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More than 179.1 million people will watch this year’s Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 3 – up from an estimated 172.5 million last year -- and retailers can expect a sizeable boost in spending as consumers prepare for the big game.
According to a new survey by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, a division of the National Retail Federation, conducted by BIGinsight, the average game watcher will spend $68.54 on new televisions for viewing parties, snacks, décor and athletic apparel -- up from $63.87 last year -- with total Super Bowl spending expected to reach nearly $12.3 billion.
“Gathering with friends and family for the Super Bowl is an American tradition, and this year it seems consumers are in the mood to celebrate, which is good news for retailers who typically see slower online and foot traffic during these months,” said Bill Thorne, SVP of the NRF. “As one of the biggest weekends of the year for sports fanatics, we expect to see a variety of promotions in the coming days surrounding appetizers and drinks at restaurants, football décor, athletic apparel and of course, new TVs.”
The survey found that nearly 74 percent of viewers intend to buy food and beverages to celebrate the game, including wings, pizza, chips and soda. Additionally, 3.9 million households will buy new furniture items such as entertainment centers, chairs and couches, and 7.5 million will purchase decorations. And given the popularity of the teams this year, 17 million fans will buy team apparel or accessories to support their preferred team, up from 14.8 million last year.
Of those planning to watch the Super Bowl, more than 7.5 million households (7.1 percent) will buy a new television, compared to 5.1 million last year. Young adults (ages 18-24) are the most likely to purchase new televisions.
In terms of where consumers will watch the big game, the survey found 39.4 million people (16.6 percent) will throw a party, another 59.9 million (25.2 percent) will attend a party, and more than 10.1 million (4.3 people) people will watch the game at a restaurant or a bar.
“With planned viewership rising this year, it appears that an increasing number of people are finding Super Bowl Sunday the perfect excuse to get together, show off that new TV, try a new recipe, or simply shake off the winter blues for a night,” said Pam Goodfellow, consumer insights director at BIGinsight. “Ever wary of their budgets, consumers will be on the lookout for those hard-to-beat deals on TVs, food, and other Super Bowl-related items that they’ve come to expect from retailers as they plan their gatherings this year.”
Consumers of all ages enjoy the Super Bowl for a number of reasons, and the survey finds that commercials are increasingly becoming a primary form of entertainment. More than three-quarters of viewers (76.6 percent) say they see the commercials as entertainment, up from 73 percent last year. Overall, when asked what they thought was the most important part of the Super Bowl, 45.3 percent of viewers said it’s the game, and more than one-quarter (26.2 percent) agreed it’s the commercials. Additionally, 18.8 percent say they like getting together with friends and 9.6 percent say the Half Time Show is what matters most to them.
For advertisers, commercials are a way to increase awareness of a brand or service, and they’ve got an unusually captive audience. The survey found 19.5 percent say the commercials make them aware of the advertisers’ brand and another 10.5 percent say the commercials influence them to buy products from advertisers – the highest percentage reported in the survey’s history.
The Retail Advertising & Marketing Association comprises over 1,500 retail marketing and advertising executives, plus their supporting partners from the advertising agency, media and service-provider areas. RAMA’s 2013 Super Bowl spending survey polled 5,815 consumers from Jan. 2-9.