Super Bowl XLIX By The Numbers

by John S Kiernan

Super-Bowl-XLIX-By-The-Numbers-2015-BadgeThe Super Bowl is a game of numbers, from the Roman Numerals that denote each contest to the millions of people and billions of dollars that are engrossed in it each year.

Given the societal importance of the Big Game, the emphasis it places on social media, and the fact that it's a global symbol of capitalistic extravagance, it only makes sense for WalletHub – the first social network built from the ground up around personal finance – to audit the figures that make the game tick.

That’s exactly what we did, and you can check out the resulting Super Bowl XLIX by the Numbers infographic below. We also interviewed a panel of leading economics and sport management experts about the economics of the Super Bowl, the state of the game and, of course, who will. You can check it out in our Ask The Experts section below.

Super Bowl 49 numbers 5

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Note: The above infographic previously included a statistic regarding the number of hamburgers eaten on Super Bowl Sunday. Despite a number of major news outlets having previously reported the same stat, WalletHub's researchers were unable to confirm the information with an original source. We therefore retracted the statistic and would like to apologize for the confusion.

Ask the Experts

  1. Who's your pick to win?
  2. What kind of economic impact do you expect hosting the Super Bowl to have on Phoenix?
  3. What trends do you expect from the commercials this year? Is Super Bowl ad time an effective investment for companies?
  4. What does it say about the current state of the education system in this country that the Super Bowl is being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium?
  5. How many Super Bowls do you ultimately expect there to be? What are the biggest issues facing the future of the league?
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  • Philip T. Evers Associate Professor of Logistics Management, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland
  • Patrick L. O'Halloran Associate Professor of Economics, Leon Hess Business School, Monmouth University
  • Kevin P. Cattani Associate Professor of Sport Marketing & Management, University of Dubuque
  • Joshua Feinberg Director of Sports Management and Associate Professor of Psychology, Saint Peter's University
  • Mark Moore Associate Professor of Sport Management, Department of Kinesiology, East Carolina University
  • Laurence M. McCarthy Associate Professor, Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University
  • Darin W. White Chair of the American Marketing Association Sports Marketing Academic Society (SIG), Professor of Marketing at Samford University
  • Marc Edelman Associate Professor of Law, Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College
  • Robert Baade A.B. Dick Professor of Economics and Business, Lake Forest College
  • Anita M. Moorman Professor of Sport Administration, University of Louisville
  • Gregory A. Krohn Associate Professor of Economics, Bucknell University
  • Harry Davakos Professor & Chair, Department of Health, Exercise, and Sport Science, The Citadel - The Military College of South Carolina
  • Philip K. Porter Professor of Economics, University of South Florida and Senior Fellow, National Center for Policy Analysis
  • Roger S. Park Associate Professor of Sport and Physical Education, School of Education, Gonzaga University
  • John Vrooman Professor of Economics, Vanderbilt University
  • Dennis C. Coates Professor of Economics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • David Allen Pierce Assistant Professor of Kinesiology, School of Physical Education & Tourism Management, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
  • James F. McLean Lecturer in Management and Organizations & Director of the Sports Management Program, University of Arizona

Philip T. Evers

Associate Professor of Logistics Management, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland
Philip T. Evers
Who's your pick to win?

Pick to win – Seattle.

What kind of economic impact do you expect hosting the Super Bowl to have on Phoenix?

It is very likely that hosting a Super Bowl has a positive economic impact. It draws out-of-town visitors of all types to the area, including fans, media staffs, and marketing types of all sorts, not to mention the teams themselves.

Moreover, the host city gains increased exposure, which has become especially valuable as Super Bowl coverage continues to grow both domestically and at the international level. Whether the positive economic impact covers the true cost of holding the event is an empirical question, but given that so much of the infrastructure (especially the stadium venue itself and most guest facilities) is already in place, it is likely that the marginal benefits (hotel bookings, restaurant meals, etc. and the taxes that accompany all of these things) outweigh the marginal costs (any improvements made specifically by the host for the Super Bowl that cannot be used again). What is more debatable is whether it has a long-term positive economic impact or whether it is a one-time economic stimulus.

What trends do you expect from the commercials this year? Is Super Bowl ad time an effective investment for companies?

I can say that there are many reasons a firm might advertise. Obviously, a firm often uses the Super Bowl as a vehicle to provide exposure for its name, its brands, and/or its offerings.

A second reason a firm might advertise is to simply keep pace with the competition. Alternatively, and overlooked by some, is that a firm may advertise in order to preclude the competition from advertising. Exclusive sponsorships simultaneously get the message across while preventing others from doing the same. The value of exclusivity should not be overlooked.

What does it say about the current state of the education system in this country that the Super Bowl is being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium?

