The well-known Super Bowl, which, in U.S. professional gridiron footballing terms is the championship final of the National Football League. The one-off match is contested by the winners of the league’s American Football Conference and National Football Conference each January or February. The game is hosted by a different city each year. In 2016 the Super Bowl will be played on the February 7 in Santa Clara, California, home of the San Francisco 49ers, themselves five time winners of the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl was the result of the merger between the NFL and rival American Football League in 1966. The agreement called for an end-of-season championship game, and, although the merger was not finalized until 1970, the first such final duly went ahead. The match-up, at the time still called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, was played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 15, 1967.

The game saw the NFL’s Green Bay Packers defeat the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, 35–10. The name ‘Super Bowl’ was first used in 1969. At the time, the addition of the Roman numerals was used due to the fact that the Super Bowl match occurs in a different year to the football season itself. The 2016 event in Santa Clara will be the 50th edition of the Super Bowl, and the 46th modern-era National Football League championship game. In a departure from the NFL tradition of using Roman numerals, Super Bowl 50 will be marketed in Arabic numerals as ‘Super Bowl 50’ and not in the Roman numerical L.

The 2016 Event

The 2016 event has been dubbed as the Golden Super Bowl. A fiftieth anniversary is always deemed to be golden in any event, but there are further coincidences. Not to be confused with AFL premiership betting, The Super Bowl is being held in Santa Clara, California so it will be located in the Golden State. More specifically, the game will be played in the home stadium of the San Francisco 49ers, a team named after the miners of the California Gold Rush.

The day of the Super Bowl game, known as Super Bowl Sunday, has evolved into an unofficial American holiday, with viewing parties held in homes, taverns, and restaurants throughout the country. The weeks prior to the game these days has an enormous media and tourist build-up and in 2016, Santa Clara has an entire program and festival planned out. The game itself is accompanied by elaborate pageantry, musical shows, drawn-out ceremonies and ultimately vast national entertainment.

A Commercial Success

All Super Bowl matches since the first in 1966 have been event sell outs and consistently the annual TV-ratings leaders. A number of Super Bowls are amongst the most watched televised sporting events of all time, due to the national holiday and USA support. As a result, commercial and advertising time during the event is the most expensive of the year. The advertising spots available during this spectacle are consequently not only the most expensive ever seen, but have become a complete event within an event, many brands using the opportunity to launch and release new campaigns. The high-profile advertisements have featured celebrities, featured world-renowned filmmakers and announced new technologies to the Super Bowl audience.