Big Spending Planned for Big Game

Jan 26, 2011

The Packers versus the Steelers. Two great franchises in
the history of the Nation Football League are preparing to battle for the Lombardi
Trophy. At the same time, consumers are getting ready to eat, drink and have

According to a new survey by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association
(RAMA), conducted by BIGresearch, the average consumer is expected to spend
$59.33 on items related to the Super Bowl this year, up from $52.63 in 2010.
Total spending for the big game is projected to hit  $10.1 billion.

171 million people are expected to watch the game this year with 15 percent
of those planning on throwing their own party.

"With all of the planning and preparation that goes into throwing a
good party, retailers have cause for celebration too," said Mike Gatti,
executive director, RAMA. "Consumers hoping to wow their friends and
family with a new HDTV should act fast as this is one of the most popular times
of the year to buy new televisions."

According to the RAMA report, 4.5
million people are planning on buying a new television to watch the game. That’s
up from 3.6 million last year and 2.7 million in 2009.

Consumer electronics
retailers aren’t the only ones with reasons to be excited about Super Bowl
Sunday. Other items on consumer shopping lists include groceries, team apparel/accessories,
decorations, furniture and entertainment centers.

While 47 percent say the game
is most important, large numbers of consumers watch the Super Bowl broadcast
for other reasons. Nearly 26 percent are interested in the commercials, nearly
20 percent cite the opportunity to hang with friends and nearly 8 percent want
to rock out, wardrobe malfunctions aside, during the halftime show.

On the commercials,
nearly three-quarters of consumers see Super Bowl spots as entertainment. Of
course, 17 percent say advertisers should skip the commercials and apply the
money spent on TV spots to reduce the cost of goods. More than 17 percent say
Super Bowl commercials make them aware of brands and nearly eight percent say
they are influenced to purchase a product based on the ads they see during
the game.

Young adults, 18-24, are the most likely to be influenced by Super
Bowl spots at 15.4 percent. The least likely to be influenced are 55-64 year-olds.

Discussion Questions: Do projections for spending around the Super Bowl make you optimistic that the improvement seen during the holiday sales season is continuing? What are your thoughts on the relative importance and return on investment for brands advertising during the Super Bowl broadcast?

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5 Comments on "Big Spending Planned for Big Game"

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Dick Seesel
11 years 4 months ago

I’m hopeful that spending surrounding the Super Bowl (food and drinks for parties, team apparel, etc.) will be higher than last year, but an increase of almost 13% sounds overly optimistic. This number is far beyond the sort of overall increase that retailers experienced during the holiday season, and I’m curious about the underlying research driving the forecast. Nevertheless, the NFL is lucky to have two “legacy” teams with enthusiastic national fan bases involved in the big game this year. Our household has already contributed to the local (Wisconsin) economy with our share of Packers t-shirts and the like.

Phil Rubin
Phil Rubin
11 years 4 months ago
Anytime the projected sales of televisions are expected to be up by 33% year over year is a good time. It’s another key indicator that the 1mm people added to the payrolls in the last year lift the economy. In terms of the value and importance of advertising during the Super Bowl, there’s no clear yes/no answer. On the plus side, there are very few opportunities to get a single and compelling message out to so many people at once. There are only a few brands that this makes sense for and even fewer brands that can actually deliver such a compelling message in 30 or 60 seconds. For those that can do this and have the resources (i.e., money), it’s a great opportunity. Further, with the ability to leverage other media (earned, social, direct channels) there is tremendous value beyond the TV spot itself. The downside is that very few brands pull this off in such a way that there is actual long-term payback beyond the entertainment value and short-lived popularity of a spot.… Read more »
Tim Smith
11 years 4 months ago

Super Bowl ads do not make me buy more Bud or Tostito’s. These are entertaining. The value for me is new items or companies to explore.

Lee Peterson
11 years 4 months ago

A famous coach once said, “all good news is good news” and a little bit more on Super Bowl snacks is good news. Add this to countless other tidbits or slivers of positive items coming across the airwaves and I believe you could call it ‘recovery’, albeit a slow one.

I wonder how much the additional spending will help the city of Pittsburgh and the entire state of Wisconsin’s economies. Bet that’s double digit territory.

Tim Henderson
Tim Henderson
11 years 4 months ago
The projections for increased Super Bowl-related spending are good news, but they can’t be viewed as a harbinger of increased general spending the rest of the year. When consumers prepare for and participate in various holidays and celebrations, they’re motivated by the desire to have fun and share with family, friends and loved ones. Given such motivators, as well as the once-a-year nature of the events, we should expect consumers to spend more. Or, as was the case during the recession, resort to behaviors like “practical gifting” so they can still celebrate, but do so on a thinner budget. I expect consumers will continue to inch their spending upward for various holidays and special occasions. And I also expect we’ll see a moderate increase in everyday spending. But the key behavior here is that consumers will still work to keep their spending in check, whether by adopting practical gifting behaviors, shopping at value chains for gifts and holiday foods, focusing on needs vs. desires, or simply adhering to the various ways they have adopted to… Read more »

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