The first time the Super Bowl was held in the Phoenix area, it was held at Sun Devil Stadium on the campus of Arizona State University. Now, it is being held at the University of Phoenix Stadium. At one level, I don't make much of this; after all, this didn't seem to be an issue then (or when it was held at Stanford Stadium, for example).

However, at another level, there might be much to make of this. Higher education (indeed, all levels of education) has a very uncertain future. Some see higher education changing dramatically due in no small part to distance learning (a space in which the University of Phoenix is firmly planted); others see higher education remaining fairly stable based on preferences for face-to-face interactions (the residential building booms at many campuses suggest that capital providers expect demand for traditional institutions to continue, if not grow).

Perhaps traditional higher education is now at the point where newspaper publishers were in the late 1990s: minimizing the impact of the internet and selling content for low or no cost online. On the other hand, perhaps traditional higher education is now at the same point where railroads were in the late 1990s: a time-tested, foundational industry that, when infused with new technologies and processes, experienced a renaissance of unexpected magnitude.

I guess what it says about the current state of education is that anything is possible...stay tuned.

How many Super Bowls do you ultimately expect there to be? What are the biggest issues facing the future of the league?

Barring a catastrophic event, I foresee a great number of future Super Bowls. 24/7 coverage on multiple channels and platforms (even during the off season), fantasy football, college football, and the like, all bode well for the longevity of the Super Bowl.

Of course, a big issue facing the league is the long-term health issue. Since I am not a legal expert, I will not comment on it, but I am optimistic (or at least hopeful) that this can be at least somewhat resolved. I think an interesting issue that might arise at some point is the cost of content. Networks continue to pay the NFL more for broadcasting rights. In turn, some significant portions of these costs are passed on to the consumer through increased cable and satellite (distribution) fees. As a consequence, distributors raise their rates and consumers grumble because their bill has went up. Now it might be hard to believe, but there are some people who could care less about the NFL, yet their bill has just went up, too. In effect, non-football viewers are subsidizing football viewers. At some point, a backlash could occur and a serious push for a la carte pricing could result. What happens next could be anyone's guess. Of course, this isn't just an NFL issue, this includes all sports ventures, but I think it bears worth watching. Perhaps the leagues get around this by moving to other distribution platforms, but given the size of the current TV packages, I just don't see it yet. If a cable company desperate to maintain its customer base decides to become customer friendly by allowing consumers to pick and choose exactly which channels they want, who knows what could happen.

Patrick L. O'Halloran

Associate Professor of Economics, Leon Hess Business School, Monmouth University
Patrick L. O'Halloran
Who's your pick to win?

I'm notoriously bad at predicting games. Odds makers give the Pats a slight edge over Seattle. I think it could prove to be a close game, but could also turn out to be lopsided. This “uncertainty-of-outcome” is one reason I believe the NFL has been so successful, in spite of all the current controversy surrounding the sport.

The sport retains fan interest because fans believe that each team has a fairly even chance of making it to the playoffs each year, unlike other sports where the same teams are repeatedly in the playoffs while others are not. Although some teams in the NFL may dominate temporarily, few have for more than a decade.

What kind of economic impact do you expect hosting the Super Bowl to have on Phoenix?

About as much impact as hosting the last Super Bowl had for the New Jersey-New York area. Local hotels, restaurants, and related service industries will see a temporary increase in business. However, some of the spending often associated with the Super Bowl would have been spent on other activities within the area anyway. Furthermore, some spending that would have occurred in the area if there was no Super Bowl may be lessened. For example, assume instead of hosting the Super Bowl at the stadium they could have otherwise hosted WrestleMania. Therefore, the spending associated with WrestleMania will not occur because of the Super Bowl, because people have alternatives for their entertainment dollar.

Most non-academic studies fail to account for these costs and consequently over-estimate the impact of the event. Additionally, many impact estimates fail to deduct for the additional public costs of increased security and infrastructure required to host a mega-event such as a Super Bowl. Most scholastic studies find little to no net impact of these mega-events on the local economy, while those funded by proponents find large lasting impacts on the local economy. In my opinion, the economic impact of hosting a Super Bowl is much lower than proponents claim.

What trends do you expect from the commercials this year? Is Super Bowl ad time an effective investment for companies?

I'm surprised there is so much interest in the commercials. Sponsors will only advertise if they expect the benefits to outweigh the costs. Advertisers are expected to dish out an average of 4.5 million dollars this year for a 30 second slot and over 95 percent have been filled according to recent information.

One new phenomenon arising over the past few years is the early release of commercials, many airing days before the big event. Interestingly, this has led to the very first pregame ad cancellation as GoDady decided to pull its lost puppy skit due to animal rights activists' complaints. Many of the sponsors will be familiar to viewers, such as Anheuser-Busch and Doritos. Others are new to the scene, such as Skittles, while others are reentering the market for the first time in years, such as Victoria's Secret.

