By: Chaim Davidowic  | 

Super Bowl: Much Bigger Than a Game

Super Bowl Sunday — does it get any bigger than this? According to Reuters, this year’s Super Bowl was broadcasted live in 190 countries around the world, with the U.S. State Department collaborating with the NFL to host watch parties for this year’s big game in “over 30 locations in countries around the world.” The U.S. State Department believes that Super Bowl Sunday is a “unique way to share American Culture with the world.” With the U.S. State Department getting involved with the goal of spreading this game internationally, it begs the question of how gargantuan is this “Super Sunday” really? One way to answer this question is to look at the money that both goes into and comes out of the Super Bowl, with the answer proving that this is so much more than just a football game. 

The 2024 Super Bowl was the 58th Super Bowl, but the first time that it took place in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Raiders were the host team of the Super Bowl in their beautiful, brand new Allegiant Stadium. The average cost of tickets to watch the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs fight for the Lombardi Trophy was $8,400 according to StubHub. A suite at this year’s Super Bowl would’ve run one’s pockets (at least) a cool $1.4 million. This price was too much for the family of Christian McCafrey, the star running back for the 49ers, with his mom saying on a podcast, "We are not in a suite, I will tell you that. They are outrageously expensive. They are stupidly expensive. I don't know if it's the Taylor Swift factor or the first time in Vegas factor." According to a video from the official GQ Youtube channel, the cost of purchasable suites was as much as $2.5 million. It is safe to say that Allegiant Stadium walked away happy with ticket sales, but this is just the tip of the iceberg that is known as Super Bowl Sunday.

Super Bowl Sunday is the dream of many marketing professionals, as such a diverse and large customer base watching every second intently doesn’t exist outside of this night. According to Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, “Sports is still an advertiser’s delight.” With no annual sporting event reaching even close to as many viewers, the Super Bowl certainly is an “advertiser’s delight.” For this reason, companies this year had no issue shelling out cash for precious airtime. According to CNBC, the average cost of a 30 second TV ad was an outrageous $7 million. According to USA Today, these ads are “virtually sold out” by September, with NBC networks pulling in $545 million from advertising revenue alone in Super Bowl LV. This year, with the host city of the game being Las Vegas, there was a unique opportunity to advertise on the new Sphere Center owned by Madison Square Garden. It is reported that companies paid between $1 and $2 million for a 12 hour advertisement on the surface of The Sphere, with costs rising the closer to the Super Bowl the ad was posted on its surface. With this year’s game going to Overtime, one can imagine that advertising revenue was even higher for CBS — this year’s host network of the Super Bowl. The NFL is believed to make $3 billion dollars from CBS, FOX and NBC for the rights to rotate broadcasting the big game. 

Hosting the Super Bowl also promotes local economic growth with jobs, selling out of hotel rooms and even full private jet parking lots. Another untouched revenue source is the vast merchandise sales, both leading up to the game as well as the celebratory gear of the winning team. With billions of dollars of potential annual revenue from the Super Bowl, it is easy to understand why this night is circled on the calendar of business executives around the country, and even the State Department. With all the potential to profit from the Super Bowl, it is clearly so much more than just a game. 


Photo Caption: The 2021 Vegas Kickoff Classic at Allegiant Stadium

Photo Credit: Cornfield948 / Wikimedia Commons