The battle of Super Bowl XLVI should be intense as heated rivals the New England Patriots take on the New York Giants.
That rivalry might be why this year’s big game is expected to draw more viewers than past Super Bowls, giving retailers reason to cheer. In fact, not only are record numbers of Americans expected to watch this year’s game, they’re also expected to spend more for the Feb. 5 festivities, according to a recent survey by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association.
An estimated 173 million Americans will watch the big game, and shoppers will spend an average of $63.87 on team apparel, snacks and other goodies—up from $59.33 a year ago. In all, Super Bowl spending should total $11 billion, the survey reports.
“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,” notes Mike Gatti, executive director of 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 3-D televisions, team décor and apparel, and, of course, food and beverages.”
Fans are expected to spend the most on snacks and drinks (71 percent of their total spending), but viewers will also shell out cash for team apparel and accessories, and decorations and furniture, including new entertainment centers. About 5.1 million people are expected to buy new TVs for that day. That’s up from 4.5 million in 2011 and 3.6 million the year before, the survey notes.
The power of commercials
But despite the rivalry, respondents say they’ll still pay attention to the commercials that run on Super Bowl Sunday. In fact, 16.9 percent say the commercials they see during the game make them aware of brands they didn’t know before. About 8 percent say commercials influence them to buy the brands they see on the commercials.
“Television’s influence on consumers’ purchasing decisions is clearly not suffering from Web, social and multichannel influencers,” notes Pam Goodfellow, Consumer Insights Director at BIGinsight. “In fact, it seems to be more important than ever before. 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 websites and social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.”