According to analysts, ad spending is down this year from last, and ad spending for this year's Super Bowl is expected to be lower than last year's. Another noticeable trend is the absence of car producers from this year's commercial line-up. So far, only BMW has purchased airtime to advertise their new electric car, the i3. Obviously many auto manufacturers decided that the costs outweighed the benefits this year, consequently they are not advertising during the game.

I do believe that companies do expect to earn a profit from advertising; otherwise they would not make such expensive investments. However, the amount of profit likely varies by company and the success of the ad campaign. McDonalds has purchased ad time for this year’s Super Bowl in an attempt to bolster dwindling profit margins.

What does it say about the current state of the education system in this country that the Super Bowl is being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium?

The University of Phoenix is the largest private for-profit educational institution in the country with around 300,000 students world-wide. It was placed on probation in 2011 by its accrediting agency for having too close a tie between the University and its parent corporation, the Apollo Group. There has been a great deal of criticism of the private, for-profit model of higher education, many claiming that these type of institutions do a poor job at educating their students and simply result in higher student debt burdens. Although they are typically cheaper than their non-profit or state-run competitors, they attract enough students to make it a very profitable business, at least profitable enough to name an NFL stadium.

Institutions like the University of Phoenix are attractive to students because they offer greater flexibility in scheduling and offer many online degrees and programs, allowing them to complete their programs while still working or raising children at home. However, I believe that the added benefits from flexibility come at a cost in terms of less rigor and lower standards.

How many Super Bowls do you ultimately expect there to be? What are the biggest issues facing the future of the league?

I expect there to be Super Bowls as long as professional football remains a highly lucrative spectator sport. The sport faces several challenges in the future.

One significant challenge is the concussion issue. If parents begin to believe that the sport is too dangerous or violent for their children, they will not allow them to participate. If this were to occur, the NFL would experience a decrease in the size of their future fan base. I believe this is one reason why the NFL is actively marketing their "products" to new demographics such as women. I was recently surprised to observe how passionate many women became on social media when Aaron Rodgers was stepped on in a late season game. The NFL has done an excellent job at minimizing the negative publicity associated with the concussion issue. However, it will remain an issue as long as players continue to suffer head trauma.

Another challenge concerns domestic violence. Indeed, NoMore.org, an anti-domestic abuse organization, has purchased 30-seconds of airtime to air its first Super Bowl ad, and the first Super Bowl ad ever to discuss domestic violence. Additionally, the NFL faces potential competition from other professional sports such as soccer. In the future, the NFL will have to aggressively pursue potential fans if it is going to retain its current status as one of America’s most popular, lucrative sports.

Kevin P. Cattani

Associate Professor of Sport Marketing & Management, University of Dubuque
Kevin P. Cattani
Who's your pick to win?

Seattle.

What kind of economic impact do you expect hosting the Super Bowl to have on Phoenix?

$450 - $500 Million.

What trends do you expect from the commercials this year? Is Super Bowl ad time an effective investment for companies?

I think you will see most commercials carry a light-hearted tone to counteract a lot of the negativity in the news today. In my opinion, I think companies are starting to see a declining ROI in advertising as the number of consumer products continues to rise yearly along with more consumers, declining in brand loyalty.

What does it say about the current state of the education system in this country that the Super Bowl is being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium?

I think many companies (schools included) still see naming rights as sure-fire investment. While I am certainly not going to go buy a Mercedes because of the SuperDome, name recognition is something that is still prized in the marketing community. I am impressed with University of Phoenix for their efforts, but some in the more traditional education setting see it as a promotional move…interesting nonetheless.

How many Super Bowls do you ultimately expect there to be? What are the biggest issues facing the future of the league?

I think the Super Bowl will continue for as long as the NFL exists. The biggest issue facing the NFL (and other professional leagues) is the disconnect between the league and its fans. This disconnect is exaggerated by rising ticket costs, rising time costs and an overall apathy on the part of athletes towards connecting with the fans. If these issues go unchecked, you will see more fans staying home to watch vs. paying the physical and psychological costs to attend.

Joshua Feinberg

Director of Sports Management and Associate Professor of Psychology, Saint Peter's University
Joshua Feinberg
Who's your pick to win?

My pick is: Seahawks.

What kind of economic impact do you expect hosting the Super Bowl to have on Phoenix?

It is hard to imagine, given the expenses of putting on the Super Bowl, that it would have much of a positive impact economically. I believe they would be fortunate to break even.

What trends do you expect from the commercials this year? Is Super Bowl ad time an effective investment for companies?

On one hand, you can't get much greater exposure than a commercial during the highest rated program. This may be a worthwhile expense to a company that needs name recognition AND manages to produce an effective commercial (no small task). For larger companies (with deep pockets) one has to wonder from a financial standpoint whether it is a best use of their money.

