Author: Sebastian Scheplitz
With billions of fans from around the globe, association football (or soccer) is undoubtedly the most popular sport in the world. It’s a simple game that requires nothing more than a ball and some open space.
However, in North America, for just over five months of the year, there is another type of football that steals the hearts of millions: American Football and the NFL.
American Football is the most popular sport in the United States by a wide margin, and the NFL dominates that market quite heavily. Although, while the regular season garners a lot of media attention, the Super Bowl, its championship game, stands among the most-watched sporting events on the planet.
So, to help you prepare for the NFL’s biggest event of the year, here are some things you need to know about Super Bowl 2023.
This year’s NFL season has featured some of the greatest off-the-field stories and on-field player performances in recent memory.
From Patrick Mahomes breaking the single-season total yards record by a quarterback (5,608) to the emergence of Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy, and the well-publicized injury/recovery of Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin that took place just a few weeks ago, there’s been no shortage of storylines for NFL fans to follow.
The 2023 NFL playoffs are already underway and with Super Bowl LVII (57) set to kick off on February 12, brands are now beginning to brainstorm Super Bowl content ideas for sports affiliate marketing, while bookmakers develop sportsbook content marketing strategies to help expand their reach.
To help fuel your creative drive, we’ve compiled a list of Super Bowl fun facts you can use towards achieving your marketing goals.
1. The first Super Bowl in NFL History was in 1967
The first Super Bowl in history took place on 15th January 1967, in a battle between the National Football League (NFL)’s Green Bay Packers and the American Football League (AFL)’s Kansas City Chiefs.
At the time, it was referred to as the AFL-NFL World Championship, which was also the first of its kind, and it took place at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.
Green Bay was heavily favored to win the game and with more than 60 million people tuned in to watch on live television, the Packers pushed through to the sound of a 35-10 beatdown on the Chiefs. Packers legend, Bart Starr, was named the first-ever Super Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP), completing 16 of his 23 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns.
The term “Super Bowl” was originally quoted by Kansas City Chiefs owner, Lamar Hunt, in July 1966 when he referred to the AFL-NFL Championship Game as such when interviewing with the Kansas City Star. Hunt later admitted that the name “Super Bowl” was likely just stuck in his head because his children had been playing with a Super Ball toy at the time.
Nevertheless, after this point, the media began using the term and the rest is history.
2. NFL Super Bowl is the most-watched TV event in the United States
According to Nielson Media Research (NMR), the NFL Super Bowl garners more average viewership than any other single-network television broadcast in the United States.
In fact, Super Bowls make up 30 of the 32 most-watched broadcasts in U.S. television history, with the other two spots being held up by the series finale of M*A*S*H in 1983 (106 million viewers), and the 2016 United States presidential debates (84 million viewers).
Super Bowl XLIX (49) in 2015 between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks is the most-watched event in American TV history with a whopping 114.4 million viewers.
In the closing moments, fans got to witness one of the most infamous plays in Super Bowl history, as Seattle’s Russell Wilson threw an interception from the one-yard line with just 26 seconds left on the clock, ultimately sealing the Patriots’ 28-24 victory.
Super Bowl XLIX is widely regarded as one of the greatest games in NFL history.
3. The most points scored in a Super Bowl were 75
NFL Super Bowls can be pretty hit or miss. Sometimes you’ll get two juggernaut offenses trading blows with one another, like when Joe Flacco and the Ravens narrowly defeated the 49ers 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII (47) or when the Nick Foles-led Eagles knocked off Tom Brady and the Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII (52).
But generally, the games can be fairly low scoring.
Though this was not the case with Super Bowl XXIX (29) in 1995 between the San Francisco 49ers and the San Diego Chargers, the two of which combined for a monstrous 75 points!
The 13-3 San Francisco 49ers were led out by Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, while the 11-5 Chargers were regarded as the “Cinderella” team at the time after just narrowly scraping by the Dolphins and Steelers in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
By the end of the night, the 49ers were victorious – defeating San Diego 49-26, and Young was named Super Bowl MVP, throwing for 325 yards and a Super Bowl-record six passing touchdowns.
