Media Advisory: WFU Super Bowl Experts Available

Wake Forest University has experts available to discuss economics, advertising and “coach talk” in advance of Super Bowl 50.

Who wins, who loses?: “When a local team does well, like the Carolina Panthers has done this season, there are certain types of businesses that see upticks in demand,” says sports economist Todd McFall, “however, spending in other areas likely declines because fans are substituting toward game-day related spending.” McFall can share ideas on who wins and who loses in the local and regional economy when a hometown team heads to the Super Bowl.

Ads: Boom/bust, bragging rights and beer operas: More than 114 million people will tune in to watch Super Bowl 50. Marketing professor Roger Beahm says, “The Super Bowl can be a boon for advertisers, or it can be a bust. Where else can you go from being proud of your $5 million investment to having buyer’s remorse in just 30 seconds?!” Beahm can also talk about how Super Bowl advertising, like the Super Bowl, is created for bragging rights. He adds, “We all know ‘soap operas’ were serial dramas created for radio and television, in part, to carry ads from soap manufacturers. Given that definition, it may now be time to start acknowledging the Super Bowl as ‘the ultimate car and beer opera.’”

Coaching themes: Communication professor John Llewellyn can discuss recurring themes that both winning and losing coaches employ. “The basic mantra pre Super Bowl is a festival of mutual admiration and respect between the two coaches, organizations and teams,” says Llewellyn. “Players usually follow a similar pattern though sometimes someone will ‘run their mouth’ in making lofty promises and/or denigrating the opponent. This phenomenon leads to ‘bulletin board material,’ every coach’s worry. Bear Bryant famously said words to this effect: If you want trouble on Saturday, just run your mouth on Friday. So the communication norms are not to roil the waters; in another context, this principle in known as ‘cooling the mark.’”


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