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(BIG DATA) Do NFL fans even like the Super Bowl Halftime Performers?

Feb 1, 2019 | Insights

We’ve calculated what portion of every NFL team’s audience is fans of Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi. Hint: In the case of the latter two, hometown loyalty counts for a lot. Not so much with the nominal headliner, though.


The big day is truly just about upon us. Super Bowl LIII is soon to be taking place (or perhaps has occurred by the time you’re reading this). We hope you’ve been keeping up with our ever-mounting excitement, made manifest through our public application of the powerful and unfailingly insightful StatSocial audience analysis tool. We’ve been digging into the varying affinities, hobbies, preferences, and predilections of every NFL team’s fans.

Let’s Talk About Halftime Shows!

His Late Royal Badness at Super Bowl XLI

The Super Bowl has been a TV ratings juggernaut since very early in its history. Until the early-90s, though, two things about the event were largely accepted as facts: 1) For all the hoopla, the game itself would invariably be boring, and 2) the halftime show would be loud, flashy, expensive, and… mostly ignored.

Super Bowl XXV ushered in the era of good Super Bowl games. In a nail-biting, final seconds finale, Buffalo Bills’ placekicker, Scott Norwood, missed a very-nearly game-winning field goal. The play will forever be known in NFL lore as “Wide Right.” As a result, the New York Giants emerged victorious by a single point.

Good football was now on the Super Bowl table as a possibility. Halftime shows continued to be regarded as a lost cause, though. These hokey, bloated productions always had an overarching theme such as ‘World of Children’s Dreams’ and ‘Salute to Superstars of Silver Screen.’

In 1992, the theme of Super Bowl XXVI’s halftime show was ‘Winter Magic.’ It was a bit of hype for that year’s Winter Olympics in France, of which the broadcasting network, CBS, was to begin airing exclusive U.S. coverage a little over a week after the big game.

That year, the then still fledgling FOX network counter-programmed the Super Bowl’s halftime with a live episode of its critically acclaimed and award-winning sketch comedy show, ‘In Living Color’ (the show that launched the careers of numerous Wayans siblings, as well as Jamie Foxx, Jim Carrey, Jennifer Lopez, Rosie Perez, and David Alan Grier). This stunt not only netted FOX and ‘In Living Color’ tons of press, it also pulled in tons of viewers. 22 million, to be exact. Compared to the 120,000,000 who tuned into the game, only a drop in the bucket. All the same, huge numbers for any regular network show. This was not the sort of thing that was going to go ignored.

In a bid for relevancy and viewer retention, the following year’s Super Bowl XXVII had the halftime theme of… Well, there was no theme. They booked Michael Jackson. ‘Nuff said.

From there, the halftime shows took a few years of fits and starts to fully shake many of the corny trappings of spectacles past. With each passing Super Bowl, however, the proceedings ever-increasingly incorporated rock, pop, and country acts of whom members of the public born after World War II were actually fans.

McCartney, The Stones, Prince, Tom Petty, Springsteen, Aerosmith, Travis Tritt, Madonna, Clint Black, Britney Spears, and many others have, since the dawn of the halftime renaissance, done their Super Bowl duty. Whatever their demographic appeal or age, they are all quite a lot hipper than Up With People.

Nice History Lesson, Where Are the Stats?!

That leads us to this year. The featured performer is the rock band Maroon 5. The band’s fame has gotten a goose from frontman Adam Levine’s other gig as a judge on NBC’s hit singing competition show, ‘The Voice.’

The band is popular, whatever the reason. In an era where selling a million is a legitimate accomplishment, their 2017 release, ‘Red Pill Blues,’ reached that benchmark. Their 2014 album, ‘V,’ sold three-million copies.

Some of the controversies swirling around the league of late (to which we’ve made reference here and here) found booking acts for this year’s halftime a bit challenging. After a fair amount of speculation and drama, it has shaken out that the enormously popular Houston-based rapper, Travis Scott, will be joining Maroon 5 in the center ring. Also, in tribute to the game’s host city of Atlanta, rapper Big Boi — one half of superstar 90s/00s hip-hop duo, Outkast, and Atlanta music legend — will be joining in on the festivities.