4. The Steelers and Patriots have the most Super Bowl titles in NFL history
The Super Bowl isn’t just a representation of all the hard work it takes to become the world champions of American Football, but it’s also a bragging point for most NFL fanbases.
After all, at the end of the day, there can only be one champion, and there are still numerous franchises that have yet to win the coveted award.
As of 2023, the two NFL franchises with the most bragging rights are the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots, who are tied with a record of six Super Bowl titles. Coincidentally, this season marked the first time since 2000 that neither of the two teams made the playoffs.
Falling narrowly behind are the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys, with five Super Bowl wins, each of whom qualified for this year’s NFL playoffs. The Green Bay Packers and New York Giants are then tied for fifth with four Super Bowls apiece, while the Las Vegas Raiders, Washington Commanders, and Denver Broncos have each won three, respectively.
5. 12 Franchises have never won a Super Bowl
While Patriots and Steelers fans argue over who has the greatest franchise in NFL history, several other teams are still waiting to clinch their first-ever Super Bowl victory. In fact, of the current 32 teams in the NFL, 12 have yet to win a Vince Lombardi Trophy.
The list includes the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, and Tennessee Titans.
Moreover, Cleveland, Detroit, and Jacksonville have never even competed in a Super Bowl, while Buffalo and Minnesota have each made four appearances but have yet to win.
This NFL season, the Bills, Bengals, Jaguars, Chargers, and Vikings all made the NFL playoffs, while perennial bottomfeeders like the Lions, Panthers, and Titans just narrowly missed out.
This, therefore, marks the end of an era as a few of the league’s most iconic franchises begin to fade out, and those that have been historically inept (or unlucky, depending on who you ask) look to take over.
6. Super Bowl Sunday: The second-largest food consumption day in the United States
If there are two things that America loves, they are food and American Football. Thankfully, once a year, the entire country can combine these two passions with Super Bowl Sunday, an adopted national holiday in which people rejoice with lots and lots of food (oh, and some American Football too).
For hardcore American Football fans, the Super Bowl is a time to celebrate the past season and reward the best team for their efforts on the gridiron. However, for most casual fans, what’s even more important than the game itself is the selection of food that will be available at the Super Bowl party.
Let’s be honest, who hasn’t enjoyed an unhealthy amount of chips, wings, and pizza alongside an ice-cold beer when watching America’s favorite pastime?
In fact, aside from Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday is the second-highest day of food consumption nationwide. On average, Americans consume over 300 million gallons of beer, 28 million pounds of chips, and a whopping 1.42 billion chicken wings during the big game, which equates to more than 700 million chickens.
7. Super Bowl halftime performers are unpaid
Aside from all of the delicious food available during the Super Bowl, the halftime show is another highly-anticipated aspect of the grand event.
As the most-watched television broadcast in the United States, this presents a prime opportunity for up-and-coming artists to make a name for themselves or for household superstars to put together a performance for the ages.
In the past, we’ve seen standout performances from artists like Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, and The Weeknd, to name a few.
Who here also watched the 2022 Super Bowl halftime show by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and 50 Cent?
However, did you know that in all of these memorable halftime shows, the artists never got paid? According to the New York Times, the NFL does not pay any of the artists an “appearance fee”. While they do cover all of the expenses and production costs, the performers themselves have never walked away with any sort of paycheck.
Obviously, the fact that millions of people are tuned in to watch you perform is a big deal and can lead to more profit via streaming platforms like iTunes or Spotify. Though it is very interesting that a billion-dollar industry like the NFL would rather seek out free labor than pay those contracted to work for them.
8. The Vince Lombardi Trophy (Super Bowl) is named after Vince Lombardi
We mentioned earlier how the first-ever Super Bowl featured the championship-winning Green Bay Packers.
Well, not only were the Packers the league’s first official champion, but their head coach at the time, Vince Lombardi, was so valuable to the sport that they named the trophy after him in honor of the legendary figure.
Vince Lombardi led the Green Bay Packers to win the first two Super Bowls in league history and is considered to be one of the greatest coaches and leaders in American sports.
