The Super Bowl is just a lame excuse for capitalism to flourish
The air reeks of fried foods, cheap cologne and fermented ale.
The room is filled with muscled bros zealously watching the television, as if their lives depend on the outcome of this game. Their few female companions at the bar look utterly bored and disenchanted with their surroundings.
Meanwhile I am quietly perched in the back of the bar, quietly observing this very bizarre phenomenon.
Yes my dearest friends, I am referring to the Super Bowl. The one day each year when North Americans can justify a massive junk food binge whilst watching giant brutes running to and fro chasing a small rubbery brown ball.
Crass comments aside, it is my belief that the Super Bowl is merely an embodiment of consumerism and corporate greed. A dark and hollow characteristic that seemingly runs rampant throughout the Western world today.
It’s a known fact that the game generates a ton of money every year, but upon closer research I discovered the numbers were astronomical.
Nielsen records reveal that the televised broadcast is viewed by more than 100 million people across the globe every year, with advertisers eager to purchase airtime to plug their products.
To air a 30-second ad during the prestigious game, the cost starts at a cool $5 million according to superbowl-ads.com. And these ads have helped fill the coffers of multinational corporations that receive an immense boost from the lucrative event.
The Globe and Mail article revealed just how beneficial these marketing attempts can be, especially for the company GoDaddy. The web hosting company experienced an increase in market share ever since it started to air commercials at the prestigious sporting event. Although the ads cannot account completely for the entire increase in market share, GoDaddy’s presence has definitely seen a significant surge.
To add fuel to the fire, data from statista.com reveals Super Bowl 50 will generate US$15.53 billion in terms of consumer related spending. This amount is more than three times greater than the amount of foreign aid Canada gave to states in 2014 according to the Canadian International Development Platform .
So essentially the focus is not even on the game itself, with the businessmen foaming at the mouth like rabid animals at the potential money to be made.
Let’s not forget about the halftime show, for capitalism trickles down into every facet of the Super Bowl. Whoever performs at the halftime is guaranteed to have success in terms of record sales and touring revenue.
After Bruno Mars’ performance in 2014, his album shifted 81,000 units in the week after his halftime show, according to Billboard. Madonna even marketed an entire album around her halftime routine, with her music video “Give Me All Your Luvin,’” featuring many football references in the lead up to the big show.
The best case though is Beyoncé’s show three years ago.
Yes we love queen Bey and she might very well be a deity, but her 2013 show had the dollars signs written all over it.
Contrary to past performers, Beyoncé at the time didn’t have a new album to promote but instead used the halftime slot to promote a new tour, which began two months after the Super Bowl in 2013. The Mrs. Carter World Tour went on to gross more than US$200 million and was one of the most successful tours of the decade according to idolator.com.
No doubt this year’s performers Coldplay will see the same trend for their upcoming tour.
In the end, few people really care about the actual football game. The Super Bowl merely highlights consumer exploitation and the fact that we live in a world that focuses on profits before people.
Capitalism is deeply rooted within our society and it’s a shame that we can no longer see that this event is just another excuse to extort money.