The Super Bowl: A Data Collection Dream

Jan 27, 2014 in CPG, Mobile

The big game—the NFL Super Bowl, the most popular program in U.S. television history—is upon us. Last year’s matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers was the third most-watched program ever, with Nielsen estimating that 108.4 million people tuned into the game.

Soon, we will find out how Super Bowl XLVIII stacks up to last year’s numbers, when the Seattle Seahawks face the Denver Broncos at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium on Sunday, February 2. Based on last year’s numbers and the excitement surrounding the fact that this will be the first Super Bowl played outside in the cold after decades in domes and warmer climates, it is fair to expect a record-breaker this year. And such an immense viewership makes the event a veritable data collection dream.

Speaking of the cold, forecasters have been giving plenty of attention to a great range of weather data as they seek to predict the likelihood of snow on February 2, a University Corporation for Atmospheric Research article points out. But what other categories of data, beyond weather and audience numbers, will be measured this Super Bowl?

For one, there is social media intelligence. Take SocialGuide, a Nielsen Company, for example, which captures television-related Twitter conversation numbers. Last year, Nielsen measured that 5.3 million people sent out 26.1 million tweets during the course of the game. And interestingly enough, many of those tweets came from brand advocates, research suggests. This means that brands that have good intelligence about their brand advocates have an opportunity to join the Super Bowl conversation on Twitter—for free or next to nothing. Brands will strategize about how to weave mentions into their brand advocates’ tweets, incentivizing these spokespeople with promotions and deals, encouraging them to talk about brands and products in the same tweets these folks send out about the Super Bowl.

This leads us to one of the reasons so many people beyond football fans get excited about tuning into the Super Bowl broadcast: the commercials. What kind of impact do those commercials and their record-breaking budgets make? There is data for that indeed, gathered by Communicus, a company that examines the efficacy of the ads that run during the broadcast via interviews with consumers pre- and post-event.

At every corner, the game is simply brimming with data collection opportunities. A recent Ad Age headline highlights an example of this reality: Seahawks Super Bowl Berth Could Be Worth $5M For Skittles. Marshawn Lynch, the Seakhawks’ running back and playoff hero, has identified Skittles as his favorite candy. Seahawks fans threw the candy at Lynch like confetti, rewarding him after he scored three times and rushed for 249 yards in two January home playoff games. The value of the free exposure for Skittles was measured “by building a model based off camera time and mentions of Skittles by broadcasters during last week’s game,” using sports measurement and data collection software.

Here at GoSpotCheck, our passion is synthesizing your data sources to unleash the power of what you collect. We enable users to rapidly understand the intelligence at their fingertips and to arrive at decisive insights every day. All the Super Bowl data inputs—from weather to marketing to social media to projected revenue—make this event a major data collection opportunity. That is why we’re eagerly anticipating the event—that, and because our hometown Broncos will be playing on that fateful February evening!