by Dallas Jackson - 01/09/2006
Super Bowl Sunday.
Unless you were born in the 1950s, and shuttled to Mars for 50 years, you know what Super Bowl Sunday is. What you may not know is the evolution of the game into what it is today. The NFL title game has seen many changes over 40 years of play, from money, to advertisement, and even league size -- all have shaped the course and direction of this annual event known now simply as "Super Bowl Sunday."
One of the most staggering differences is the cost to see the game. While the best seat on Super Bowl Sunday may now be your living room -- in front of the television, with 739 camera angles and sideline reports aplenty -- in 1967 you could have been in the 200s section of L.A.'s Memorial Coliseum for ten bucks! Today if you tried to book your trip, a 200s level seat would cost you $5,995.00 at Ford Field.
There are an expected 130-million Americas and 1.5-billion people worldwide expected to tune in on Super Bowl Sunday this February. Those numbers make advertisers drool. While many of those viewers will be tuning in for the action, their favorite team or the players, there are those out there watching because of the commercials. Commercials have become synonymous with Super Bowl Sunday, and we all have our favorites. Whether it is Mean Joe, The Bud Bowl, or the "Monkey's in the Office" commercials, we all remember, rate, and talk about our favorites -- or the ones we hated. Either way this is the most captive audience that many companies will have all year.
Production quality and air-time rates have all been on the rise since the early 1970s. A 30-second commercial in Super Bowl I ran for $42,000 -- or $220,000 today when you factor in inflation. If you were to pay $220,000 for a spot this year, you would only be able to afford about 10-seconds, as prices are up to an estimated $2.5 million for a 30-second spot. That is an increase of more than 840 percent.
This year the halftime entertainment will be provided by rock-legends The Rolling Stones. While the original entertainment for the game was provided by college marching bands, drum corps, and other amateur performance groups it was a game 18 years ago that changed the face of the Super Bowl forever. Super Bowl XXII halftime featured Chubby Checker and has given way to all types of performances from New Kids on the Block, Sir Paul McCartney and of course Janet Jackson.
While the name hasn't changed since Lamar Hunt introduced us to the Super Bowl, all of the pomp and circumstance has grown into a two-week buildup for Super Bowl Sunday. This year's participants are as yet to be determined but one thing is for sure, someone will be walking off the field with the 22-inch, seven pound, handmade Tiffany & Co. Vince Lombardi Trophy (award name changed in 1971!).