The first Super Bowl was held in 1967. On February 13, 2022, Super Bowl LVI will be played in Los Angeles. Why is this such a big deal for marketers? In the U.S., we view this as the “Super Bowl of Advertising,” due to the huge audience and enormous ad dollars spent across all forms of media. To begin, let’s look at key events in Super Bowl history. There will be marketing posts leading up to the game. And analysis of media performance after the game. 


Getting Ready for LVI: Key Events in Super Bowl History

The Super Bowl is the most viewed sporting event in the United States. With the cost of air-time on NBC this year at several million dollars per 30-seconds. Indeed, about $6.5 million for each national ad of that length.  At present, the Super Bowl accounts for nine of the top ten most-viewed American television programs of all time.

To highlight some of the key events in Super Bowl history, we reviewed these sources:

The Beginning

As per the History Channel:

In Super Bowl I, the NFL champion Green Bay Packers defeated the AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10, on January 15, 1967. Although ticket prices averaged $12, the game was not a sellout The only non-sellout in the game’s history. The game drew 61,000 fans> And it was televised by both CBS and NBC. The next year, the Packers decisively won Super Bowl II against the Oakland Raiders, 33-14. Many questioned whether the AFL champion could beat the NFL’s best. Then, in Super Bowl III on January 12, 1969, the AFL champion New York Jets, a 17.5-point underdog, beat the NFL champion Baltimore Colts, 16-7. A result considered one of the sport’s greatest upsets. It was the first Super Bowl win for the upstart American Football League.

The early Super Bowls featured marching bands at halftime. Then popular musicians took center stage. And the shows evolved into much-anticipated spectacles. Some viewers consider the halftime show, now a 30-plus-minute act, a bigger event than the game.

Becoming the SUPER Bowl

Britannica reports that:

The day of the Super Bowl game, known as Super Bowl Sunday, has evolved into an unofficial American holiday. With viewing parties held in homes, taverns, and restaurants throughout the country. The week prior to the game is highlighted by extensive media buildup and a festival atmosphere in the host city. The game itself is accompanied by elaborate pregame and halftime ceremonies and entertainment.

The following Nielsen infographic features the first 50 years of the Super Bowl. Look at the enormous increase in popularity.

Key Events in Super Bowl History


Super Bowl 56

As this early photo shows, team-specific merchandise marketing starts as the conference championship games conclude.

Key Events in Super Bowl History

As noted by the Hollywood Reporter, in planning for a fully-attended Super Bowl in 2022, the NFL knew this would be complex:

SoFi Stadium opened the gates at Entry 3 for a panel that featured key Super Bowl LVI stakeholders offering an update on the state of affairs for the big game with 30 days to go before kickoff on Feb. 13.There was no shortage of optimism flowing from the stage despite an uninvited guest whose shadow continues to hang over the festivities. Seemingly ominous enough that none of the panelists mentioned COVID-19 by name. Instead, they doubled down on keywords like “health and safety” and “protocols” as moderator Camryn Irwin led a discussion that covered everything from expectations and preparations to fan culture and community impact.

Right now, all systems are go,

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