Part of me believes that there is a little "keeping up with the Jones'" mentality between companies and their competitors. I'm sure it will be the same mix of commercials as any given year. Perhaps an even greater emphasis on celebrity endorsement.

What does it say about the current state of the education system in this country that the Super Bowl is being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium?

From an educational standpoint I don't have a problem with University of Phoenix. To me, it is no different than any other corporate entity (like Met Life). In fact, if anything, I wonder if it will be confusing to some, in that they may think the stadium is on the University of Phoenix campus (no such traditional campus exists).

How many Super Bowls do you ultimately expect there to be? What are the biggest issues facing the future of the league?

I assume the concussion issue is at play here. I think the Super Bowl will go on as long as there are professional sports in this country. Ultimately, athletes would sign waivers to play and give up certain rights for the fortunes that come with pro football (if it ever came to that).

Mark Moore

Associate Professor of Sport Management, Department of Kinesiology, East Carolina University
Mark Moore
Who's your pick to win?

The game should be a toss-up but I believe it is the AFC turn. For that reason, I will select the Patriots.

What kind of economic impact do you expect hosting the Super Bowl to have on Phoenix?

Mega sporting events generate substantial revenue for host cities. The economic and psychological return should be HUGE for Phoenix and surrounding communities

What trends do you expect from the commercials this year? Is Super Bowl ad time an effective investment for companies?

I believe Super Bowl commercials will be creative as usual. Many will be linked to social media to engage the consumer and help their core message to go viral. Super Bowl ads can be effective investments if an organization has a national or international market and a large advertising budget to defray the substantial cost of these investments.

What does it say about the current state of the education system in this country that the Super Bowl is being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium?

The game being played at University of Phoenix should not present negative impressions on our educational system. It is really the result of emergent trends. First, the increased popularity of profit-making online universities and the growth and effectiveness of marketing through sport. Corporate marketers can often reach their target markets in appealing and relaxing environments through applying sport as a marketing tactic.

How many Super Bowls do you ultimately expect there to be? What are the biggest issues facing the future of the league?

The NFL is still in the growth stage. Hence, I don’t see the decline in the Super Bowl anytime soon. There should be at least 100 more Super Bowls.

Laurence M. McCarthy

Associate Professor, Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University
Laurence M. McCarthy
Who's your pick to win?

Seattle.

What kind of economic impact do you expect hosting the Super Bowl to have on Phoenix?

I am wary of any figures that claim an economic impact of a sport event pre that event. I would rather wait and see what the figures post event are. I believe that the NY Times wrote recently about Glendale, where the stadium is located and suggested that the economic impact would pass that city by, as it did East Rutherford in NJ, last year.

What trends do you expect from the commercials this year? Is Super Bowl ad time an effective investment for companies?

The Super Bowl is an effective advertising slot for those companies wishing to pay a premium price.

What does it say about the current state of the education system in this country that the Super Bowl is being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium?

I don’t believe that it says anything about the current state of the education system in the country. Naming rights are a popular marketing mechanism for many corporations, why not for a company in the business of education?

How many Super Bowls do you ultimately expect there to be? What are the biggest issues facing the future of the league?

I don’t think that there is any reason to doubt the future of the Super Bowl. I see it continuing like the FA Cup has in England.

Darin W. White

Chair of the American Marketing Association Sports Marketing Academic Society (SIG), Professor of Marketing at Samford University
Darin W. White
Who's your pick to win?

Seahawks .

What trends do you expect from the commercials this year? Is Super Bowl ad time an effective investment for companies?

Lots of integration with social media, encouraging fans to interact with brands during the game. We will also see at least half of the Super Bowl ads released on YouTube and other social media platforms a week or so before the game.

What does it say about the current state of the education system in this country that the Super Bowl is being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium?

The higher education industry has become hypercompetitive for quality students over the last decade. This has resulted in many universities now having full-time marketing departments and creating a position called chief marketing officer. They have also moved into non-traditional marketing channels such as sports sponsorship in an effort to gain an advantage.

How many Super Bowls do you ultimately expect there to be? What are the biggest issues facing the future of the league?

The league will struggle with sustained revenue growth in the years to come if they don't do a better job of reaching female fans. The domestic violence incidents over the last season and poor crisis marketing leadership from the top have hurt them within the female demographic. And since 86% of males in United States already proclaim to be a fan of the NFL most experts agree that the female demographic represents the NFL's best chance for growth going forward. I also expect to see them continue to search for revenue streams in the international marketplace but am yet to be convinced that is a viable option.

Marc Edelman

Associate Professor of Law, Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College
Marc Edelman
Who's your pick to win?

New England Patriots, 20-13.

What kind of economic impact do you expect hosting the Super Bowl to have on Phoenix?

