NEW ORLEANS -- More than 179.1 million people will watch Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, Feb. 3, when the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers square off in New Orleans, according to a new survey by the Retail Advertising & Marketing Association (RAMA), a division of the National Retail Federation (NRF), conducted by BIGinsight.
That number is the most in the survey's nine-year history and up from an estimated 172.5 million last year.
Most respondents (63%) to a CSP Daily News survey give the game to the 49ers.
The average game watcher will spend $68.54 on new TVs for viewing parties, snacks, decor and athletic apparel, up from $63.87 last year. Total Super Bowl spending is expected to reach nearly $12.3 billion (total extrapolation of U.S. adults 18and above).
"Gathering with friends and family for the Super Bowl is an American tradition, and this year it seems consumers are in the mood to celebrate, which is good news for retailers who typically see slower online and foot traffic during these months," said NRF senior vice president Bill Thorne. "As one of the biggest weekends of the year for sports fanatics, we expect to see a variety of promotions in the coming days surrounding appetizers and drinks at restaurants, football decor, athletic apparel and of course, new TVs."
The survey found most people intend to buy food and beverages to celebrate the game: nearly three-quarters (74%) of those watching the game will buy wings, pizza, chips, soda and more for themselves or their guests. Additionally, 3.9 million households will buy new furniture items, such as entertainment centers, chairs and couches, and 7.5 million will buy decorations. Given the popularity of the teams this year, 17 million fans will buy team apparel or accessories to support their team, up from 14.8 million last year.
Retailers planning promotions on TVs in the coming weeks are in for a treat. According to the survey, of those planning to watch the Super Bowl, more than 7.5 million households (7.1%) will buy a new TV, compared to 5.1 million last year. Young adults (ages 18 to 24) are the most likely to purchase new TVs; of those planning to watch the game, 15.6% will watch it on a new high-definition TV, the highest of any age group.
When it comes to parties, there will be no shortage of partygoers this year: the survey found 39.4 million people (16.6%) will throw a party, and another 59.9 million (25.2%) will attend a party. More than 10.1 million (4.3%) people will watch the game at a restaurant or a bar.
"With planned viewership rising this year, it appears that an increasing number of people are finding Super Bowl Sunday the perfect excuse to get together, show off that new TV, try a new recipe or simply shake off the winter blues for a night," said BIGinsight consumer insights director Pam Goodfellow. "Ever wary of their budgets, consumers will be on the lookout for those hard-to-beat deals on TVs, food, and other Super Bowl-related items that they've come to expect from retailers as they plan their gatherings this year."
Consumers of all ages enjoy the Super Bowl for different reasons, and the commercials are increasingly becoming a primary form of entertainment. More than three-quarters of viewers (76.6%) said they see the commercials as entertainment, up from 73% last year. Overall, when asked what they thought was the most important part of the Super Bowl, 45.3% of viewers said it is the game, and more than one-quarter (26.2%) agreed it is the commercials. Additionally, 18.8% said they like getting together with friends and 9.6% said the halftime show is what matters most to them.
The survey found 19.5% said the commercials make them aware of the advertisers' brand, and another 10.5% said the commercials influence them to buy products from advertisers--the highest percentage reported in the survey's history.
The poll of 5,815 consumers was conducted Jan. 2-9, 2013, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.3 percentage points.