So, To Make This a StatSocial Thing

We put the StatSocial audience analysis tool to work, this time out, to see what each of the NFL’s teams’ fans thought of the three acts slated to appear mid-game. Using the enormous amount of data incorporated in our analysis, we were able to calculate what percentage of each squad’s devotees are also fans of each act.

Let’s start with Maroon 5, who incidentally originate from Los Angeles.

2.91% of the Green Bay Packers’ fans are also fans of Maroon 5. 0.90% of the Atlanta Falcons’ fans are fans for Maroon 5.

It would seem football fans in the city hosting the Big Game are not the biggest fans of the band. Indeed, of all the teams’ audiences, the Falcons’ fans show the smallest degree of enthusiasm for Mr. Levine and his (presumably 4?) bandmates.

Luckily, the stadium is bound to be filled with fans of the two teams playing, and the Patriots can boast of having the largest quantity of Maroon 5 fans (Maroonies?) among their audience.

Of possible interest as we proceed, they don’t find over-abundant favor from fans of either of their current hometown teams.

Let us move on…

3.09% of the Green Bay Packers’ fans are also fans of Travis Scott. 0.81% of the Ne York Jets’ fans are fans of Travis Scott.

Houstonian Travis Scott finds the most love from the fans of his hometown’s Texans. Much as love from the Pats fans may work in Maroon 5’s favor, at least in Mercedes-Benz Stadium where fans of the two competing teams are sure to be present, Travis may find a number of his fans already in attendance. It seems a reasonable proportion of Rams fans dig his music.

Given that the current NFL fan base and that of Travis Scott don’t overlap to the extent you might find with fans of other sports, it’s a testament to just how popular he is that his fans can be found to notable degrees within the audiences of a great many teams.

Not so much fans of New York’s Jets, however.

Now, unsubstantiated rumors are flying that Scott will seize the opportunity of this massive event to propose to his girlfriend — reality TV star, model, and social media mega-influencer, Kylie Jenner. The league is not big on halftime show surprises (cough-wardrobemalfunction-cough), so if this is the case it will likely have been cleared, rehearsed, and Ms. Jenner’s response is already known. In other words, we don’t suspect such a thing is likely to happen.

And last, but most assuredly not least…

2.51% of the Atlanta Falcons’ fans are also fans of Big Boi. 0.10% of the New England Patriots’ fans are also fans of Big Boi.

Root, Root, Root for the Home team

Sworn Falcons fanatic, Antwan “Big Boi” Patton appears on ‘ESPN First Take’ in advance of the 2016–2017 NFC Championship game which found the Falcons facing the Green Bay Packers and emerging victorious.

Antwan “Big Boi” Patton is a proud Atlantan, and the citizens of that great city love Big Boi back. All parties involved love the Atlanta Falcons. It’s unsurprising then — especially given what even previous entries in this series have suggested about the home town affinities of Atlanta’s citizens — that of all fans of all the NFL teams, it is those who root for the Falcons who overwhelmingly are also the greatest fans of Big Boi.

You can check out Big Boi, on ‘ESPN First Take’ as he discusses the Falcons’ chances of winning the NFC Championship in January of 2017, by clicking here (it’s a 22 minute show, so if you have a moment). As it turns out their chances were pretty good, as they roundly trounced the Packers, 44 to 21.

Big Boi does not find a ton of admirers, in general, among the fans of the league’s other 31 squads. He particularly, though, gets no love from Pats fans. This even despite their victory over Big Boi’s beloved Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 3, 2019 could be a tough room.

We sure hope some Atlantans get tickets to the Big Game, Big Boi deserves some love from the stands.

Bookmark This Page

We’ve got loads of cool entries in the pipeline, sports related and way beyond.

Head over to the StatSocial blog here, and check out the other entries in this series, plus the loads of other insights, studies, and deep dives we’ve posted.

Throughout the blog are many examples of the sorts of things that only StatSocial can tell you, particularly with such nuance and accuracy.

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