The biggest beneficiaries of the Super Bowl will likely be Phoenix area hotels. Approximately 70,000 fans are expected to attend the Super Bowl this year. Because many fans will be arriving from out-of-state, the Super Bowl creates an optimal seller's market for regional hotels.

What trends do you expect from the commercials this year? Is Super Bowl ad time an effective investment for companies?

I would not be surprised to see at least one of the large daily fantasy sports contests purchase advertising time. No daily fantasy sports contest has ever advertised during the Super Bowl. But contests such as FanDuel have been advertising regularly on television throughout the NFL season and playoffs. Thus, a Super Bowl commercial seems within the realm of possibility.

What does it say about the current state of the education system in this country that the Super Bowl is being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium?

How many Super Bowls do you ultimately expect there to be? What are the biggest issues facing the future of the league?

Let's be serious: the Super Bowl is not going away anytime soon. But to avoid declining fan interest, NFL owners are going to do a far better job of reducing head injuries. NFL owners are also going to need to improve their fan base outside of the United States, and develop a more robust strategy to address the growing popularity in fantasy sports and other forms of online gaming among the league's core fan base.

Robert Baade

A.B. Dick Professor of Economics and Business, Lake Forest College
Robert Baade
Who's your pick to win?

Seattle, since they beat my Green Bay Packers. I grew up in Wisconsin, so I was disconsolate about the outcome of the game.

What kind of economic impact do you expect hosting the Super Bowl to have on Phoenix?

Let me answer that question in a more general way. I think the NFL generally says somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 million - $600 million, if not more. Those of us who have studied the economic impact would argue that if you moved that decimal point one place to the left, you’re far more likely to have a more precise measure of economic impact. So, it’s going to be under $100 million and probably closer to the range of $30 million - $50 million. That’s a relatively small impact, when you consider the large, diverse urban economies that host these events.

If you really want to talk about, is there an economic return, that’s a whole other question. We know that the cost to put on an event like the Super Bowl is probably in the neighborhood of $100 million – something along the lines of what you might derive as far as economic impact is concerned. So, if you consider the economy overall, we’re really talking about a wash. It’s not something that’s going to result in any net gain or what we would call an economic profit for the community. It’s likely to be very benign from an economic standpoint.

What trends do you expect from the commercials this year? Is Super Bowl ad time an effective investment for companies?

You know, we can question the whole idea of whether advertising really works. That’s a debate that’s been around for a long time. But I think that the ads have taken on a life of their own. The contest within the contest is who’s going to put the best ad out there. So, I think that when we talk about Super Bowl ads, we’re talking about something that in the ad world pushes the envelope. And you’re either going to hit or miss on it.

I think it’s more about the standing of ad firms in the ad community, and so I think Super Bowl ads are edgy, trendy and all of those things. But certainly you do have some folks in the ad world who really do want to push the envelope and see what it is that society is willing to tolerate. This is an opportunity for ad agencies and firms to take maybe a little bit different approach and, on occasion, they do take advantage of that opportunity.

What does it say about the current state of the education system in this country that the Super Bowl is being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium?

No, I think that when we talk about stadiums we’re talking about stadium naming rights being a big part of that. I think it’s a little bit interesting for those of us who work in the academy to have a profit-maximizing entity like the University of Phoenix actually in a position to buy stadium naming rights. I think that’s the thing that’s most startling for me. There would be very few universities or colleges in the country who would do something like that. It suggests, maybe, a change in the way education is being provided but not much more than that. Not that that is insignificant.

How many Super Bowls do you ultimately expect there to be? What are the biggest issues facing the future of the league?

I don’t think you can put a number on it. The fact that some players like Wes Welker have been quoted as saying that they would choose to continue to play even if it means a shortening of their life or a reduction in the quality of their life is suggestive of the fact that there are people out there who would play no matter what the costs are – defined in terms of physical debilitation and degradation. And so it might be that we are going to move into the world where athletes have to sign a waiver and say they understand fully the risks that they’re assuming, but they’re willing to go ahead and do this anyway. I think society’s quest for excitement and the need for a kind of football fix, or something similar, means that on the demand side it’s likely to be around for a long time.

So, you’ve got a supply-side response that says it’s going to be around and a demand-side response that says it’s going to be around. Although, the one thing I suppose that needs to be discussed is how many parents are really going to allow their children to play football. Maybe – long, long term – the supply of football players will dry up because parents, if they understand the medical risks involved for their children, may decide that this is something they’re not going to permit their children to do. That’s a game changer.

Anita M. Moorman

Professor of Sport Administration, University of Louisville
Anita M. Moorman
Who's your pick to win?

I don’t have a favorite team playing in the Super Bowl this year, so just hoping for a close game and many entertaining commercials.

What kind of economic impact do you expect hosting the Super Bowl to have on Phoenix?