The aptly named Vince Lombardi Trophy (Super Bowl) is produced by Tiffany & Co., stands 22 inches tall, weighs seven pounds, and is made entirely of sterling silver.
The original depiction of the Vince Lombardi Trophy came to be in 1966 when Tiffany & Co. vice president Oscar Riedner sketched an image of the trophy on a cocktail napkin in front of NFL commissioner, Pete Rozelle.
Tiffany & Co. has produced every Super Bowl trophy since, as a new one gets cast every year, with the winning team maintaining permanent possession of it.
9. American Football is the second-oldest sport in the United States
Outside of lacrosse, which dates back to the early 1600s, American Football is considered to be the oldest organized sport in the United States.
In fact, American Football has a rich history deeply embedded within American culture that can be traced all the way back to the late 1860s, when Rutgers and Princeton played played the first ever game that still resembled football (soccer) more than the current version on 6th November 1869.
Much of the early game adopted its rules from rugby and soccer, though it wasn’t until Walter Camp came along in 1880, effectively changing the rules into those that resemble American Football today. As a result, he is widely regarded as the inventor of the modern game, or the “Father of American Football,” if you will.
The next few decades ushered in the era of professional American Football, and in 1920, the American Professional Football Association (AFPA) was formed, which eventually transformed into the National Football League (NFL) by 1922.
The NFL then merged with its rival American Football League (AFL) in 1960, and the first-ever Super Bowl was held in 1967 to determine a champion between the best teams from the two leagues.
The Super Bowl has remained the final game of each NFL season since the merger in 1970 and is considered to be one of the biggest annual sporting events worldwide.
10. The average cost of a Super Bowl ticket is over $9,000
In last year’s Super Bowl contest between the hometown Los Angeles Rams and visiting Cincinnati Bengals, the average ticket price was $9,496. This was the second-highest ticket price average in NFL Super Bowl history, with the cheapest pair of tickets priced at $6,395.
The game was held in SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California, which is considered one of the grandest and most expensive stadiums in professional sports. LA is also full of celebrities and high-profile stars, so it makes sense to charge such an outrageous price.
To provide some context, the average ticket price for the previous Super Bowl held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida was “only” $8,161, though prices were likely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic due to limited seating.
Being that this year’s event will be held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, which doesn’t even rank inside of the top 30 most expensive sporting venues worldwide, we could see a lower average ticket price for Super Bowl LVII, though I wouldn’t hold your breath.
How to develop a Super Bowl marketing strategy
As a sportsbook that caters to the NFL market or a company seeking out new Super Bowl content ideas for sports affiliate marketing, you should find this list of Super Bowl fun facts quite helpful when developing a strategy to expand your reach.
Affiliate marketing is all about striking while the iron is hot, whether that means staying up to date with the latest TikTok trends or planning campaigns around seasonal promotions like Amazon Prime Day or Black Friday. Hence why Super Bowl marketing has exploded in recent years.
The Super Bowl is a seasonal event that generates interest from all over the world. Every year thousands of people flood in from all walks of life to watch the game in person, while millions more tune in to enjoy the game live from the comfort of their own homes.
This mass amount of interest is a goldmine for affiliate businesses, specifically those in niches like sports betting, gaming, and streaming, as it presents the ultimate opportunity to promote your brand to the masses.
Super Bowl sports betting, in particular, has taken off due to online sports betting becoming legalized in May 2018 following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was unconstitutional.
Now, sportsbook content marketing strategies are at an all-time high as bookmakers from around the country attempt to take control of the market. And with 2023 welcoming in more sportsbooks than ever before, there’s no shortage of Super Bowl betting odds, markets, and bet types for Americans to take advantage of.
However, any company with the aim of capturing the enormous NFL market needs to first learn the ins and outs of the product. This means learning the history of the sport, knowing how and when it all began, who the biggest players/teams are, and where all of the advertising money goes.
Luckily, these are all points that have been covered today!
How did you like Sebastian Scheplitz’s blog post “The Super Bowl: More Than Just a Game – 10 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know”? Let us know in the comments if you have anything to add, have another content idea for iGaming blog posts, or just want to say “hello.” 🙂