Super Bowl

Super Bowl Consumer Spending to Hit $10 Billion

Consumers Will Purchase Plenty of Food and Beverages -- but Also TVs and Team Apparel

By Published on .

NEW YORK ( -- Americans are planning to take a break from their spendthrift ways, at least for Super Bowl Sunday.

Best Buy is aggressively promoting high-definition TVs for the big game.
Best Buy is aggressively promoting high-definition TVs for the big game.
According to a new survey out from the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, conducted by BIGresearch, total consumer Super Bowl spending is expected to reach $10.1 billion, the highest in the survey's eight-year history. More people also plan to celebrate the event by throwing a party, attending a party or watching at a bar or restaurant.

Likewise, consumer sentiment toward advertisers also appears to be improving. In the depths of the recession more consumers said advertisers should bypass pricey Super Bowl spots and pass the savings onto them. This year 17% expressed that sentiment, down from 21% in 2009 and 19% in 2010. Fox, which is broadcasting the game on Feb. 6, is reportedly seeking between $2.8 million and $3 million for 30 seconds of commercial time in this year's game.

"The consumer is feeling more optimistic," said Mike Gatti, executive director at RAMA. "Spending is starting to come back, and it's on these little splurgy things. It's not crazy. But people are saying we're going to crack open the wallet and do something."

Of the 83% saying they will purchase Super Bowl-related items, including food, beverages, TVs, furniture, team apparel and decorations, the average person will spend $71.51, up from $64 a year ago and in line with 2007 spending. Mr. Gatti said he expects to see a lot of promotion around the Super Bowl, with retailers looking to the event as the first opportunity to stimulate sales post holiday.

What consumers plan to purchase for Super Bowl Sunday
Food/Beverages 69.50%
Team apparel or accessories 7.30%
Decorations 6%
Television 4.50%
Furniture 2%

While the majority of people plan to purchase food or beverages, plenty are still looking to bigger-ticket items, like TVs. The number of consumers saying they'll purchase a TV jumped 25% this year to 4.5 million people.

That's good news for electronics retailers, which saw tepid TV sales over the holidays. Best Buy, for example, reported that for the month of December, consumer electronics sales fell 8% at stores open a least a year, primarily because of a low double-digit decline in TVs. Best Buy and Sears are already aggressively promoting high-definition TVs for the big game.

"Our customers tell us that this is an ideal time of year to upgrade or invest in new big-screen televisions, so we wanted to give them a great excuse to come into Best Buy by offering deals on some of the best and largest TVs we carry," said Mike Mohan, senior VP-home theater at Best Buy.

With the New York Jets' and Chicago Bears' Super Bowl dreams dashed, some sporting goods execs have speculated that apparel and accessory sales could be lackluster. The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers represent smaller markets. But, Mr. Gatti pointed out, both are storied teams. "Maybe sales would have been a little higher, based on the teams, but Green Bay and Pittsburgh are both pretty strong, popular teams," he said.

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