(Writers note: Skip first two paragraphs if you have no interest in the Super Bowl)
Are you ready for some football? Well, I sure am. Despite the fact that my Tennessee Titans were OFFICIALLY eliminated in week 17, I’ll be neutral come Sunday. Note: Eli Manning is my current neighbor, BUT I did spend four great years in Boston… and who can deny Brady’s ability to energize his team. This weekend’s re-match between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots is shaping up to be one of the most-viewed events in years.
If you watched Rick Horrow’s Beyond the Scoreboard commentary on Tuesday it touched on whether spending $3.5 million for a 30 second ad is worth it. Apparently, some CEOs seem to think that spending big bucks has a purpose… our DC Bureau Chief Darren Gersh had the chance to ask Volkswagen America’s (PINK:VLKAY) CEO Jonathan Browning if the follow up to last year’s hugely-popular Darth Vader ad actually translated into getting more people into VW showrooms. Browning says business was up 26% last year and he says a lot of that is due to the brand awareness by consumers.
As for me, I’ll be hopping on United Continental (NYSE:UAL) metal to Houston on Friday night and watching the big game (and those very expensive commercials*) at a friend’s place. Why Houston? Well, my brother will be there running a 50-mile race on Saturday. I’ll be part of the cheer team. Come Sunday, I think we’ll all happily be enjoying our Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD), Pizza Hut (NYSE:YUM), Bud Lights (NYSE:BUD) and Jack & Coke Zero (NYSE:KO). What will you be drinking? Beer? Or, hard liquor? Here’s a look at what most Americans are drinking. The National Chicken Council reports that Americans are expected to eat 1.25 billion chicken wings the weekend of the big game. If wings aren’t your thing… you’d better place those pizza orders soon. I’m hearing from our friends over at Pizza Today magazine that Super Bowl Sunday is one of the top five busiest days of the year for pizza joints.
But enough about football. I’m the new national assignment editor here at Nightly Business Report in New York. What does that mean? Well, I’ve only been here for four weeks and I’m still trying to figure that out… but, like most of you in your jobs, I wear a lot of hats… from working with our reporters on trying to tell the most compelling stories every night, to calling my sources, working the phones and doing interviews. I get to do it all. I’ve been here a month and I have to say that the people who put this show together every night are smart, quick and dedicated to delivering stories that are unique and informative.
Every week, I’ll try to bring you an insider’s view of how we put our show together, the stories we’re following, the live guests we are trying to bring you and the trends we try to follow. Along the way, feel free to share. Twitter: @bizrpt and facebook.com/bizrpt.
P.S. Call me crazy for thinking that a new head coach and a new quarterback would be enough to turn Tennessee’s fortunes around this season. FYI, Coach Munchak: I am not a fair-weather fan and I will be renewing my season tickets.
*For those of you who can’t wait til Sunday, be sure to check out Erika Miller’s piece on Super Bowl ads Friday evening… will Darth Vader be back? Or, will David Beckham’s briefs fill the void?