If prior Super Bowl economic impact is a sound indicator, the economic impact should be in the hundreds of millions of dollars for the Phoenix area. That would include overall spending, jobs supported, tax receipts, and value of media exposure. Consider the 2012 impact of the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

What trends do you expect from the commercials this year? Is Super Bowl ad time an effective investment for companies?

It is very difficult to pinpoint direct return on investment for a $4.5+ million dollar 30 second advertisement but the Super Bowl consistently is the most watched US television program attracting more than 100 million viewers.

Advertisers may be looking for intangible brand boost and typically the investment is only undertaken by well-established global brands or emerging brands. The brief exposure from these ads and the interest the public has in the ads themselves (separate from the game) is to reinforce positive feelings about an established brand or to create very widespread interest in a new brand/product.

What is probably a better question is how to leverage social media in and around the advertisement now to expand the buzz beyond the game. An effective social media campaign could enable a company to invest in fewer ads (i.e. a single 30 second ad investment vs. 2+ ads) could produce the same exposure. For example, long term advertisers Coca-Cola and GoDaddy are both only running one commercial instead of two ads they bought in 2014. What appears to be missing from this year’s line-up of ads is any ads involving social commentary (that we know of) such as the one ran last year by the National Congress of American Indians.

What does it say about the current state of the education system in this country that the Super Bowl is being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium?

I think it is just a reflection of the stadium building and expansion occurring at the collegiate level. Many universities now compete in state of the art stadiums with all the amenities and capacity requirements necessary to host an event of the size/magnitude of the Super Bowl. A few of the 2014 and 2015 projects are included here. Certainly, it confirms that revenue generation and spending in college athletics, especially in Division I football and basketball continues to rise.

How many Super Bowls do you ultimately expect there to be? What are the biggest issues facing the future of the league?

There is no indication the consumer interest in the National Football League is diminishing. The NFL is the most profitable professional sports league in the United States and has long term sponsorship, licensing, and broadcasting agreements in place. Additionally, the NFL’s also dominates the fantasy sports business sector which should prove to be a lucrative new revenue stream for many years to come.

Gregory A. Krohn

Associate Professor of Economics, Bucknell University
Gregory A. Krohn
Who's your pick to win?

I am going with the Patriots. Their defense is good enough to limit Seattle's scoring, and I think that New England's offense will be ableto score multiple touchdowns.

What kind of economic impact do you expect hosting the Super Bowl to have on Phoenix?

Based on economic studies of previous Super Bowls, I would expect aneconomic impact of up to $100 million or so. The estimate of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee is $600 million. In the past, estimates of economic impact of $500-$600 million failed to account fully for the economic activity that is displaced by a Super Bowl, and perhaps overestimated how much game-related spending was re-spent in the local economy.

Harry Davakos

Professor & Chair, Department of Health, Exercise, and Sport Science, The Citadel - The Military College of South Carolina
Harry Davakos
Who's your pick to win?

Although I lived in MA in the past for some years, logic dictates that Seahawks will be the best and favorite team to win.

What kind of economic impact do you expect hosting the Super Bowl to have on Phoenix?

Based on past experiences and research done in the past, the estimated direct impact should approach $200M. Beyond that, the rest is an estimation and also not always accurate (i.e., how many jobs a Super Bowl creates that last longer than 2 weeks before and one after the event?).

Some other numbers that will most likely be spoken and emphasized (pending on who does the talking) will be:

• Indirect impact estimated to approximately $70M

• Induced impact of approximately $80M

• The winner here will be the local and state taxes that will see a big jump with all the buying and selling related to the event.

• Finally, since dinning at a better site than fast-food is related to the whole experience of the super bowl, if the local restaurants are mostly headquartered at the area, then there will be an additional benefit (that is the case with Charleston, SC based on research of large events in that area; less money leaves the area).

What trends do you expect from the commercials this year? Is Super Bowl ad time an effective investment for companies?

That has been the common belief but there have already been some questions regarding the effect that the ads will have on the companies’ marketing and their results. If I am not mistaken, the person who first did a study of that nature and provided the first evidence on results of Super Bowl ads, came forward disputing such drastic results for the upcoming Super Bowl, indicating that the marketing/promoting power of the event might be losing effectiveness.

What does it say about the current state of the education system in this country that the Super Bowl is being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium?

When it comes to sport, anything associated with revenue sports is business and has nothing to do with education. We just pretend that it does, and declare the athletes at the collegiate level as “amateurs” mostly for workers compensation reasons than for actual beliefs. So, no I do not see any oxymoron here with the name of the stadium; do you think that there is a collegiate stadium that will not become the XYZ stadium if a for-profit sponsors the naming rights for it? And let’s not forget that University of Phoenix is a for-profit higher education institution.

How many Super Bowls do you ultimately expect there to be? What are the biggest issues facing the future of the league?

