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Super Spending

Americans may shell out nearly $11B for game

February 5, 2012
By MIKE ZUMMO , The Leader Herald

Whether a person is a fan of the New York Giants or the New England Patriots, or most will be watching the game when it airs tonight on NBC.

And, odds are, they will have spent some money in program preparation, according to a survey by the Retail, Advertising and Marketing Association, conducted by BIGinsight. Consumer spending could reach an all-time high.

It projects each spectator is expecting to spend about $64 on related merchandise, apparel and snacks, which is up from about $59 last year. The survey projects spending to hit about $11 billion nationwide.

Article Photos

Bob Conroy uses an applicator tool as he works on applying a New York Giants logo onto a miniature garbage pail at his home business on Thursday. He sells items with sports logos.

The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan

It also predicts about 173 million people will watch tonight's game, which is about 2 million more than last year.

According to the survey, 71.3 percent of the money spent is expected to be on food and beverages.

"People love their comfort food," said Mona Golub, a spokeswoman for Price Chopper. "Traditionally the food people look for are pizza, wings, sandwich platters and chili. However, I would say at the same time, people look for interesting alternatives that make these social gatherings around food and entertainment fun."

The store also has had sales on various snack foods and beverages, like chips and soda.

Food sales were projected to be the big winner this Super Bowl season, and team merchandise was a distant second with people expected to spend 8.6 percent of their Super Bowl money in that sector.

Monty Marks, a senior buyer for Olympia Sports, which has a location in Johnstown, said the company is seeing increased demand in the Northeast, just like in 2008 the last time the Giants and Patriots squared off in the Super Bowl. The Giants won that game, 17-14.

"We're a New England-based company, so we're drawing the benefits of both teams being in the Super Bowl," he said. "This is the perfect rematch for us."

Marks said the company is ordering merchandise daily to keep up with demand in the area. He said there have been a lot of direct-ship purchase orders coming in and there has been a lot of "splitting in the field," where merchandise is sent to a warehouse, and individual store managers pick up the merchandise to restock their racks.

Marks said some of the biggest-selling items this year have been jerseys for Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz and for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. The company also is selling a lot of NFC and AFC conference champions and hats.

"They both did very well," he said.

After the Super Bowl, there will be more championship products for the winning team, and being based in the Northeast, Olympia has to plan for both.

"You can't get better than having this rematch," he said.

After having seen this matchup in 2007, the company has been able to predict what products would be in demand leading up to the game, and even after it emds tonight.

"You just look at ways to improve the store mix by each location," Marks said. "Obviously, we look at how the product sold the first time."

Bob Conroy of Mayfield owns Doc's Custom Decals with his wife. They sell items with logos from teams of all four major sports and NASCAR.

"Right now, I have a ton of Giants stuff. Anything from beer glasses, toothbrush holders, decals and the like," Conroy said.

It's not all Giants items, however. There are some Patriots collectibles scattered throughout his shop. He predicts an increase in sales, especially if the Giants end up winning today's game.

"That's who I'm rooting for," he said.



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