America’s biggest annual football game is also one of our most prominent cultural traditions. More people watched the event last year than the entire populations of the U.K. and Australia combined—and that was a historically low number.
To celebrate (and to help you do the same!) we’ve compiled a list of statistics, activities, and resources to ensure you have a fun, creative, and exciting game no matter who takes home the trophy.
Data: who’s watching the big game in 2022 and how
This year, our research team paired up with the LA Times to understand how people are watching the game, what they’re excited about, and what their perceptions are. To do so, they surveyed 7,590 people across the U.S. Here are some of the top takeaways.
Who is watching the game this year?
More than half (52%) of the people we surveyed are planning to watch the game. Of those, only 23% are “big fans” of the NFL. Another 28% are casual fans and 15% aren’t fans at all, but watch the game anyway.
What are they most excited about?
In most other sporting events, people watch for the game itself. But, as we’ve seen, many of the people who watch this game don’t even consider themselves football fans. So what’s the real draw?
To get a breakdown, we asked what people were most excited about. Here’s how the numbers came out:
- 56% are most looking forward to the game
- 20% prefer the halftime show
- 12% are there for the commercials
- 6% like the social activities that surround the game
- 5% are just there for the food
How are they planning to celebrate?
Overall, only 41% will watch at home—which means viewing parties will be popular! That’s especially true for younger people (18-34), 53% of whom plan to watch with family and friends.
The pandemic did influence some people’s viewing choices (41% plan to watch alone or with fewer people), but another 58% said that they didn’t change their plans because of it.
What about in the digital realm?
Most people (82%) are planning to watch the game live (rather than later). We wanted to know whether they’d be following along on social media as well. Almost half (45%) said yes.
Here’s where they’re planning to do that:
- 17% plan to follow the game on Facebook
- 13% plan to follow on YouTube
- 11% plan to follow on sports blogs
- 11% plan to follow on Instagram
- 8% plan to follow on Twitter
- 6% plan to follow on Tiktok
Is there money on the table?
Betting, fantasy leagues, and friendly competitions are part of football culture—even among people who don’t generally gamble.
This year, 19% of viewers are planning to place some type of bet.
So how much money are we talking about?
- 8% are betting $500 or more
- 20% are betting between $100 and $500
- 30% plan to bet $50-$100
- 41% less than $50
Any differences between how Californian residents and how Ohioans view the game?
As it turns out—yes. While 78% of Californians think the LA team will win, 77% of Ohioans think the Cincinnati team will win.
Curious about people’s perception of the political aspects of the game, like the CET debate, the NFL’s coronavirus considerations, and its treatment of race? Check out our research team’s comprehensive post and access the whole survey.
If you want to know what businesses can learn from the NFL and its treatment of race, check out our article about it.
Wondering how those ads affect consumer perception?
Those 12% who come for the commercials are also going to be the ones who remember them. See how consumer sentiment dips and changes in real-time with brand tracking.
Predictions: A customizable survey template to help you compete with family and friends
Think you know which team is going to win the game? What about which player will win MVP? Final score? Whether you consider yourself a football expert of a novice, or not you have money (or other, more creative bets) riding on the outcome, making predictions is a major (and fun) part of the big game experience.
Send this survey to family and friends to collect everyone’s big game predictions all in one place and see who has the best football foresight. You can use this survey as-is or customize it with additional questions of your own.
Trivia: How well do you know football’s biggest game?
Do you consider yourself a sports academic? Been following the game for years? Test your knowledge with this quick quiz to challenge your expertise.
Event kit: Everything you need to plan your party
Hosting a party, even outside of a pandemic, is always a potent blend of fun, excitement, and just a little bit of stress. Hopefully, we can help with that last one. Here are a few resources to help smooth things over:
RSVP survey: Collect RSVPs to get a headcount, learn about food allergies and what guests will be bringing, and get a sense for which activities people are excited about.
Snack recipe roundup: a few of our favorites collected from around the web.
Big game shopping checklist: Just the essentials…and a few non-essentials.
- Disposable cups, plates/bowls, and silverware
- Non-alcoholic drinks like water bottles, juice, and sodas
- Alcoholic drinks like beer, wine, and cider
- Savory snacks like frozen pizzas, chips and dip, veggie platters, taquitos, nachos, or chili
- Sweet snacks like cookies, fruit, candy, or even a festive football cake
- Legal fireworks to celebrate (respectfully) if your team wins
- Extra plastic bags for trash/recycling
Hunter S. Thompson, a famously committed football aficionado, once said, “ Football fans share a universal language that cuts across many cultures and many personality types. A serious football fan is never alone.”
Here’s hoping that the big game this year helps you enjoy your community and makes you feel like a part of something bigger. It’s important to find reasons to celebrate.
*Percentages don’t add up to 100% on questions where not all participants chose to answer.
More into basketball than football?
The Golden State Warriors use data to understand and relate to their fans—and to make big decisions about what happens next.