American adults say they will spend an average $81.30 for a total of $14.8 billion as they watch the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams meet up in the Super Bowl next month, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
“You don’t have to be a football fan to celebrate the Super Bowl,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay says. “Whether it’s to see who wins, watch the halftime show and commercials or just get together with friends, this is the biggest party since New Year’s Eve. Spending is expected to be at one the highest levels we’ve seen. And retailers are ready whether you need food, team jerseys, decorations, or a new TV.”
Northeast viewers biggest spenders
The average spending is virtually unchanged from last year’s $81.17 and is the second-highest in the history of the survey after a record of $82.19 set in 2016. The total amount is down from last year’s $15.3 billion, primarily because fewer people plan to watch the game – 182.5 million this year compared with 188.5 million last year. The overall spending is still the third-highest on record, after last year’s figure and $15.5 billion in 2016.
The biggest spenders are those ages 35-44 at an average $123.26 while the lowest are those 65 and older at $40.97. Viewers in the Northeast plan to spend the most, at an average $94.89, followed by the West at $84.01, the South at $79.09, and the Midwest at $69.24.
The survey found that 72% of adults plan to watch the game, down from 76% last year. Among those watching, 79% plan to buy food and beverages, 10% team apparel and accessories, 7% decorations, also 7% for new televisions, and 4% on furniture such as entertainment centers.
Close to a quarter (24% or 61 million) plan to attend a party, while 17% (44 million) will throw one while 5 % (13 million) will watch in a bar or restaurant.
Ads influence younger viewers
The largest share of those watching (43%) say the game is the most important part of the event, but 23% cite the commercials, 14% getting together with friends, 13% the halftime show, and 7% the food.
The survey also found that 76% see the commercials as entertainment and that only 10% say they are influenced to make a purchase, but the ads carry more weight among younger viewers. Of those ages 18-24, 17% say the commercials influence them to buy and 16% are prompted to search online for more information.
“The numbers vary from year to year, but regardless of the economy, politics or the weather, most Americans manage to take a break every year for the Super Bowl,” Prosper VP of Strategy Phil Rist says. “The big game is a day for big spending regardless of who plays or wins.”
The survey of 7,384 adults 18 and older was conducted Jan. 2 to 9, before it was known which teams would play, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.
The viewership numbers may differ from other figures such as official TV ratings because they include all individuals who say they will watch regardless of how or where.