189 Million Americans Expected to Watch Super Bowl 50

An estimated 189 million football fans, foodies and social butterflies plan to watch the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers battle it out for the Super Bowl 50 championship title, up from the estimated 183.7 million who planned to watch last year. And, according to NRF’s Super Bowl Spending Survey, those celebrating will spend slightly more than they did for the 2015 Super Bowl.

Viewers and partygoers will spend an average of $82.19 on food, décor, team apparel and more, up from $77.88 last year and the highest in the survey’s history. Total spending is expected to top $15.5 billion.

Two stellar teams going head-​to-​head and a historic game celebrating the 50th Super Bowl could make this one of the most-​celebrated football games we’ve seen in some time,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “We expect retailers will be aggressive with promotions on food and decorations as well as athletic wear and electronics in the coming days as they look to entice those planning to watch the Super Bowl.”

The excitement around the Super Bowl this year should help retailers and restaurants kick off 2016 on a positive track,” continued Shay.

Of those watching the game, a few key highlights include:

  • 34.7 percent say the football game is the most important part of the day (85 million) while 17.7 percent say the commercials are (43.4 million), and another 4.5 percent say enjoying the fun food is the most important for them (11 million);
  • 43.3 million fans are planning to throw a Super Bowl party (17.7%) while another 70 million say they’d rather let their friends and relatives do the hosting and attend one instead (28.6%);
  • 79.8 percent of partygoers and viewers will purchase food;
  • 7.7 percent of Americans are planning to purchase a new television to enjoy the game – (similar to last year’s 8.8 percent), which could amount to an estimated 8.6 million new televisions;
  • 11.1 percent of those planning to watch the game will buy new team apparel and/​or accessories – an estimated 20.9 million new items purchased;
  • Nearly eight in 10 (78.6%) Americans say they view the commercials during the Super Bowl as entertainment, while 17.5 percent say they make them aware of advertisers’ brands, and 10.3 percent said they influence them to buy products from the advertisers.

The Super Bowl has become much more than something only football fans dream about for the entirety of the season,” said Prosper’s Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow. “The growth in celebrations this year could be a result of increased interest among individuals who use sites like Twitter and Pinterest to bring out their creative skills when it comes to DIY party projects and even making festive game-​day fare. Super Bowl Sunday is now more than just a game, it’s an experience for all.”

Specific demographic highlights include:

  • 12.9 percent of 18–24 year olds say the halftime show is the most important part of Super Bowl Sunday for them, the highest of any age group, while one in five (20.4%) of 45–54 year olds say the commercials are the most important part of the day, similar to the 20.2 percent of 35–44 year olds who say so;
  • 47.9 percent of 18–24 year olds are planning to attend a Super Bowl party – significantly higher than the next highest age group – 38.7 percent of 25–34 year olds;
  • Three in 10 (29.9%) of 25–34 year olds will host a party, more than any other age group.

Be sure to capture all the marketing opportunities available to your advertisers even AFTER the Super Bowl! It's an historic match, so fans will want clothes and memorabilia from the 50th Bowl long after the trophy's been kissed. And you already know these fans like to party, so help keep the party going. According to AudienceSCAN, 25.7% of Americans host or attend Super Bowl parties, so who's to say they can't be convinced to throw "I Miss Football Season" parties? This audience is 96% more likely than average to rent party supplies. 16% plan to take out-​of-​town trips to professional/​college sporting events. 8% will purchase sports memorabilia (trading cards, photos, jerseys, etc.). 7.4% want to buy season tickets for pro or college sports team.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.