What you can’t miss from the Big Game

Panasonic Avionics< Panasonic Avionics
02/08/24 4 MIN READ

Mark your calendars. This Feb. 11, one of the world’s biggest sporting events will unfold under the dome of Sin City’s new Allegiant Stadium as The Big Game takes over Las Vegas.

Last year’s championship final between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles captured the attention of 115 million viewers, becoming the most-watched U.S. telecast of all time, according to Nielsen.

The previous live broadcast record holder for U.S. viewers? 2014, when the New England Patriots trounced the Seattle Seahawks. And the one before that? The Big Game in 2013.

There’s no doubt about it: the U.S. love football—and all the marketing and experiential accoutrements that come with it.

How the Big Game captivated fans

The inaugural event happened in 1967 after the merger of the National Football League and its then-rival the American Football League; as part of the merger, the leagues agreed to hold a championship game. That first challenge saw the NFL’s Green Bay Packers defeat the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs in a 35–10 rout at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The Big Game in itself is a major draw, but its reputation as a cultural phenomenon has for some viewers overtaken the football.

The Big Game has always had a halftime show, but for the first couple of decades the performances were most often led by marching bands and dance troupes. Since the 1990s, however, the halftime stage has typically given a major “it” pop star a powerful platform to reach fans. In 1991, the New Kids on the Block sang “Step by Step.” Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Aerosmith, U2, No Doubt, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Prince, Beyoncé, and many other high-profile acts have taken their turns on the halftime stage.

In terms of the cultural phenom that is the Big Game, the halftime show is outmatched only by the TV commercials running during the game. It’s not an exaggeration to say ads have magnified the lore surrounding the Big Game.

In 1968, TIME Magazine griped that “one ‘promo’ actually ran right through a kickoff. Paid commercials also got in the way—but it was easy to see why. Commercial time for the telecast sold for an unprecedented $150,000 a minute.”

Since then, the hype and influence—and price (in 2022, $6.5 million for 30 seconds)—of ads has exploded, with some people tuning in just for the ads. In turn, the ads have become mini-movies—complex, clever, and cinematic commercials that

In 1972, the ad known as “Hilltop”—one of Coca-Cola’s most famous ads, and at the time the world’s most expensive commercial ever made—featured a diverse group of young people clutching glass Coke bottles and harmonizing, “I’d like to buy the world a Coke… it’s the real thing.”

Other memorable ads:

Location, location, location

The fight to host the Big Game is almost as competitive as the game itself. The 2023 championship, hosted by Phoenix, Arizona, brought in $1.3 billion in economic activity for the region.

Las Vegas, which will host the 58th event on Feb. 11, is primed and ready. The city is home to more than 150,000 hotel rooms, and many hotels—especially ones close to Allegiant Stadium—are offering hospitality packages topping $10,000 for a three-night stay.

The 65,000-seat stadium—a stone’s throw from the Las Vegas international airport and the famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign—is an attraction in its own right.

Built as the new home for the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders and the NCAA’s UNLV Rebels, Allegiant Stadium opened in 2020 to major accolades. The sleek black and silver dome was designed and built by the award-winning Manica Architecture design house from Kansas City (Kansas) and infrastructure design firm HNTB from Kansas City (Missouri).

Allegiant Stadium boasts state-of-the-art features including a 19-million-pound retractable natural turf field tray, as well as 200-foot wide glass doors on the north end giving panoramic views of the Las Vegas Strip.

The $1.5-billion stadium is also home to the world’s largest 3D-printed sculpture, the 85-foot-tall Al Davis Memorial Torch paying tribute to the former coach and longtime owner of the Oakland Raiders before the team moved to Las Vegas.

For those without tickets, watch parties are planned across the city as are events leading up to the Big Game. For instance, Mandalay Bay’s Experience theme park will host games, autograph signings, and other delights for football fans. These events promise to be slickly branded and heavily attended.

Subscribe to the
Panasonic Avionics Newsletter
for the latest updates!