Super Bowl LVIII is days away — which team will leave Las Vegas as champions?
Taboola looked at readership to learn more about online interest in the Super Bowl, as well as predict the winner. The analysis accounts for hundreds of millions of views by readers of news articles in the U.S.
Overview of This Year’s Big Game
Super Bowl LVIII will be held on Sunday, February 11 at 6:30pm ET in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium, which is trending in online interest by 328%. Taboola’s data also indicates that year over year, online interest in this year’s Super Bowl has increased by 10% — and some would say this bump is attributed to a particular pop star who will be in attendance at the game.
The “Taylor Swift Effect”
Even though the Super Bowl and opposing teams are typically the most-read-about topics leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, Taboola’s insights show that Taylor Swift has dominated the actual event and football-related topics. In the days following the Super Bowl LVIII matchup reveal, Taboola’s data showed that Taylor Swift was the #4 most-read-about general news topic in the U.S., ahead of the NFL, Super Bowl, Chiefs, and 49ers. USA Today even suggests that Taylor Swift could cause viewership for this year’s game to be the highest ever.
Using Data to Predict the Winner
Historically, the 49ers have faced the Chiefs just three times since 2015, and they’ll play each other for the fourth time this Sunday at Super Bowl LVIII. Interestingly, half of these matchups will have taken place in a Super Bowl setting — the 49ers fell to the Chiefs in 2020’s Super Bowl, 31-20. ESPN recently spoke with 64 of their own NFL analysts, writers, commentators, columnists, and pundits to see who the favored winner is, and 77% of respondents favored the Chiefs. Taboola’ data supports this, indicating a 131% increase in readership for the Chiefs, compared to a 57% increase in readership for the 49ers.
The Most-Read-About Coach
This year marks the second time that Kyle Shanahan, head coach of the 49ers, will have led a team to the Super Bowl — and could be his first-ever win. On the other hand, the Chiefs’ Andy Reid has most recently led the Chiefs to win last year’s Super Bowl LVII over the Eagles, and has guided the Chiefs to four Super Bowls over the past 11 seasons. Taboola’s data shows that consumers are reading more about the underdog: Kyle Shanahan is trending by 109%, compared to a surprising 31% decrease in readership for Andy Reid.
The Most-Read-About Quarterback
While San Francisco’s Brock Purdy was given the nickname, “Mr. Irrelevant” after the 2022 NFL draft pick, he could walk away on Sunday as a Super Bowl champion. On the contrary, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes has been playing in the NFL for seven years and has established himself as one of the greatest quarterbacks to have played the sport. All in all, online interest in San Francisco’s Brock Purdy is up by 91%, compared to 44% of an increase in readership for Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, showing another victory of the underdog.
Usher will take the stage in this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show, which is already ballooning in online interest by 604%. Usher teased that there will be special guests present throughout the performance as well, which could be causing interest to increase. It’s safe to say that consumers are eager for the musical performance, with readership for Usher rising by 454%.
This year’s Super Bowl ad game is different than years past. There’s a change-up in the types of advertisers that we typically see — for example, more candy brands and fewer automakers — and overall more celebrities than usual.
According to Taboola’s data, two ads are gaining serious readership traction. Readership for Budweiser is skyrocketing by 1,986% caused by the excitement around Budweiser’s return to the “old school” Clydesdale-dog commercial. Additionally, the Oreos Super Bowl ad featuring Kris Jenner is having a moment: since the commercial debut, Oreos jumped in online interest by 149%.
Tips for Publishers and Advertisers
Chances are, this year’s Super Bowl will be talked about for weeks after the game is over. Publishers should continue to cover highlights from the Big Game for an extended period of time, and ensure that they’re not only covering the outcome of the football matchup itself, but also Usher’s Halftime Show surprises and all things Taylor Swift.
Given the heightened buzz around the Big Game —and a new, younger female audience this year —advertisers should continue to capitalize on Super Bowl campaigns and ensure these are effectively targeting everyone who will be tuning into the event.