Right now, the league is in a very stable financial level and do not foresee in the immediate future any changes in the Super Bowl. Any such change might impact the ads more than the game per se, or the extended pre-game shows (how many hours to be televised this week?). The interest will continue to be there for the next decade, and it might face a competition from collegiate football, depending on how the playoff format will change for the latter.

So, my personal expectation is that other than a catastrophic event, there will be at least 10 more Super Bowls, as we know them today, with maybe changes for advertisement and other activities related to promotions and/or leverage of the various sponsors/advertisers. Furthermore, we see a first with this Super Bowl, where two competing companies are both involved in the entertainment through sponsoring, official sponsorship and half-time show sponsorship (Coke & Pepsi). This might be an indicator of more of the same to come in the near future, outside the ads segment.

Philip K. Porter

Professor of Economics, University of South Florida and Senior Fellow, National Center for Policy Analysis
Philip K. Porter
What kind of economic impact do you expect hosting the Super Bowl to have on Phoenix?

None. Hotel prices will rise, but the hotel chains are nationally owned and all of the increase goes to owners who are more likely to live in NYC than Phoenix. Hotel occupancy for January and February will not change so the maids and concierge, the plumbers and carpenters that support the hotels, and the restaurants and transportation systems that service hotel visitors will not realize any new sales.

How many Super Bowls do you ultimately expect there to be? What are the biggest issues facing the future of the league?

The league’s business model includes a substantial subsidy from the public sector and this is not likely to continue. Once communities realize that there is no appreciable return to their subsidies, they will be reduced and team values will fall. The league will survive this but some individual owners may not.

Roger S. Park

Associate Professor of Sport and Physical Education, School of Education, Gonzaga University
Roger S. Park
Who's your pick to win?

I am not an expert on this question, but I am sure the fact that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick were situated with “Deflate-Gate” will affect their on-field athletic performances in the negative way. Also I want to see Seahawks win Big Game two consecutive years in order to make City of Seattle as a new rising “Major Sport City” who sadly lost NBA franchise [SuperSonics] several years ago.

What kind of economic impact do you expect hosting the Super Bowl to have on Phoenix?

There are various reports available in estimating the potential economic impact of Super Bowl XLIX on the host city of Glendale, AZ. I am not in a position to be able to provide the actual number of an economic impact of Super Bowl XLIX, but I surely can say that $30 million investment which was directly spent onto this Big Game, 10,000 volunteers, and the expected number of 100,000 visitors in addition to nine-digit number of the direct viewership of this event make us believe significant tangible and intangible benefits must exist.

What trends do you expect from the commercials this year? Is Super Bowl ad time an effective investment for companies?

Super Bowl as the largest single-day event in the world; there is no control over the cost of 30-second commercial [reported as $4.5M for 30 seconds]. However, only six automobile manufacturers [from 11 last year] are expected to showcase their new model of vehicles on TV ads. Does it say some?

What does it say about the current state of the education system in this country that the Super Bowl is being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium?

I believe it was a very smart action that The University of Phoenix made a naming right deal with the brand new stadium in 2006, since The University of Phoenix operates no athletics programs at all. I believe this naming right will continuously attract a lot of attention from their target audiences in the nation as well as from the global education market. But unfortunately, it may regain a spotlight from the U.S. Department of Education as same as 2008 Super Bowl.

John Vrooman

Professor of Economics, Vanderbilt University
John Vrooman
Who's your pick to win?

In an evenly matched playoff game including the championship finals, the preferred pick is usually the superior defensive team. The old saw that offense sells tickets and defense wins championships is true largely because offensive production has a greater variance and more risk than defensive production. So over the course of the longer season, superior offense and great defense may be evenly matched, but in a one-and-done tournament the better defensive team is less likely to have a bad game.

Defense never sleeps, advantage: Hawks.

What kind of economic impact do you expect hosting the Super Bowl to have on Phoenix?

The net impact of the Super Bowl on Glendale will probably be zero, if not negative.

The Phoenix suburban municipality of Glendale has given the whole ranch in stadium funding concessions (under a more favorable prior regime) to both the NFL Cardinals and NHL Coyotes and received a zero if not negative return. The rule of thumb is to move the Chamber of Commerce self-promotion estimates one decimal point to the left. So if Glendale was told that the last Super Bowl generated $218 million in “new” spending, the actual economic impact was $21.8 million and even that probably displaced other spending. Most spending at mega-events simply relocates economic activity at the expense of other spending someplace else (this is called crowding out). So the net impact of a Super Bowl after local congestion and the accompanying overhead cost is probably negative sum at best.

Hosting a Super Bowl is a losing proposition. Just ask East Rutherford NJ after last year’s Super Bowl at Jersey’s MetLife Stadium. Although the participating teams stayed in local hotels most of the fans commuted or tried to commute on overcrowded transit to and from the Big Apple. So last year, the impact was boasted to become $500 million; it was actually an injection of $50 million spent in a completely different City in another State while East Rutherford paid the price.

