Super Bowl 2013: Commercials, Consumption, and Sick Leave


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Super Bowl ads are very costly – how else does the Big Game effect the economy? Image by RMTip21

The Super Bowl commercials are some of the highest profile and most-discussed commercials of the television year, but how much do those Bowl commercials cost – and what other costs are associated with the ‘Big Game?’

Super Bowl Commercials

The advertising power of a Super Bowl commercial is immense. With well over 100 million viewers, the advertising slots are some of the most sought-after advertising avenues around, but they come at a steep price. A 30-second CBS commercial during the airing of the event this year cost around $3.8 million dollars – $300,000 more than the price of a slot of the same length in 2012 and $3.5 million more than a CBS slot during the Simpsons. Super Bowl advertising has raked in nearly $2 billion dollars in the last ten years, with 2012’s total reaching $262.5 million.

Well over 100 million viewers tune in to the Super Bowl every year, watching the event live and, therefore, viewing the commercial breaks. Last year, 111 million people tuned in, with the game being viewed by 47.8% of households, meaning invaluable exposure to the advertisements.

Super Bowl Benefits Hosting Stadium and Food Sales

The game is a money-spinner in more ways than advertising alone, for various industries, including the hosting stadium where they play the game, and for fast-food sales.

  • The hosting stadium can expect to sell tickets for an average of $3,000, with the highest recorded ticket sale this year coming in at a staggering $13,120.
  • Food and drink consumption is affected every year by the event, with record numbers of pizza, chicken, and beer consumed during the Super Bowl weekend. estimated that $10.8 billion would be spent on beer for the game in 2013, with 50 million cases of the beverage consumed. Domino’s Pizza reports that they make record sales during the Super Bowl, and expect their delivery drivers to cover an excess of 4 million miles on the day of the event alone.
  • The National Chicken Council reported that over 1.25 billion chicken wings were consumed over the Super Bowl weekend last year, and predicted that we’ll eat 1.23 billion wings in 2013. This equates to over 100 million pounds of wings, and 23% of the population choosing to eat wings during the game.

Super Bowl Weekend: After The Game

Although the Super Bowl scores a goal for fast food, network TV and football franchises, not all financial effects have a positive effect on the economy. An estimated 7 million people will call in sick for work today following the excesses of the weekend, resulting in a drop in productivity and earnings. Is the net effect of the Super Bowl on the economy a touchdown or a fumble? It all depends on where you’re sitting.


National Chicken Council. Chicken Wings – A Hot Topic. (2012). Accessed February 4, 2013.

Math in the Media. Top 10 Highest Priced Programs. Accessed February 4, 2013.

USA Today. Super Bowl By the Numbers. (2013). Accessed February 4, 2013.

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