When the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams take the field this Sunday for Super
Bowl LVI, they will highlight an event that has as much cultural impact as ever, according
to faculty from Trine University’s Center for Sports Studies.
“The Super Bowl reaches about a third of the American population. Nothing else draws
that kind of audience — not even close,” said Andy Brown, assistant professor of communication.
“It is so rare for so many Americans to come together around anything that the Super
Bowl has become a great opportunity for advertisers, musicians and entertainers to
reach a huge audience.”
Brown said that while the event marshals social media, gambling, music and entertainment
to push its popularity, it is also something people want to see live.
“People aren’t taping the game or watching highlights. They want to see it live to
be part of the shared cultural experience,” he said. “In this way, the Super Bowl
is somewhat immune to the problems that other events and traditions have had with
Catherine Benson, dean of Trine’s Ketner School of Business, expects to see an increased
focus on sports betting in this year’s Super Bowl coverage.
“I watch a variety of sports and have been amazed by the amount of focus being placed
on the sports betting trend in recent coverage of events. Commercials for the various
sports betting apps have taken over,” she said. “Even on network coverage, announcers
are talking about actual results as compared to predictions and odds. It wouldn’t
surprise me in the least to see numerous sports betting app commercials and a lot
of mention of odds and bet possibilities.”
Brown notes that many products and celebrities as well as the teams will be trying
to score Super Bowl victories.
“The commercials, performers, players and commentators are all trying to raise the
profile of their brand,” he said. “One big moment on Super Bowl Sunday can propel
a personality or brand to new heights.”
The Trine Center for Sports Studies is a multidisciplinary teaching and experiential
learning collaborative at Trine University focusing on the study of sports and the
international sports industry. The Center draws from well-respected Trine University
programs and courses in business, health sciences and communication to provide the
broadest range of sports-related academic major, minors and internships to prepare
Trine students for this fast-growing, dynamic international marketplace.