The Big Business of the Super Bowl (and a Super Sunday Superstition)

January 27, 2020
Michelle HolmesBy Michelle Holmes
AVP - Investments

Football fans across the country are counting down to the big day, Super Bowl Sunday! This year’s contest will pit the Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV (that is Super Bowl 54 for those of us who don’t use Roman numerals on a daily basis) on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020.

San Francisco is looking for its sixth win in order to tie the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers with the most Super Bowl wins. Kansas City is looking for its second Super Bowl victory in franchise history with their first win coming 50 years ago in Super Bowl IV.

This year I was lucky enough to marry into a family that likes football as much as I do and happens to have several Kansas City Chief fans. Needless to say, plans are underway at my house for the big day. Where are we going to watch the game? What are we going to eat? Where are the lucky Chiefs socks?  

With more than 193 million people expected to watch this year's Super Bowl, these plans can translate into big business.

Super Bowl Business Facts & Figures

According to the National Chicken Council, Americans are expected to increase chicken wing consumption by 2 percent compared to last year's Super Bowl weekend, for an estimated total of 1.4 billion wings. Stub Hub reported a staggering 8 million pounds of guacamole will be consumed on Super Bowl Sunday. The National Retail Federation estimates consumers will spend an average of $88.65 per person to watch the game. This translates to a total of $17.2 billion spent on a variety of items including food, beverages, team apparel, decorations, and even new TVs and furniture. 

Companies also try to cash in on the captive audience spending millions on Super Bowl ads each year. This year, a 30-second commercial will cost an estimated $5.5 million dollars to run during the Super Bowl. Luckily for these companies, commercials play a big part of the Super Bowl experience. Each year the commercials are ranked, and coverage of the best and worst commercials lasts for days after the Super Bowl is over. Companies like Planters, Cheetos and Olay are even posting teaser ads online to garner excitement going into Super Bowl weekend.

The Market's Super Bowl Indicator: Fact or Fiction?

Traditions and superstitions also play a factor during the Super Bowl. Some fans won’t watch the game unless they are wearing their favorite shirt or sit in their lucky spot. These superstitions make us feel a part of the big day but have no real bearing on the outcome. 

The Super Bowl Indicator is one such superstition. The indicator tries to predict if the stock market will be positive or negative depending on whether an original National Football League (NFL) teams or an original American Football League (AFL) team will win the Super Bowl. According to the indicator, the stock market is supposed to increase when the NFL wins and fall when the AFL wins.

By coincidence, this indicator had a high percentage of correct predictions with only two wrong predictions in the first couple of decades. However, recent years show there is no real correlation between the winner of the Super Bowl and the direction of the stock market. 

Although the Super Bowl can’t predict what will happen in the stock market this year, the big business of the Super Bowl does have an impact. In fact, what we as consumers decide to spend our money on counts for two-thirds of the growth in our economy. So, forget about market superstitions, grab your favorite shirt and lucky socks and enjoy the commercials.

At Security National Wealth Management, we've been helping people avoid market superstitions for over 135 years. Contact us today to see how one of our investment professionals can help you!

About the Author

Michelle Holmes, CFA

Michelle Holmes is an Assistant Vice President in Investments with Security National Bank's Wealth Management Division. A Chartered Financial Analyst® charterholder, Michelle has two decades of investment experience. She graduated from Morningside College with a Bachelor of Science in accounting, business administration and economics.