In 1967, in a secret meeting at Love Field Airport in Dallas, Texas, an idea was born that would change history. The owners of two professional football teams began to broker a merger between the American Football League and its older rival, the National Football League. These talks gave rise to today's NFL and the idea of an inter-league championship game. Less than one year later, the Green Bay Packers would win the first “Super Bowl” in a game that set the standard for determining who was really on top.
Since that time, the Super Bowl has stopped in Miami, Los Angeles, New Orleans and countless other cities, and is coming back to the location of its conception, Dallas, in 2011. It is anticipated that the arrival of Super Bowl XLV to the Lone Star State will be bigger and better than ever. The Super Bowl has grown into a thriving, American franchise; today, “Super Bowl Sunday” is much more than an ordinary game of pigskin.
Broadcast in over 230 countries worldwide, 2010 saw the Super Bowl become the world's most watched television event of all time according to Nielsen. A study done in 2009 showed that nearly half of those tuning in were not even regular football fans. A segment of the audience tunes in solely to view the advertising, now almost as famous as the game itself.
Advertising prices have increased every year with sponsors paying as much as $3 million for a 30-second spot. In fact, advertisers and their agencies utilize the venue to stretch their creative muscles and ad dollars for results-oriented commercials. The broadcast of the Super Bowl has even been used to bring international awareness to social issues, from the Iran Hostage Crisis to the Gulf War.
Another ratings draw is the now-famous halftime show. It used to be college marching bands taking center stage, but by the mid-90s, big-name musicians got top billing. With acts such as Michael Jackson, Prince, Patti LaBelle, Tony Bennett, Paul McCartney, The Who, Bruce Springsteen and The Rolling Stones – and, most infamously, Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake – the Super Bowl halftime show is now the most sought-after 30 minutes on television for a modern-day act. According to data from Nielsen, halftime acts typically experience considerable increases in album sales, paid digital downloads and tour ticket purchases due to the massive exposure.
For a myriad of reasons, this game is an American legacy, and not all of those reasons are football related. Sports network ESPN pays tribute to all the game has become in its “100 Greatest Super Bowl Moments," which includes not only the most memorable plays and touchdowns, but also Super Bowl sound bites and imagery that is now the stuff of legend. The proof is there that people aren't just tuning in for a game; they are tuning in to see a Gatorade-drenched coach being carried off the field, an MVP exclaiming, “I'm going to Disneyworld!” and maybe even a wardrobe malfunction during halftime.
With the amount of revenue generated by an event of this magnitude (tickets alone can cost in the thousands of dollars range), and the pride of hosting one of the world’s premiere sporting events, Dallas, Texas is thrilled to welcome what is proven to be America’s favorite sporting entertainment event.