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A Super Bowl Pandemic

It's been a little over 26 hours since Super Bowl LV (2021) and its hangover has still not passed. Unarguably the greatest Quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, just won his 7th Super Bowl ring and his first for Bucs (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) in his first season with them. Although the night has become all about Brady since the match ended, the biggest night of the year in American sports had much more talking points.

With only 25,000 audiences in the Raymond James Stadium, Super Bowl LV is now the lowest attended Super Bowl in the history of the sport. Although these numbers are due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, it was still difficult to process the visual of a Super Bowl with 25,000 people and 30,000 cutouts in the stands. Of these 25,000, around 7500 were vaccinated health care professionals who were given free tickets by the NFL. All attendees were provided with face masks and hand sanitisers and were supposed to wear the mask at all times.

Super Bowl is considered the biggest night of the advertising world as it is one of the most-watched program across the world every year. Although the official data regarding the viewership of this edition isn't out yet. It's a no brainer that at least 100 million people watched it on television just like the previous 11 years. What was interesting this year was that some of the biggest and regular brands associated with the Super Bowl decided to give the 30-second ad spot a miss this time around. These were none other than Budweiser, Pepsi and Coke. It was the first time in 37 years that a Super Bowl was aired without an in-game Budweiser commercial. Similarly, it's been 20 years since the last time neither Pepsi nor Coke had a commercial aired during a Super Bowl. Although Pepsi still sponsored the half time show as it has been doing for the previous few years, the refrainment from the traditional television commercial was keeping in mind the financial constraint that's been forced on them due to the pandemic.

Lastly, the half time show with the performance by The Weeknd has been widely criticised on social media platforms as the most underwhelming part of what eventually became a memorable night. Some are even calling the performance the worst Super Bowl halftime show ever. Irrespective of what was and what wasn't this sporting occurrence is one for the history books as the world is starting to go back to normalcy from a dreadful pandemic.


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