Today is a big day for many Americans, many big corporations and many “sports bars.” Because at 6:30 Eastern time, the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots face off in Superbowl #49.
Millions of folks who live nowhere near Seattle or New England will be cheering one of these teams. Others won’t care about which team wins but will enjoy a party, either at their home, at a friend’s home, or at a sports bars. The latter will be filled to overflowing and it will be one of their largest revenue days.
Last year, folks spent an estimated $12.3 billion for the Superbowl, mainly on food and drinks but also on new TVs and related items. This year, the estimated amount is $14.3 million. The estimated consumption of chicken wings is…1.25 billion. Yes, billion.
I’ll be eating my share of chicken wings. During football weekends, a local “healthy foods” grocery (Whole Foods) has a chicken wing special – $10 for a 64-ounce “mix and match your flavors” bucket of wings. By choosing only wings, which have a flat shape, I can pack anywhere between 45 to 50 wings into the bucket. That’s a nice deal since another grocery charges about $8 for 20 wings and doesn’t offer anything other than “breaded” or “naked” (unbreaded). Whole Foods offers some …interesting…flavors, such as Samurai Ninja Sriracha (which, despite an intimidating name, is so mild that I consider it false advertising).
But I will not be watching the game. I have never seen a Superbowl in the 45 years I’ve lived in the U.S. I’m just not interested in football, although this year I did watch some college football games. Only because Florida State University, which is located where I live, was very hot and ended up playing for the national college championship title, only to lose (as I expected) to
Ohio Oregon State .
Last year, the estimated Superbowl audience was 111 million. There are about 250 million Americans over 18. There are another 17 million between 14 and 17 years old. So that’s a potential audience of almost 270 million folks. If this year’s audience is 115 million, then that’s over 40 percent of the country over 14. That’s a lot of audience.
Which is why a 30-second Superbowl commercial will cost…$4.5 million. Math wizards have already calculated that is $150,000 a second. Which means that commercial better pack a punch!
Superbowl commercials have become a sideshow of their own. On Monday, the news media buzz will focus on the “good, bad, and the ugly” Superbowl ads. Already, controversy over an ad by Internet domain registrar Go Daddy in which a puppy finds its way home only to learn that it has been sold has resulted in the ad being pulled. I don’t know if Go Daddy or the ad agency will…bite…the development and production costs of that ad or what will replace it at this late date.
As for me, I’ll be enjoying some chicken wings.