The Super Bowl takes place each year between the champions of the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference. The event first began on 15th January 1967 between the then named National Football League and American Football League as part of a merger agreement to decide the overall champions of United States American Football. The merger became official in 1970 and the leagues were renamed as the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference. Since its inception, The National Football Conference has had 26 wins compared to 22 wins for the American Football Conference. The Pittsburgh Steelers are the most successful team in Super Bowl history with six victories followed by The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers with five victories.
The Super Bowl takes place on the first Sunday in February and is commonly known as Super Bowl Sunday or Super Sunday. The event attracts the largest viewing figures of the year with the 2014 Super Bowl recording the highest viewing figures in United States history with an average of 111.5 million viewers. It is the third most viewed sporting event in the world, trailing only behind the UEFA Champions League Final and El Clasico in Spain.
The term ‘Super Bowl’ was first used by Lamar Hunt, the then owner of the Kansas City Chiefs who claimed that he got the name from a toy being used by his children called a ‘Super Ball’ and used the term in the initial merger meetings between the NFL and AFL. However the fixture remained as The AFL-NFL Championship Game until the media coined Hunt’s ‘Super Bowl’ term with the name becoming official in the 1969 event.
The competing teams vie for the opportunity to win a Vince Lombardi Trophy with the winning team being given a new trophy each Super Bowl that is theirs to keep. As well as winning The Vince Lombardi Trophy, players and administrators of the winning team are each given Super Bowl rings as a personal memento of their success in the sport’s biggest prize. The player with the most Super Bowl rings is Neal Dahlen with five from San Francisco and two with Denver.
Despite being played 52 times, three cities have hosted the Super Bowl 27 times with New Orleans hosting the Super Bowl on ten occasions, the Greater Miami area ten times and the Greater Los Angeles area on seven occasions. Despite this, no team has ever hosted the Super Bowl as the home team and the Louisiana/Mercedes-Benz Superdome has hosted the event on the most occasions with seven different Super Bowls.
An important feature of The Super Bowl is the half time show which has grown in importance since the early years where marching bands from local colleges were used as entertainment. The halftime show entered a new era when Michael Jackson performed at the 1993 Super Bowl in a move by the NFL to increase viewing figures and the appeal of the event. Entertainment at The Super Bowl remains a major part of the event with Katy Perry confirmed to perform as the headliner of the half-time show in Superbowl 50. Commercial rights remain of huge importance to the Halftime Show with the event being sponsored by Pepsi for the third consecutive year.
Super Bowl 53 will take place on 3rd February at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta. Home of the Atlanta Falcons.
The current favourites for Super Bowl 53 are New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos with the Green Bay Packers seen as the most likely team to progress from the National Football Conference having won 13 league championships in their history.