Super Bowl fever is growing across the USA as people get ready to watch Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos go head-to-head in New Jersey on Sunday night. Advertising during the broadcast is being sold at $4,000,000 per thirty seconds, making it make or break for brands, who see it as a chance to be creative and spend huge marketing budgets in order to try and get a large share of voice - a small price to pay when there are likely to be over 111 million pairs of eyes watching live. Though it’s taking place in New Jersey, it’s not just in the USA that American Football is popular - in the UK, American Football has seen a massive profile boost, supported by the International Series which takes place at Wembley every year. This has grown from one game in 2007 to three games in 2014, proving its live popularity further, but what about its impact online? Broadcasters NBC streamed the Super Bowl live online for the first time in 2012, attracting 2.1m viewers in the USA. Whilst that was a record figure for a live major sporting event steamed online in the US, it was surpassed by CBS the following year as they recorded a 43% growth on that figure to take it to 3m viewers. A similar level of growth this year would see it soar to nearly 4.3m users. Outside the US, UK users are able to stream every game live through the NFL website. This should see streaming figures from outside the USA also grow as people tune in using tablets and computers, despite the game being available on free-to-air television. Procera Networks, an intelligence company for over 700 different broadband and DSL companies across the world, found that from their client data, streaming for non-Super Bowl videos from sources such as Netflix and YouTube dropped by 33% during the game. Google Trends also reports that terms such as ‘Super Bowl’ and ‘NFL’ have shown a distinct rise over the course of the last few years here in the UK, as shown in the image below. Growth of ‘NFL’ and ‘Super Bowl’ in UK searches since 2004. Red line shows ‘NFL’ and blue ‘Super Bowl’. Aside from the actual game, YouTube and social media also see huge volumes of traffic going towards Super Bowl content after the game. Volkswagen undoubtedly takes the crown for the most watched commercial, although its 59 million views does not come close to videos produced by music artists like Justin Bieber, who has just over 972m views for Baby. Unruly Media also reports that the 2013 commercials received a record number of shares with over 10.2m across social media platforms and blogs, an 89% increase on 2012. The half-time shows are also an important part of the Super Bowl, with Beyoncé’s half-time show from 2013 having 10 million hits on, Madonna’s half-time show has 7.6m hits and Michael Jackson’s has 4.8m views. Bluefin Labs have also measured the social impact of the Super Bowl with over 30.6 million comments made, 27.7m of which were via Twitter. Beyoncé took home another accolade with a record 4.3m comments made about the half-time show, a 421% increase year-on-year from 2012’s show. With the number of people streaming the Super Bowl digitally, and the increased significance of social, it is surely the case that advertising online is going to see a significant increase in terms of cost. Twitter allows for sponsored tweets, Google sells PPC and display advertising around the web, not forgetting that Facebook and YouTube also sell advertising on their platforms. Whilst brands used to plough money purely into TV advertising to get one of their prized slots, it could be equally lucrative to spread budgets digitally too. It will be interesting to see whether records online are broken again and just how much of an impact this has in the UK. Plusnet hopes to bring some statistics from our bandwidth after the weekend, so remember to check back next week and take a look! Will you be watching the Super Bowl? Will you be streaming live or watching it on TV? Are you going to a Super Bowl party? Let us know below…Header image from Metropolitan Transport Authority Flickr.