The evolution of the Super Bowl over the last 50 years

Photo by Robert Hernandez Villalta from Pexels

Super Bowl Sunday is one day that every sports lover looks forward to. Since its inception, the quality of matches, hype around it, media attention, and viewership all have increased at light speed.

The game has not only added value to the league but also created many opportunities around it, like the half-time advertisements, musical performances, and the use of technology.

Throughout the country, viewing parties are held in homes, taverns, and restaurants on Super Bowl Sunday. As the week leading up to the game approaches, the host city experiences extensive media coverage and a festive atmosphere.

How did it all start?

If we go back a little to understand the concept of the Super Bowl, we'll know its importance.

The Super Bowl is the National Football League championship match between the AFC and NFC champions. It takes place every year in the first week of February. However, Super Bowl LVI is happening in the second week due to COVID developments.

The idea behind the championship match was to determine the national champion. So the match is the result of merging NFL and AFL, both rivaling leagues. The year 1966 was when both leagues were merged into one, and there was a resulting championship match between both leagues' champions.

The first match, termed the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, was between Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs. The name Super Bowl was first introduced in 1969, and Roman numerals were attached to determine the league season.

Commercial aspect of the Super Bowl

In the early 1990s, the NFL's goal was to pump up fan excitement off the field rather than relying on field drama. With military flyovers and pre-game fireworks, the national anthem quickly became a highly produced and popular gig.

The NFL’s strategic collaboration with television has also diverted attention away from the game on the field. The average cost for a 30-second advertisement in 1967 was $42,500. Since then, they have evolved into the most expensive advertising time in television history.

In 1985, a 30-second advertisement cost over $500,000 because of the massive impact of Apple's 1984 commercial. The trend set the stage for the creation of the dedicated ad for the Super Bowl, which has become an unofficial but intense marketing competition aimed at producing the most creative and memorable television ads that target the Super Bowl's huge captive audience.

Millions of people watch the game every year, increasing the cost of a 30-second advertisement. Unsurprisingly, the price reached $5 million during Super Bowl 50 in 2016.

The Super Bowl Match-Up is always exciting, and it's something to look forward to. This year, the LA Rams are going against Cincinnati Bengals, who are running in red-hot form and coming in after beating the season's favorites.

Every time there's one favorite and an underdog in the Super Bowl, there's a chance of the underdogs springing up a surprise. You simply can't write anyone off, which gives the Super Bowl the attention of millions of people around the globe.