The Super Bowl of Research

SuperBowl46LogoThe Super Bowl is huge in every way, even when it comes to market research.

It is by far the biggest sporting event in the U.S.  Perhaps more significantly, it is annually the highest rated television program.

The contest is preceded by two weeks of sheer, unadulterated hype.  It’s not just the sports networks and websites making hay.  Other media outlets capitalize on Super Bowl hype in the weeks before the game.  Every commercial is dissected six ways to Sunday.  Even the halftime musical performance gets a huge amount of attention (this year it’s by Madonna).

This hype may excite you or disgust you, but you can’t ignore it.

As a researcher and a marketer, I find the hype surrounding the Super Bowl endlessly fascinating.

This has been true even in years where my team is not in the game.  My beloved New England Patriots are going up against a very worthy opponent, the New York Giants.

This year’s contest, as a rematch of a hotly contested (and wildly disappointing to Patriots fans) game from four years ago, looks to be bigger and badder than ever.  Add in the growth of social media, and you have the makings of a true marketing spectacle.


As a market researcher, I’ve heard endless talk over the past few years about how the poor economy has had a negative effect on our industry.

Well, I say we should be thankful as market researchers that the Super Bowl gives us so many things to measure, analyze and interpret.

The Super Bowl is a great thing for anyone involved in marketing.  Market researchers should be thankful for this bonanza.

Here are some of the many places I can only imagine extensive research has occurred connected to the Super Bowl.

–       Of course, at the National Football League, by widely respected Director of Research Alicia Rankin.
–       At ESPN and other sports media entities
–       At NBC, the television network broadcasting the event
–       By the city of Indianapolis, hosting the event for the first time
–       By the dozens of television advertisers for this year’s game

This list just scratches the surface.  Literally thousands of businesses run Super Bowl related promotions, creating numerous business opportunities for the market research industry.

Yes, it’s a hype-filled marketing event, a spectacle of capitalism that gives a major boost to our economy.

Only in America!

Please share your thoughts on Super Bowl market research in the comments section below.

About Dana Stanley

Dana is the Editor-in-Chief of Research Access.

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