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Game On

The 100 million+ Super Bowl watchers represent cross-sections of The New America
  • January 30 2012

Talk is cheap. Fans of the New York Giants and New England Patriots, the teams set to battle in Super Bowl XLVI Feb. 5 in Indianapolis, are dissing each other with reckless abandon. As a Bostonian, my accent has made me an easy target at New York City establishments lately. Even at our agency’s coffee bar (whose proceeds go to charity), the barista looks at me with disdain when I ask for a latte in my native intonation.

I don’t scowl back. No, I let him share his stats and predictions with his buddies. He can talk all he wants. The Patriots are going to win. 

Truth is, courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau, I’ve got my own stats and predictions to share. As the lead agency for the 2010 Census, Draftfcb has a unique, “insider” perspective on why the metrics uncovered in the most recent census matter so much to marketers, even around The Super Bowl.

Sure, the $3.5 million cost of a 30-second spot is steep. But NBC will attract north of 100 million viewers, more diverse than ever. Last year, Nielsen reported that record numbers of African-American, Hispanic and female viewers helped propel Super Bowl XLV to become the most-watched television program of all time. About 10 million Hispanic viewers watched the game, up from 8.3 million viewers the previous year. The African-American audience also increased dramatically, with about 12.5 million Black viewers tuning into last year’s game, compared to 11.2 million in 2010, per Nielsen.

Census stats released in honor of the February 5 game shed further light on the diverse consumers who undoubtedly will tune in for year’s most anticipated ads, as well as some football on the side. Consider these statistics related to competitors New York and Boston and Super Bowl host city Indianapolis, some interesting things for marketers to ponder during halftime:

Population: New York, with 8,175,133 residents, is the nation’s most populous city. Boston, to many peoples’ surprise, ranks just 22nd (617,594), 10 spots behind Indianapolis (820,445).

Education: 44.3 percent of Boston residents 25 and older had a bachelor's degree or higher in 2010. For New York, the figure was 33.4 percent, and 26.7 for Indianapolis.

Language: Nearly half of New York City residents age 5 or older (49.2 percent) spoke a language other than English at home in the 2010 American Community Survey. That compares to 35.5 percent for Boston and 12.7 percent for Indianapolis. The national average is around 20 percent.

Median income: Both New York ($48,743) and Boston ($49,893) are right around the national median of $50,046. Indianapolis’s is $38,502.

Home value: The 2010 median value of an owner-occupied home in Boston is $369,600, which may seem high until you realize that New York’s is $504,500. In Indianapolis, it is $118,100, below the national median of $179,900.


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