All of the venue revenue accrues to the “host” Cardinals. So last year’s Super Bowl was probably more profitable for the NY Giants and NY Jets than East Rutherford, or either the participating Seahawks or Denver Broncos. This is because almost all of the economic spinoffs from the actual Super Bowl are captured in the hermetically sealed architecture of University of Phoenix Stadium. All of the gains are captured by the League and the NFL Cardinals, and for almost everyone else, the Super Bowl is a losing proposition.

What trends do you expect from the commercials this year? Is Super Bowl ad time an effective investment for companies?

Super Bowl 30 second spots might be slightly off and not much higher than last year’s $4 million a pop. The usual suspects however will still be there: Bud, Bud Lite, Doritos, McDonalds, Coke all followed by Weight-watchers and Victoria’s Secret. There will also be timely turbo-tax plus Go daddy and other web developers.

What does it say about the current state of the education system in this country that the Super Bowl is being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium?

First of all, University of Phoenix Stadium is a state of the art NFL facility and related to the for-profit University of Phoenix in name only. The line between for-profit and non-profit is admittedly being blurred between the Power 5 College football conferences and the NFL in coaches’ salaries and media revenues, but the crevasse between non-profit and for-profit colleges is deep and widening.

The University of Phoenix is an online educational institution almost in name only, where the student loan default rate is greater than its graduation rate. The University of Phoenix probably pays more in federal fines than the $155 million over 20 years for naming rights to the NFL Stadium in Glendale.

The school derives 90 percent of its revenues from federal student-loan programs, and spent three times as much on marketing compared with instruction where only a third of the students graduate. The Super Bowl could posterize the for-profit educational contradiction and the backlash of the University of Phoenix hiding behind the NFL shield could be significant.

How many Super Bowls do you ultimately expect there to be? What are the biggest issues facing the future of the league?

The NFL appears to think that it is bulletproof, so why not go for 100? In the recent past, the internal governance of the most powerful sports league in the world has been revealed to be confused and ineffective.

As an unregulated natural cartel, the NFL has abused its power against fans, taxpayers, players and even its own members. They have perhaps the most powerful monopoly in the world and they are in the process of messing it up, first with a plague public relation blunders and then with the outright extortion of potential NFL home markets fighting one another over the artificially limited number of franchises. This new defiant breed of NFL owners needs to realize that they do not really own the game of professional football, they only rent it. The game belongs to all of us.

Dennis C. Coates

Professor of Economics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Dennis C. Coates
Who's your pick to win?

I fear it will be the Patriots. But, honestly, I would love for both teams to lose.

What kind of economic impact do you expect hosting the Super Bowl to have on Phoenix?

Very nearly none at all.

What does it say about the current state of the education system in this country that the Super Bowl is being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium?

Nothing. It does say that smart business men, like those that run the University of Phoenix, can make bad decisions, like paying to put the name of their company on a stadium as some sort of advertising.

David Allen Pierce

Assistant Professor of Kinesiology, School of Physical Education & Tourism Management, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
David Allen Pierce
Who's your pick to win?

Seahawks.

What kind of economic impact do you expect hosting the Super Bowl to have on Phoenix?

Glendale has made a significant public investment in professional sports broadly defined. This one-time event will not come anywhere close to recouping that investment. Additionally, when you hear the media talking about being “in the desert” or in “Phoenix” it doesn’t generate the publicity and free media attention that Glendale thought it was securing.

What trends do you expect from the commercials this year? Is Super Bowl ad time an effective investment for companies?

People watch the event live and in groups, making it somewhat DVR proof, meaning eyeballs are actually on the commercials.

What does it say about the current state of the education system in this country that the Super Bowl is being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium?

Nothing – universities have invested in a variety of sport sponsorship platforms over the past decade. The difference here is that it is a naming right for a facility hosting a mega event.

James F. McLean

Lecturer in Management and Organizations & Director of the Sports Management Program, University of Arizona
James F. McLean
Who's your pick to win?

Seattle, by 5.

What kind of economic impact do you expect hosting the Super Bowl to have on Phoenix?

Snowbird season, the Phoenix Open, and Super Bowl all combining to provide major boost to metro area's economy. Last number I recall seeing was 500 million.

What trends do you expect from the commercials this year? Is Super Bowl ad time an effective investment for companies?

No better stage for launching a new product or campaign but only if company has other advertising and communication funds also available to use for follow-up.

How many Super Bowls do you ultimately expect there to be? What are the biggest issues facing the future of the league?

No end in sight for a number of Super Bowls. Concussion related issues will haunt the league for many years to come.

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John Kiernan is Senior Writer & Editor at Evolution Finance. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in Journalism, a minor in Sport Commerce & Culture,…
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