Friday, January 28, 2022 Jan 28, 2022
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Super Bowl XLV Has 12 Million-Dollar Sponsors

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That’s the latest count from the Super Bowl XLV Host Committee, which has had a goal of securing 15 of these $1 million contributors. (Some are providing services or resources in kind rather than just cash.) Among the latest to join are Gene and Jerry Jones, who have pledged $1 million to fund the host committee’s portion of the NFL’s Youth Education Town.

There are two other big corporate sponsors that have not yet been announced officially. Should be made public early next year, and they are big names.

The Observer’s love letter to Roger Staubach this week says the Texas Rangers are a million-dollar sponsor. I’m told by the committee that the original intention was for the Rangers to be the name behind the money. But because of the limbo in which they exist pending their sale, it looks like it’s officially owner Tom Hicks’ contribution.

As for the economic impact figure for Super Bowl XLV that’s touted — $500 million — I was surprised to see that presented as a fact, and not coated with the Observer‘s usual skepticism and desire to poke a stick into the eye of the man. Bill Lively and the Host Committee certainly hope to see that great an impact, and they may be right. But there’s ample room for doubt.  Here are a couple skeptics, sports economists Victor Matheson and Robert A. Baade:

The National Football League and other sports leagues have used the promise of an all star game or league championship as an incentive for host cities to construct new stadiums or arenas, and with few exceptions, at considerable public expense. Recent NFL studies have estimated that Super Bowls increase economic activity by hundreds of millions of dollars in host cities. Our analysis fails to support NFL claims.

Our detailed regression analysis revealed that over the period 1970 to 2001, on average Super Bowls created $92 million in income gains for 21 host cities, a figure roughly one-quarter that of recent NFL claims. While this figure, like any econometric estimate, is subject to some degree of uncertainty, statistical analysis reveals that, on average the Super Bowl could not have contributed, by a reasonable standard of statistical significance, more than $300 million to host economies.

Cities would be wise to view with caution Super Bowl economic impact estimates
provided by the NFL. It would appear that padding is an essential element of the game both on and off the field.