Monday, February 2, 2009

Recession v. Super Bowl XLIII

For many years, the NFL Super Bowl Sunday has been an American institution in more ways than one. Will the current economic recession be its downfall?

By: Ringo Bones

More than just an end-of-season finale for the NFL, the American Super Bowl Sunday has for years been a magnet for multi-million dollar 30-second advertising slots. But the slow inexorable creep of the on-going global recession began to manifest itself in America in a dramatic way during the second half of 2008 via layoffs and stock market free-fall. Will this inevitably ruin the 2009 Super Bowl XLIII?

Big-time sports advertising in America has always been about profits and ease of moneymaking. When the crude oil tycoon J. Paul Getty started the cable-based sports channel ESPN, you can be sure that he’s not doing it for humanitarian reasons. Given that the “R” word – that is recession – has already behaving like Frankenstein’s monster set loose on an unsuspecting public, will it eventually take down one of the most hallowed American of institutions – that is the Super Bowl Sunday?

The on-going global economic downturn has finally make itself felt on American soil when a week before Super Bowl Sunday – the 2009 Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Florida. According to NBC there are still four 30-second advertising slots that remained vacant. Whereas in the past, 30-second advertising slots – despite costing millions of dollars – are snapped up by interested parties as soon as they are made available. Does the vacant advertising slots point out – especially during the Super Bowl – that America is now indeed in a deep recession?

In spite of all the doom and gloom, the hallowed institution of the American Super Bowl Sunday still managed to provide a refuge for die hard fans to forget, just for a moment at least, the on-going global economic downturn. If Americans still manage to have a good time in spite of a “relatively austere” Super Bowl – in advertising terms at least. Then, the Super Bowl, together with the die-hard fans, can safely manage to hold on for things to get better – even though it means spending more money.