By Barry Janoff
January 25, 2017: When it comes to the Super Bowl, all the numbers are big, big, big.
More than 110 million people are expected to watch Super Bowl LI Feb. 5 and even more will tune in to watch the half time show on Fox, which has been charging upward of $5 million for a 30-second spot.
Consumer spending related to the Big Game will also be big, as much as $14.1 billion on food, beverages, new TVs, clothing, eating in restaurants and bars, travel and other related items, according to a new report from the National Retail Federation.
That breaks down to an average of $75 per person for those planning to watch the game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons, according to NRF’s Super Bowl Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.
However, the $14.1 billion is actually down from the previous year when consumers spent and average of $82 and an estimated $15.5 billion related to Super Bowl 50, when the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers.
This year, some 45 million people will host or attend a Super Bowl party in someone’s home, with another 12.4 million people planning to head out to watch at their favorite bars and restaurants.
Of the 76% of those surveyed who plan to watch the game, 80% say they would purchase food and beverages, 11% will buy team apparel or accessories and 8% will open their wallets for a new TV, according to NRF.
"As a favorite American past-time, the Super Bowl is a great chance for viewers to reconnect with friends and family after having a nice break after the holiday season," Pam Goodfellow, principal analyst for Prosper Insights, said in a statement.
"Even though the number of viewers is slightly down this year, plenty are still planning to enjoy the day by watching it at their favorite bar or friend’s place, wearing their lucky jerseys and hoping their favorite team wins," she said.
Some good news for those marketers spending millions to get air-time during Super Bowl LI: 78% of those surveyed said they watch the commercials for entertainment and 18% said the ads "make them more aware of the advertiser’s brand."
In addition, 24% cite the commercials as being the most important part of the broadcast and 12% said the halftime show, this year starring Lady Gaga and presented by Pepsi Zero Sugar, is their top highlight. But that is compared to more than 43% who said the most important part of the broadcast is the game itself.
"78% of those surveyed said they watch the commercials for entertainment and 18% said the ads make them more aware of the advertiser’s brand."
The NFR study also shows that Super Bowl marketers still have to do a better job. Only 10% of those surveyed said the commercials influence them to purchase products, 16% said advertisers should "save their money and pass the savings along to the consumers" and 10% said the commercials "make the game last too long."
According to Matthew Shay, president and CEO for Washington D.C.-based NRF, "With the holidays past us, consumers are looking forward to spending time with friends and family for some good old-fashioned fun to celebrate the big game.
"Retailers will help fans prepare by making sure they are well stocked on decorations, party food, accessories and other Super Bowl necessities."
The NRF Super Bowl Spending Survey was conducted Jan. 4-11 among 7,591 consumers regarding their Super Bowl plans. NRF said the survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.
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