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Super Bowl Wins with Super-Sized Wallets
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Super Bowl Wins with Super-Sized Wallets

Advertising during the Super Bowl requires very deep pockets, as the average 30-second spot cost marketers well over $3 million the last two years. And the stakes for those dollars are just as big, considering that viewership routinely tops the hundred-million viewer mark. So when you take a step back and look at the big picture, saying the Super Bowl is big business is really a big understatement.

In fact, over the last three years, the big game has helped boost tequila, cognac and prepared cocktail sales, among other party must-haves. Even the halftime musical artists have reaped the ratings benefits, seeing skyrocketing digital sales following their Super Bowl stage performances.

With all the money riding on the game—from sponsors to TV spots to sales lifts of popular party products—Nielsen recently took a closer look at Super Bowl viewers over the last decade and found those tuning in to be an increasingly wealthier share of the audience. Income among other groups remained flat or even fell over the years.

Among the 53 million homes that tuned in to Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, over one-quarter of those homes made more than $100,000 per year. A decade earlier, for Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003, roughly 14 percent of homes taking in more than $100,000 per year tuned in to the Super Bowl. For marketers looking to reach an affluent audience, the $3 million price tag could be the best score of the game.

A Decade Of Influence: Percentage of Affluent Homes Tuning In To the Super Bowl

Program Name Teams Year Network Avg No. Homes (000) Percent of homes making over 100K
SUPER BOWL XLVII San Fran. vs. Baltimore 2013 CBS 52,998 26.80%
SUPER BOWL XLVI NY Giants vs. New England 2012 NBC 53,910 26.40%
FOX SUPER BOWL XLV Green Bay vs. Pittsburgh
2011 FOX 53,738 28.10%
SUPER BOWL XLIV New Orleans vs. Indianapolis 2010 CBS 51,728 28.90%
SUPER BOWL XLIII Arizona vs. Pittsburgh
2009 NBC 48,135 26.40%
FOX SUPER BOWL XLII NY Giants vs. New England 2008 FOX 48,656 23.30%
SUPER BOWL XLI Chicago vs. Indianapolis 2007 CBS 47,506 21.00%
SUPER BOWL XL Seattle vs. Pittsburgh
2006 ABC 45,868 19.70%
SUPER BOWL XXXIX Philadelphia vs. New England 2005 FOX 45,082 20.00%
SUPER BOWL XXXVIII Carolina vs. New England 2004 CBS 44,909 20.00%
SUPER BOWL XXXVII Tampa Bay vs. Oakland 2003 ABC 43,434 14.00%
Source: Nielsen