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Super Bowl Stimulus: Just How Much is Spent on the Big Game?

Image courtesy of: Alisha Gandhi

The New England Patriots carried out the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history to claim their fifth championship title against the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday. Whether you are still celebrating Tom Brady’s reaffirmed G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time) status or mourning the collapse of Atlanta’s 25-point lead, it is clear that the Super Bowl is no longer just a sporting event, but a commercialized billion-dollar industry.

From player salaries and corporate sponsorships to ticket costs and gambling, the Super Bowl impacted spending across the nation, so how exactly does money play a role in one of the most viewed broadcasts of the year?

Salaries & Net Worth:

The Patriots, owned by Robert Kraft, have the second highest franchise net worth in the National Football League (NFL) at $3.4 billion. The Falcons under owner Arthur Blank have a net worth of $2.125 billion, ranked 19th highest in the league, according to Forbes.

During the regular season, player salaries vary immensely. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has a salary cap of nearly $13.8 million, while Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan’s cap is set at $23.8 million for the year, according to Spotrac. Though both totals are significantly higher than what many of their teammates make, NFL salaries do not apply to the postseason. After the 16-game regular season, all players earned an equal $76,000 for a playoff victory. For the Super Bowl, players on the winning team made $107,000 each, and the losing team made $53,000 each. While Texas does not have an income tax, player salaries will still be taxed according to their home state tax codes.

The NFL does not release salary information for referees, and pay per game varies depending on experience and officiating role. Online estimates http://time.com/money/4200441/nfl-referees-get-paid-super-bowl/ show that an expected salary just for refereeing the Super Bowl is between $30,000 and $50,000.

Advertising & Corporate Sponsors:

Fox Broadcasting Company televised the game, and consequently held control of advertising, a highly anticipated component of the big game. Fox set commercial minimums at over $5 million for a 30-second ad spot. Total ad spending was expected to reach approximately $385 million, according to Forbes. 84 lumber, Budweiser, Avocados from Mexico, Buick, Tide and Ford were among the companies whose commercials garnered significant public attention from a record number of viewers.

Executive Vice President of Research, League Operations, and Strategy of Fox Sports, Michael Mulvihill, said in a tweet on Monday, “Sunday was the biggest day in FOX’s 30-year history with over 34.6 billion minutes viewed. Over 100 mins for every living person in the US.”

Pepsi Halftime Show:

Lady Gaga, like past performers, was not paid to headline the Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show. The show serves, instead, as a coveted publicity platform, and previous artists have seen drastic gains in album sales and notoriety from performing to over 100 million viewers.

Pepsi reportedly pays over $7 million per year to sponsor the Super Bowl halftime show, and has bought rights to the show for the past 5 years. Additionally, insurance for the show costs over $100,000, according to MarketWatch.

Tickets, Merchandise, & Consumer Spending:

The week before the game, tickets were listed at an average $4,243, which is 13% below last year’s prices. Ticket prices range from $1,500 to $434,000, which includes suite tickets, according to TicketIQ.

Football fans who did not spend thousands of dollars to attend the game still made their fair share of Super Bowl related purchases. The Super Bowl generated spending across the country, and Americans were expected to pay over $14.1 billion on food, drinks, hosting parties, decorations, jerseys, and other apparel, according to Market Watch.

The NFL makes millions in revenue on official Super Bowl merchandise. The t-shirts worn by the Patriots players and coaching staff after their victory are currently on sale for $27.99 on the nflshop.com. Tom Brady’s reportedly stolen jersey during the postgame celebration has already drawn the attention of the media. Bloomberg estimates that the jersey could be worth up to $500,000.

The game was played this year at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, which impacted spending on hotels, restaurants, bars, and merchandise around the stadium from locals and people flying in from out of state to watch the game. The Super Bowl is expected to directly generate $180 million in the Houston area alone, according to PwC. This figure is down 14% from last year in Santa Clara, CA, and lower than spending the past 4 years, which is likely due to lower destination costs.

Gambling is another significant component of the Super Bowl, both in Vegas and pools with co-workers, family, and friends. Thousands of people bet on every aspect of the game from the final score to the how many costume changes Lady Gaga makes during her halftime performance and whether Tom Brady would cry. According to the AGA (American Gaming Association), approximately $4.7 billion dollars were transferred through betting. About 97% of this total likely transpired illegally as a result of the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

Billions of dollars circulated as a result of last Sunday’s game, and every year, the Super Bowl industry continues to expand. Super Bowl LII will be held at U.S Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota in February 2018.

(Created by: Allison Lu)

(Created by: Allison Lu)

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