In addition to the Olympic Games, some of the biggest sporting events in the world include the Tour de France cycling race, the EU’s Champions League of football, and the global FIFA World Cup. Another common event listed alongside such events is the NFL’s Super Bowl in the US.
Despite the popularity of the American football event, the majority of viewers and fans hail from the United States. In 2019, the Super Bowl drew in more than 100 million domestic viewers. However, reports from Televisa in Mexico and Gridiron in the UK indicated that as many as 40 million viewers were estimated to come from other countries.
Even if the NFL’s regular season, which consists of seventeen weeks of one game per week, remains popular only for Americans, the Super Bowl championship game has mass appeal. Mexico and the UK are prime audiences, but they aren’t the only nations tuning in on a grand scale.
Though it seems American football is too slow and complex to gain momentum abroad, watching the championship match is one way to stay in touch with the sport. Catching the high-octane conclusion to an NFL season beats tallying scores across conferences for the regular season. Or, in the case of many Americans, the Super Bowl is also the perfect time to throw a viewing party and catch up with friends in a purely social sense.
On February 7, 2021, Super Bowl LV will take place in Tampa Bay, Florida. The league, fans, and casual viewers are busy readying for the day—even if they still aren’t sure which teams will be facing off in at ‘Sunday Funday’.
More Than a Sport
The Super Bowl does more than attract millions upon millions of viewers and conclude the NFL season. As the most bet-on league in the US, the NFL’s biggest day of the year also draws in a variety of bets. Though there are sites that offer NFL betting odds from various sportsbooks throughout the regular season, most sports fans choose to wager on ‘Sunday Funday’—but there’s more on the docket than just moneylines.
Fans of the game and avid punters can bet on the sport, but spectators who aren’t sports-inclined will still have a reason to watch and cheer. There’s a world-class half-time performance, as well as a slew of ads from top brands in the US looking to impress remote viewers.
Typically, an NFL match has a 10-15 minute half-time. Given the extensive breaks that occur during gameplay, American football officials look to keep quarter, half, and third-quarter breaks as short as possible.
The Super Bowl, on the other hand, spares no expense. Over the years, mega-stars have graced the stage to entertain hundreds of millions. 2020’s Super Bowl saw J-Lo and Shakira team up for a singing and dancing special, while other memorable performances include Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and Michael Jackson.
Top brands in the US target remote viewers with kitschy and exciting ads that tend to focus on the ‘American dream’ and pop culture. In fact, some groups only tune in to the game to catch the ads.
2020’s most successful commercials included ads from Jeep, Google, and Amazon. However, the most iconic ads from 2020 included spoofs from movies like The Shining (Mountain Dew), promises of environmental initiatives (Michelob Ultra), and profiles for minorities breaking social molds (Microsoft).
Much like betting, half-time performances, and popular ads are major components of Sunday Funday, so are parties. Parties thrown at home for the big day brought in nearly $15 billion in 2019, according to the National Retail Federation in the US.
Around the country, friends and family gather to enjoy all the trappings of the Super Bowl, which often include plates of chips and dip, chicken wings, and a wide selection of sweet treats themed according to the competing teams.
Wrapping Up the 2020 Season
Despite the fact that the Super Bowl involves a lot more than just the sport, American football is at the heart of the championship game. As the most popular sport in the US, American football dominates sports broadcasts as teams barrel through their 17-week season. NFL team rankings shift to injuries, mismanagement, or other circumstance.
This year’s favorite team to take the Super Bowl is last year’s reigning champion: the Kansas City Chiefs. With a young star quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, it seems this Midwestern team is unstoppable heading into playoffs.
Looking to thwart the Chiefs are the Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers. The Bills have had a strong season with their own leading quarterback, Josh Allen, as well as receiver Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley. As a ‘Cinderella team’, the squad has surpassed expectations throughout the regular season as Allen and Beasley developed their teamwork.
The Green Bay Packers are a strong dynastic team, led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers for over a decade now. However, they now have a strong receiver in Davante Adams, which means issues with their defensive squad may be able to batter through relying on offense.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks are no longer featured on the NFL’s rankings for Super Bowl title potential. The Steelers, much like the Bills, posted a surprising season record. The Steelers went undefeated until Week 13 but has the team has since shown weaknesses. Following a season-ending injury to Bud Dupree, an offensive linebacker, it seems the Steelers will be eliminated in the playoffs.
The Seattle Seahawks are another strong team with a dynasty similar to the Packers. Instead of Aaron Rodgers as a quarterback, the Seahawks have Russell Wilson. Though both quarterbacks are seasoned a reliable, the Seahawks’ defense is notoriously bad. Once again, the Packers suffer a similar liability, but to a lesser degree.
NFL playoffs begin in early January when the league’s two conferences (AFC and NFC) finish out individual tournaments. The champions from each the AFC and NFC conference finals then advance to face off in the February 7 Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay, Florida.