has. Of the top 20 most-watched television broadcasts in U.S. history, the Super Bowl accounted for 19 of those broadcasts. The only non-Super Bowl TV show to crack the top 20 was the finale to M*A*S*H, a war-time dramedy about the Korean War, which came in at No. 9.
Super Bowl XLIX, a 28-24 New England Patriots win over the Seattle Seahawks, currently has the record for viewership with 114 million views. Last year’s game came in at 11th on the all-time list, bringing in 101 million views.
It Makes Legacies
Few, there always seems to be one outlier, would ever argue the greatness of John Elway. However, without closing his career without consecutive Super Bowl victories, Elway could have been relegated to being a footnote in NFL history. However, finally got over the hump in Super Bowl XXXII, leading the Denver Broncos to a 31-24 win over the favored Green Bay Packers.
What had hurt Elway’s legacy previously was his inability to win the big game. Elway led Denver to the Super Bowl three times in the 1980s, only to come away with crushing losses every time. However, the Broncos beating the Packers, followed by a win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII helped revive Elway and avoid him being labeled a choker.
Creating a Buzz at Halftime
The NFL and AFL, before the merger, couldn’t have possibly conceived of how the NFL’s championship game would grow over time. During the first halftime show, the entertainment consisted of marching bands from Arizona State and Grambling. When it came to a tradition of having celebrities perform, that wouldn’t start until Super Bowl IV between the Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings.
Carole Channing joined another marching band — this time Southern University — to sing the Saints were marching in. The NFL didn’t really have a headliner until Michael Jackson performed at Super Bowl XXVII in 1993. The success of Jackson’s show led to the NFL phasing out marching bands and other acts in favor of concerts from bigger acts.
How those concerts have fared over the year has been mixed. The NFL made them more conservative following an incident where Justin Timberlake ripped off a part of Janet Jackson’s shirt to reveal her chest during Super Bowl XXXVIII between the Patriots and Panthers in 2003. However, since there has been a lot of distance between then and now, the NFL has been more open to having riskier acts back on. The large audience of the game provides artists with exposure to an audience that has a wide variety.
Average Fans Lose Out
Tickets to the first Super Bowl, then known as the AFL-NFL World Championship game, were $12, which is $90 adjusted for inflation. As the NFL has grown in popularity and the league has looked to bring in more revenue, ticket prices have exploded. Ticket prices hit $1,000 per ticket for Super Bowl XLIII between the Steelers and Cardinals in 2009.
Before Super Bowl LVI last winter, the average ticket was going for $6,600 dollars. Trying to make the trek from Cincinnati to Los Angeles was not affordable for most fans.