Religion and Social Trends

Fans Split On Favorite Team In Super Bowl

But Most Predict Packer Win

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans are almost evenly divided over which team they want to win the Super Bowl on Sunday. The Denver Broncos enjoy a slight edge over the Green Bay Packers as the sentimental favorite, with 37% of all respondents preferring the Broncos and 35% the Packers, while 28% express no preference. Among the half of all Americans who identify as football fans, there is also a virtual tie, with 47% choosing the Broncos and 45% the Packers, while 8% are undecided.

Regardless of which team they want to win, most Americans -- 61% -- predict the Packers will repeat as NFL champions, while just 18% predict a Bronco victory. Among fans, the prediction is even more lopsided, with three out of four expecting a Packers' win. And by a two-to-one margin, even Broncos' fans concede defeat is likely for their team.

Regional Rivalry
While the country overall has no clear favorite, the four regions of the country have taken sides. Not surprisingly, the regions in which the respective teams are located show the greatest support for their own teams, with the Midwest favoring the Packers by 56% to 39%, and the West favoring the Broncos by about the same margin, 56% to 40%. The South weighs in with majority support for the Western team -- 51% for the Broncos to 39% for the Packers, while the East tilts toward the Midwestern team by 47% to 41%.

Gender Gap on Favorite Team
Almost six of ten men say they are football fans, compared with about one in three women. Among those who identify as fans, there is a gender gap on the choice of a sentimental favorite that rivals the political gender gap in the 1996 presidential election. In this case, male fans prefer a Broncos' victory by 50% to 42%, while female fans prefer a Packers' victory by exactly the same margin -- a net gap of 16 percentage points.

Many Americans Are (Gasp!) Uninterested in Super Bowl
Despite extensive publicity surrounding the Super Bowl, at least a third of Americans are so uninterested they could not name either team that will be playing. About half of all respondents could name both teams, with an additional 10% able to name only the Packers and 5% able to name just the Broncos.

Furthermore, for many Americans, what interest they have in the Super Bowl is stimulated more by the ads that run during the televised event than by the game itself. Over a third (37%) find the ads more entertaining, compared with 46% who say it's the game. The commercials have become such an attraction that even among self-declared football fans, 30% find the commercials more entertaining than the game.

METHODOLOGY
The current results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,004 adults, conducted January 16-18, 1998. For results based on a sample of this size, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the error attributable to sampling and other random effects could be plus or minus 3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Can you happen to tell me the names of the two teams who will be playing in the Super Bowl this year?

Named both Packers and Broncos 52%
Named Packers only 10
Named Broncos only 5
Named neither 33
___
100%

Which team would you like to see win this year's Super Bowl game?

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

No preference/ No opinion

Total

37%

35

28

Fans

47%

45

8

by Region
East

41%

47

12

Midwest

39%

56

5

South

51%

39

10

West

56%

40

4

by gender
Male fans

50%

42

8

Female fans

42%

50

8

Regardless of whom you favor, which team do you think will win?

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

No preference/ No opinion

Total

18%

61

21

Fans

18%

77

5

Male

16%

82

2

Female

21%

71

8

Which do you personally find more entertaining -- the Super Bowl game itself or the advertising commercials that run during the Super Bowl?

Total

Football fans

The game itself

46%

68%

The commercials

37

30

Don't watch game (vol.)

15

1

No opinion

2

1

___

___

100%

100%

Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/4270/Fans-Split-Favorite-Team-Super-Bowl.aspx Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A +1 202.715.3030