Record Number of Americans to Celebrate Super Bowl, Spend Average of $63

Love them or loathe them, two football titans will fight it out on Super Bowl Sunday, and more Americans than ever will join them to celebrate the big game. According to a new survey by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association conducted by BIGinsight, 173 million people will watch the game Sunday, February 5, the most in the survey’s eight-​year history and up from an estimated 171 million last year. Consumer spending for the Super Bowl will reach an all-​time high, too, with the average game-​watcher expected to shell out $63.87 on related merchandise, apparel and snacks, up from $59.33 last year. Total Super Bowl spending is expected to reach $11.0 billion. 

With a few weeks of anticipation ahead of them, it seems millions of Americans are already planning to have a knock-​out good time for Super Bowl XLVI,” said Mike Gatti, Executive Director, RAMA. “Hot on the heels of a solid holiday season, many retailers will look to meet consumer demand and expectations with big promotions on party essentials, including 3D televisions, team décor and apparel, and, of course, food and beverages.”

Grocery, apparel, electronics, sporting goods and home furnishing stores can expect to see their share of Super Bowl-​related spending as sports fans head out to buy food and beverages (71.3%), team apparel or accessories (8.6%), decorations (6.4%), and furniture or a new entertainment center (2.4%).

Of those planning to watch the game, nearly 63.6 million (27.1%) are planning to attend a party, up from last year’s 61.2 million, and another 35.9 million (15.3%) plan to throw a party, also up from the 34.9 million who said they would host a party in 2011.

After a better-​than-​expected holiday season, more good news is on the horizon for retailers planning promotions on televisions in the coming weeks. Of those planning to watch the game, at least 5.1 million (5.1%) will buy a new television specifically for the big day, compared to 4.5 million last year and the 3.6 million who said they would do so in 2010.

For many people, the Super Bowl isn’t just about football: nearly three-​quarters of viewers (73.0%) say they see the commercials as entertainment. The survey found 16.9 percent say the commercials make them aware of the advertisers’ brand and another 8.4 percent say the commercials influence them to buy products from advertisers – the highest percentage reported in the survey’s history.

Television’s influence on consumers’ purchasing decisions is clearly not suffering from web, social and multichannel influencers – in fact, it seems to be more important than ever before,” said Pam Goodfellow, Consumer Insights Director, BIGinsight. “Though commercials are king on Super Bowl Sunday, we’ll likely also see many companies use more cross-​channel methods to draw viewers’ attention, including drawing viewers to their own website and social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.”

The survey also found that young adults are more likely to be influenced by commercials, with 14.3 percent of 18–24 year-​old viewers agreeing that the commercials influence them to buy products from the advertisers. Among other age groups, the numbers drop, with 10.4 percent of 25–34 year-​olds, 10.0 percent of 35–44 year-​olds, 7.2 percent of 45–54 year-​olds and 6.0 percent of 55–64 year-​olds saying they are influenced by the ads.

[Source:  "2012 Super Bowl Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey."   The Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA)/BIGinsight.  26 Jan. 2012.  Web. 26 Jan. 2012.]