Fans Go Online To Enhance Their Super Bowl Experience

A ComScore survey finds the annual contest epitomizes the huge surge in online activities that are associated with NFL games.

W. David Gardner, Contributor

February 1, 2008

3 Min Read

It's a National Football League game and Alan Seru is glued to his TV. He's also glued to his laptop, instant messaging his friends about the progress of the game. And, he's glued to his PlayStation console, playing Madden football online with friends and strangers. That's not all: He typically swaps text messages with friends as the game progresses.

A college senior who played high school football, Seru is an example of the new practitioner of the surge in online activities that are associated now with NFL games and will be in evidence in particular during Sunday's Super Bowl game between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. During NFL games he often logs on to for stats.

In its annual Super Bowl survey of Game Day Internet usage, market researcher ComScore said three-quarters of survey respondents plan to log on to the Internet Sunday. Three in 10 respondents said they plan to log on during the game itself. Most of those will be looking for stats and stories related to the game.

It's no surprise that many viewers will be looking to follow up on ads shown during the game -- 13% will log on to watch Super Bowl ads. "There seems to be a greater inclination to access advertisers' content online, which highlights the increasing importance of a cross-media advertising strategy," ComScore senior analyst Andrew Lipsman said in a statement.

ComScore, a market researcher of digital online activity, also found some unanticipated reasons viewers go online on Super Bowl Sunday. A higher percentage -- 16% -- visits to find recipe and party ideas. Another 5% go online to place or follow game bets.

ComScore found that women generally like the game for its ads, while men prefer watching the game itself., which delivers an online Web desktop for broadcast media, has beefed up its Super Bowl offering this year. Its SportsTop product will monitor the game broadcast and publish content in real time, including player profiles, statistics, photos, and history.

Fans can chose from 16 widgets, which they can personalize to suit their interests. A new feature on Jacked this year is the ability of its search technology that mulls around the Web for game-relevant videos. A chat feature enables fans to connect with other fans and even engage in trivia contests.

ComScore asked the 1,522 respondents in its survey to predict the winner of the game and the event's most valuable player. The market research firm said 64% predicted the Patriots would win and its quarterback Tom Brady would be the MVP. The other third said they believe the Giants will upset the undefeated Patriots.

The Patriots got into the online act earlier in the week when the team's Web site showed coach Bill Belichick and five players conducting simultaneous press conferences. The live feeds were present on the Web site, giving fans the illusion of being directors in a TV control center. The event drew on Akamai's Flash streaming service and programming and design support from Getfused.

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