It’s Super Bowl week, and to me it might as well be recognized as America’s fourth big holiday. American retailers recognize what they call the “Big 3”: Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Super Bowl, you might as well be considered number four.

It’s the mid-week and, as we are all procrastinators at heart, that text message to friends that reads “Super Bowl plans?” is right around the corner. Think about that: Is there any other holiday that we congregate outside of the “Big 3” like we do the Super Bowl? Last I remember, I wasn't coaxing friends and family to make snacks, gather around and enjoy Presidents Day. No offense Mr. President, or presidents of the past.

The Super Bowl has become more than sport; it’s an event.

Even individuals that don’t watch sports tune in to casually engage. The last four Super Bowls have been the most watched TV programs historically in terms of number of viewers. (Remember that famed “MASH finale?” Yeah, that’s now ranked 5th…and for those of you that don’t remember MASH, I can’t say I really do either, so here).

In a time when people are dropping their TV service and signing up for internet options (good bye cable, hello Netflix) the Super Bowl still reigns supreme. If you’re even slightly into sports, if American football isn't your thing, guess what? You’re still tuning in because 18 of the 20 most popular televised sporting events ever… you guessed it, Super Bowls.

Think that football is just for guys in their recliners? Well the Super Bowl bucks that trend as well, with more than 50 million female viewers last year, your average TV audience for a NFL regular season game is 35 percent female and continues to trend upward.

This saturation is what makes the event relatable, from the commercials, to the half-time show, the competition, the plethora of subplots, and just the community built around it with gatherings and Super Bowl parties/events …. America you've got a completely American-made 4th big holiday, “Merry Super Bowl”.

This achievement doesn't happen overnight, so credit is due to the NFL. With a background in marketing and advertising there’s no organization I hold with such high regard as the NFL, they are the reigning heavy-weight champion of marketing and sponsorships. Sure, they’re a little traditional, but that’s why the NFL is engaging to the mass audiences.

If you want a hipper event, a little less mainstream, well…here’s my response. There’s no doubt that Madison Avenue in New York City (the marketing and advertising center of the universe) had something to do with coaxing the first billed “cold weather Super Bowl” … and let us be honest, I’m from Maine, mid-30s isn't cold. But we’re talking about it
(the weather), and it’s drummed up excitement and if you don’t think that’s a calculated move by the NFL, I’m happy to disagree and give the organization the benefit of the doubt.

As for the experiment, I think this will be the last cold weather destination for the NFL’s premier event for a while; not because of the clamor of how cold-weather affects the game, or if it will snow, or the fact that people and players want to visit warmer destinations. I think it’s great that cities that have never had access the excitement that surrounds the Super Bowl get a chance to experience what the fervor is like for their city, but I think it will be a rare occurrence. So whether it will be in person or through the TV set “Merry Super Bowl America” and remember, serve good snacks or else.

Tim Lo is a Bangor based entrepreneur, marketing and advertising professional, and sports fan; fair and objective, in-depth analysis for the educated sports fan with a dash of opinion.   

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