Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

Super Bowl: A Case Study of Buzz Marketing

Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

Super Bowl: A Case Study of Buzz Marketing

Article excerpt

Abstract

In the US, the Super Bowl is annually the nation's highest-rated TV programme and the most watched single-day sporting event. But could the Super Bowl, like other sporting events that traditionally attracted millions of people, fall prey to competition? This case study argues that despite the increasing fragmentation of viewing audiences, Super Bowl is an event in itself. The case describes the marketing and social environment encompassing the Super Bowl, and addresses the metamorphosis that has helped it maintain its competitive edge. The study concludes with a discussion of buzz marketing as a complete solution for maintaining competitiveness in today's sporting environment.

Keywords

Super Bowl

event marketing

internet advertising

buzz marketing

word of mouth

advertising tools

Executive summary

When it comes to American football, the Super Bowl is the premier game of the National Football League (NFL) in the United States. The Super Bowl is annually the nation's highest-rated TV programme and the most

watched single-day sporting event. A great deal of excitement revolves around the game, the half-time show and the advertisements. The game tends to have high Nielsen television ratings and on average 80-90 million Americans are tuned into the Super Bowl at any given moment (Associated Press, 2007). With consumers more broadband- and wireless-connected, Super Bowl has become an entertainment and social extravaganza in its own right, and has emerged as 'must watch' television.

But what happens when the few TV programmes that traditionally attracted millions of people fall prey to competition? Despite the hype surrounding the 2006 Winter Olympics, the Games proved no match for television's gold medal-winning American Idol. Given that the sporting environment is moving in unexpected directions, is it possible that the American Idol phenomenon could happen to Super Bowl? This case argues that unlike the Olympics, Super Bowl is not only about competition between TV networks, the game itself or about the specific ads, but about the social dimension of the event--the parties, gatherings and betting--which made it a shared national experience. The game and its ancillary festivities constitute Super Bowl Sunday, which over the years has become likened to an unofficial American national holiday. This case study describes the marketing and social environment encompassing the Super Bowl sporting event, and addresses its metamorphosis over the years, which has helped it maintain its competitive edge. Finally, the case concludes with a discussion of buzz marketing as a complete solution to improve the chances of maintaining competitiveness in today's sporting environment.

Introduction

Today the sporting industry is moving in unexpected directions and is vulnerable to changing consumer behaviour, generational shifts, new technologies, media clutter, audience fragmentation, ambush marketing and increasing competition. Traditional communications vehicles such as advertising and sales promotion are faced with increasingly fragmented consumer markets and an overabundance of messages and clutter aimed at consumers (Meenaghan, 1998).

Even with today's fragmentation trend, the Super Bowl is annually the nation's highest-rated TV programme and America's most watched single-day sporting event. The Super Bowl is a grandiose event that people anticipate from the start of the football season. For spectators, tickets to the event run to $275-300, whereas ticket touts could demand a price tag of $5,000, according to audiopros.com. Other than Super Bowl, only a handful of TV programmes draw a vast amount of people--the World Series, the Academy Awards, the Grammy Awards, the Olympic Games--in some cases taking more than half of the TV viewing audience and across practically every conceivable consumer segment. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.