Looking Back at the NFL’s Big Game #58: Viva Las Vegas

February 13, 2024 Looking Back at the NFL’s Big Game #58: Viva Las Vegas

This year’s NFL Championship in Las Vegas exceeded all the lofty expectations set in the lead up to the Big Game. Advertisers, broadcasters, and fans alike all expected a championship for the ages, and they received more than they could’ve ever wanted.

The NFL’s 58th Big Game now stands alone as the most viewed telecast in United States history. According to Nielsen’s fast national figures, Patrick Mahomes and the Chief’s overtime victory against the San Francisco 49ers brought in a mind boggling 123.4 million average viewers. That is a 7% increase over last year’s record-breaking draw of 115.1 million.

Viewership is just one figure showcasing the unbounded interest displayed by fans across the world. The desire to attend the Big Game was so veracious that ticket prices not only held at the $7,000+ price point highlighted in one of last week’s TicketManager blogs, but continued to rise until game time when the average ticket price climbed to an all-time high of around $8,000.

Luxury experience price points were even more awe-inspiring, with the cost of a suite ranging from $750,000 to a jaw-dropping $2,000,000 each. This is due to a combination of continuously increasing demand coupled with the lower-than-average capacity of Allegiant Stadium.

These sky-high viewership and attendance numbers led to success for most, if not all business operations surrounding the year’s top sporting event. Partnerships and activations, like the ones mentioned in one of week’s blogs, received incalculable attention throughout the game.

According to research firm Vision Insights, our friends and partners at Nike were found to be the most valuable and visible brand of the weekend. The firm also estimates that Nike earned around $70 million in value for their screentime. Following Nike in second place is Allegiant, the naming rights sponsor of the game’s stadium, with State Farm in third, Apple Music in fourth, and our friends at Anheuser-Busch and their brand Bud Light rounding out the top five.

State Farm also landed the top ad spot according to USA Today’s ad meter with their spot featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger mispronouncing “neighbor” in his classic accent. Advertising measurement firm iSpot.tv gave the ad spot a 719-likability score, which is 12% higher than the norm.

TicketManager partners filled out the top commercials of the Big Game, with Anheuser-Bush’s brand Budweiser’s “Old School Delivery” commercial receiving the eighth spot on USA Today’s list and a 709-likeability score (11% above norm). Our partner Verizon’s “Can’t B Broken” commercial featuring Beyonce claimed the ninth spot on USA Today’s leaderboard.

None of these incredible figures would have been possible without the great on-the-field product. The game was tight throughout regulation, which ended in a tie that sent the Big Game to overtime for just the second time in history. That extra period led to CBS, the broadcasting partner, netting nearly $60 million in additional advertisement revenue. The additional frame gave CBS the time to air 10 extra advertisements, with seven being reruns of previously shown ad spots and three having either been exclusive to the pre-game or not yet shown at all.

This added time helped propel CBS into the top spot all time for Big Game ad sales, with the broadcaster selling an estimated $700 million worth of advertisement slots.

Even halftime show headliner Usher felt the benefits from the success of the NFL championship. Usher’s performance was the most-watched Big Game halftime show of all time, averaging a whopping 129.3 million viewers. As is usual for halftime performers, Usher did not get paid in the traditional sense. But Apex Marketing Group estimates that the superstar earned an estimated equivalent of about $52.5 million in exposure during his time on the broadcast.

Experts saw the writing on the wall; the Chiefs versus the 49ers + Las Vegas + incredible star power = a massive success, and they were right. This year’s Big Game broke countless records and continued to show exactly why the NFL’s championship is the premier event of the entire year.

As Jay Z says, it’s “on to the next one,” with Big Game #59 set for the Caesers Superdome in New Orleans on February 9, 2025.