From the half-time shows to the social media storm and road-shows that surround it, the Super Bowl has long been the wheel house of the advertising world and an example of how the U.S marry elite sport and entertainment better than anybody else in the world.
The Super Bowl LII will not just go down as one of the great games in history and a fantastic victory for the Philadelphia Eagles, but a turning point for technology as the event became a global showcase for the latest and most cutting edge tech in sports and entertainment
It was a breakthrough year for live streaming with all viewers able to stream the game for free through the NBC Sports app without the requirement for authenticated login. It was also possible to stream through the NFL and Yahoo Sports apps. NBC Sports Group have invested in taking their coverage to the next level with 76 cameras for game coverage, a total including two SkyCams, seven 4K ultra high-def cameras and 20 embedded in the end zone pylons. Immersive technology was also at the fore as Intel's True View technology was installed at U.S. Bank Stadium ahead of this season enabling 3D replays. Amazon's Alexa was not shy in declaring herself an Eagles fan in an intuitive piece of experiential 'personality' marketing and engagement and an hint at what may follow from the 'connected home.'
2018 will be the year of the 'Smart Stadium' and with increasing activations such as stadium maps, mobile ticketing, restroom waiting times, in-seat concession ordering and instant-replay videos in addition to AR seat selection and augmented in-game entertainment there are closer links than ever before between viewing content at home or in-arena.
The ability to capture audience emotion whether through tracking social media posts and moments and geo-fenced fan zones and arenas were all means of targeting fans and created huge commercial opportunity for leagues, teams and broadcasters.
The Super Bowl, technology, broadcast and advertising are in a positive circle that for the foreseeable future will only continue to grow. With natural content attracting global attention it is the perfect platform for the world's largest consumer facing brands. Technology offers additional means to engage, and for longer periods and thus will drive commercial revenues and continue to flourish... an exciting year ahead!